More than a month ago, its cross-valley rival raced to a comfortable lead in the first half and never looked back.
On Saturday, it was a different story as the Lady Wave girls basketball team gave league-leading Fernley everything it could handle in a 62-41 loss at the Elmo Dericco Gymnasium.
Fallon, which split against Sparks and Truckee, sits at 6-6 in the Northern 3A standings, 2.5 games ahead of North Valleys for the sixth and final playoff spot. Fallon traveled to South Tahoe on Tuesday and comes back home to host North Valleys on Saturday. Fernley improved to 12-0 in league.
Fallon stayed within striking distance of Fernley during the first half, trailing by only nine at halftime and already matching its game total in points from the first meeting (58-23).
Senior Makenzee Moretto led the Lady Wave with 14 points and junior Aisha Sharron had 13. Junior Madison Whitaker scored seven points and senior Karlee Hitchcock had six before fouling out.
For the Vaqueros, senior Jaiden Sullivan was hot from long distance early in the game and posted a game-high 17 points and sophomore Willow Jacobsen had 14. Junior Karly Burns scored 10 points, and seniors Katelyn Bunyard and Celeste Condie each had seven.
The deficit in the first quarter never grew greater than five points for Fallon after Sharron’s jumper and Hitchcock’s putback kept the game to within three points with 3 minutes left. Jacobsen’s pair of free throws increased Fernley’s lead back to five going into the second quarter.
Jacobsen, who started the 8-0 run toward the end of the first frame, capped off the run with a basket at the 5:37 mark to give Fernley a 22-11 lead. Fallon, though and unlike the first encounter, clawed back thanks to Sharron and Moretto, who cut the gap to seven (22-15). Moretto traded baskets with Fernley on the next two possessions for each team and Condie’s three-point play put Fernley back ahead by 11 with 1:53 left in the half. Sharron’s two free throws and Moretto’s fast-break score narrowed it down to 30-23 before Jacobsen’s layup in 21 seconds left gave Fernley a nine-point lead at halftime.
Both teams traded scores to begin the third quarter and Fernley slowly started to pull away after Sullivan’s trey gave Fernley its largest lead of 12 points with 4:30 to go. Missed shots plagued Fallon during the game, especially in the third quarter, and Fernley had problems taking advantage from the free throw line where the Vaqueros shot 7 of 22, including a pair of misses from Jacobsen and Burns toward the end of the third quarter. Bunyard’s 3-pointer in the corner with 4 seconds left gave Fernley a 48-31 lead heading into the fourth quarter.
Burns opened the final quarter with a 3 in the corner, like Bunyard, and Condie’s free throw elevated the lead to 21 points with 6:32 left in the game. Fallon, though, battled back with Hitchcock and Whitaker each scoring four points in the next two minutes. Senior Kinsli Rogne’s steal lead to Whitaker laying it in to cut the deficit to 54-39, prompting a Fernley timeout.
Moretto sunk both free throws with 3:37 left to slice the lead to 13 points (54-41) but the Vaqueros scored the game’s final eight points to ice their 12th league win of the year.
Fallon splits against Sparks, Truckee
The long shot rained on the Lady Wave in the second half Tuesday, allowing Truckee to break open a close game at halftime for a 54-39 Northern 3A win at the Elmo Dericco Gymnasium.
Earlier in the season, the Wolverines defeated Fallon 45-32 in Truckee.
Sophomore Ryan Flynn, who led all scorers with 15 points, sunk her first trey in the second quarter and then drained four more 3-pointers in the fourth quarter. Flynn launched a pair of 3-pointers from the right side, and the other two past the key.
The Lady Wave and Truckee mixed it up at the beginning of the game with a spirited first quarter. Fallon took an early 4-2 lead and kept pressure on the Wolverines with a full-court press until Emma Cooley hit the first of Truckee’s nine 3-point shots. Truckee led by as many three points, 8-5, after Annika Thayer’s put back basket and free throw.
Fallon came back to take a 10-8 lead on a basket from Aisha Sharron and Madison Whitaker. With time ticking off before the end of the first quarter, Truckee’s Emily Monson drove the baseline from the left side for a layup to tie the score.
Within seconds after the second quarter began, Fallon had its last lead, a Makenzee Moretto layup.
Truckee, though, worked both the inside and outside on. A pair of 3-pointres from Elena Friedman and another from Flynn. Truckee led by as many as nine points with 3:29 left before halftime when Cooley connect on an awkward shot.
Sharron led Fallon with 10 points, and Moretto added nine. Thayer also scored in double figures for Truckee with 12 points.
Fallon won on the road Friday night, defeating Sparks, 48-11.
Steve Ranson contributed to this story.