Like most teams in the region, Fallon is limited on varsity experience, returning only one player — senior Collin Brun — from the 2020 state championship team.
“It will be an interesting year. We’re going to be a different program than what everyone expects us to be,” Dalager said. “We don’t have a lot of pure basketball players. We have some size but we’re not huge. They will make a presence in the post. We’re going to be a better shooting team.”
Outside of Bruhn, seven seniors will play their final and only season on varsity, beginning this week. Logan Johnson, Colton Tousignant, Gabriel David, Tyler Austin, Jace Nelson, Reggie Andrews and Francisco Tapia will suit up for the first time on varsity.
Along with the eight seniors, Dalager will carry five underclassmen, including freshman Braden Sorenson and sophomores Baylor Sandberg, Brady Alves, Carter Paul and Kanigh Snyder.
“We just have a lot of seniors but not a lot of experience. A lot of those kids weren't with us in the offseason so they’re new to the program,” Dalager said. “We tried to do open gyms, run a regular season and play in tournaments. Some of those kids haven’t been with us. It’s a matter of getting them experience and playing. They’re working hard. They’re great kids.
“We have some young kids working incredibly hard. I feel like we’re deeper than anticipated. There’s still not a big separation between starters and kids coming off the bench, which is good in the long run.”
Dalager is assisted by Andrew Brown, who coached JV, and Ammon Finch will coach the freshman team and Reggie Jackson is at the helm of the JV team.
This season is also the first under the realignment with the league split into two divisions: East and West. Teams from both divisions will play each other once with the game counting as two points. After the cross-play, Fallon will jump into 3A East play against Elko, Spring Creek, Lowry, Fernley and Dayton.
Dalager said the December schedule is equally as important as the divisional play because a win or loss against a 3A West school is worth twice as many points.
“You can split with the East, but if you lose a game against the Reno (and lake and Truckee) teams, you lose two points. They are incredibly important,” she said. “The thing I like about it is everyone is required to play those games at the beginning of the season.”
Wooster, North Valleys and South Tahoe could be the teams to beat in the West. As for the East, Dalager said Elko brings the most experience back. Although the last two regional and state titles have been decided between Elko and Fallon, Dalager said her team cannot focus on making playoffs.
“We’re taking this season game by game,” she said. “The kids are going to get six games in four days, and that’s a lot. We have a big roster, which means a lot of playing time for a lot of kids.”