WINNEMUCCA — The last time the Lowry High School girls basketball team knocked off Fallon, all of its players were in junior high or middle school.
That all changed Friday night, as the Lady Bucks beat the Greenwave 42-36, for its first victory over Fallon since the Northern 3A regional championship game in 2016 when Lowry won on a buzzer-beating 3-pointer by Alyssa Kuskie.
The two schools are not strangers and have been at the top of the Northern 3A for the past four years. They played three times in 2015-16 and four times apiece in 2016-17 and 2017-18, including the regional and state championship games. Lowry and Fallon also played three times a season ago, including the 2019 regional title game.
First-year Greenwave coach Kevin Wickware told KKTU sportscaster Larry Baker after the game Fallon has struggled in scoring throughout the year.
“We are getting a lot of experience with our shots,” Wickware said of the Wave. “It’s getting better and better.”
Wickware also used a different look in the second half which meant starting guard Karlee Hitchcock didn’t see as much playing time.
“I felt it was the strongest group we had going in the second half,” he said. “I stayed with that because we were putting points on the board.”
Wickware said Hitchcock battled hard underneath, but the flow of the game took a different direction.
In what was thought to be a rebuilding year with nine new players for Lowry, the Lady Bucks came into the contest in second place in the Northern 3A with just one loss.
“That was a big win for us,” said Lowry coach Melanie Thurmond. “It’s been a while since we have beaten them. I knew Fallon would be tougher than what their scores have shown. They still have some definite experience with girls being on those playoff teams.”
When the night ended, Lowry remained with one loss, improving to 8-1 in league play and 10-5 overall after the win over Fallon. The Greenwave, dropped to a three-way tie for fourth in the league at 5-4 with Elko and Spring Creek. Fallon does own the tie-breaker over Spring Creek.
Wickware said Fallon is playing better basketball than at the beginning of the season, and he likes where the Wave is in the standings with Spring Creek and Elko.
“I figure it will flip flop all year long,” he said, adding he’s not concerned about being in the middle of the pack. “It’s about what place we’re in, and we need to play our best basketball.”
Lowry jumped out to an 8-3 lead in the opening quarter, with four points apiece from sophomores Hannah Whitted and McKenzi Petersen. Fallon’s only field goal through the first seven minutes of play was a 3-pointer by Madison Whitaker. The Greenwave cut the deficit to 8-6 late in the first quarter after a steal and layup by Addison Sandberg. However, Lowry answered back the next time down the floor with a 3-pointer by senior Carly Capellen.
Lowry sophomore Emily Backus had a pair of layups to keep the Lady Bucks ahead in the early part of the second quarter, but Whitaker did her best to keep Fallon in the game with a pair of buckets to bring the Greenwave within four points at 15-11.
Jovi Kuskie, the younger sister of Alyssa from that 2016 game, knocked down a shot that started a 7-2 run by Lowry to increase the lead to 22-13. Late in the first Kinsli Rogne converted an old-fashioned 3-point play to bring the Greenwave within three points at halftime at 26-23.
Fallon got as close as four points in the second half, as Makenzee Moretto opened the second half with a bucket, but it was Lowry the rest of the way in the third quarter.
Lowry reeled off the next eight points, four of those from Petersen and two each from Backus and Kuskie to push the advantage to 30-18. The Lady Bucks went into the fourth quarter ahead 34-22 after baskets by Kuskie and Sierra Maestrejuan.
Fallon did not go away and made the contest interesting midway through the fourth quarter after 3-pointers by Sandberg and Whitaker cut the deficit to 35-31 with 5:20 to go. However, Kuskie ended the rally with a 3-pointer to push the lead back to 38-31 with 3:58 to play. Lowry put the game out of reach with 65 seconds to play after Petersen put back a missed Lowry free throw to push the lead to 40-34.
Petersen led Lowry 14 points and six rebounds and Backus had 10 points, four assists, two rebounds and two steals. Kuskie had nine points, two steals and a rebound, Whitted four points, Capellen three and Maestrejuan two.
Fallon’s Whitaker led all scorers with 16 points, Sandberg added seven, Rogne five, Shaylee Fagg and Moretto three each and Hitchcock two.
Fallon, travels to Sparks on Friday for a 6 p.m. start and hosts Fernley on Saturday at 1 p.m.