Fallon junior point guard Brady Alves and the Greenwave are off to an 8-0 start, which is the best in Chelle Dalager’s tenure with the boys basketball program.
Banged up and bruised at the end of last season, Chelle Dalager’s boys basketball team exited the playoffs in the first round after spending the last two seasons on top of the 3A.
Compared to where that team ended the season, though, Dalager likes where her team is at after it opened the new year with the Hawthorne tournament and a couple of crossover league games.
“I’m very confident at this point of the season that we’re better than where we finished last season. We made a lot of growth,” Dalager said. “They’ve got a good team chemistry. There’s no individual players. They’re just working hard. There’s guys who know what their job is.”
Returning seven from last year’s squad, Fallon is off to its best start since Dalager took over the program five years ago. Her 2018-19 team won its first seven games before a double-overtime loss at Elko.
The Greenwave went 5-0 in Mineral County at the opening-season tournament before scoring back-to-back home wins over 3A West foes Truckee, 55-47, on Dec. 6, and Sparks, 51-47, on Dec. 7. Fallon improved to 8-0 after beating Yerington on Friday before hitting the road this week against North Valleys. Fallon hosts Sage Ridge, one of the top 2A schools, on Friday at 6:30 p.m.
One of the keys to Fallon’s early success has been its coaching staff, which includes a familiar face, Brian Mello. Mello, who coached his oldest daughter at Douglas before she graduated in June, served as a key assistant and JV head coach under Corey Williams when Fallon played in the 5A.
“We’re running our offense better than last year (at this point),” Dalager said. “We have some options with coach Mello joining our staff. Shooters from the perimeter are more consistent than last year. We’ve got two kids (Baylor Sandberg and Trevor Hyde) inside who are rebounding. Both of them can play inside out.”
In eight games, Fallon’s averaging 55.3 points and is led by senior Shawn McAlexander and junior Brady Alves, who are averaging 17 and 10.8 points per game. Alves leads the team in assists with 2.8 per game followed by sophomore Braden Sorensen at 2.0 assists.
“Shooting was our biggest standout. We did a much better job with our shot selection,” Dalager said about the Hawthorne tournament. “Defensively, we have seven, eight kids deep who work hard. We haven’t had a defensive squad that just works this hard. We’ve had the defensive talent before. Their work ethic is beyond incredible.”
Alves leads the team with 5.4 steals per game followed by Alexander (2.3) and junior Carter Paul (2.1). Alves also leads in blocks with four and sophomore Trevor Hyde and Alexander each have two.
“That’s one of the things going to be our strength this year,” said Dalager, who’s also assisted by Andrew Brown. Jesse Jackson and Mo Coverston are coaching the JV team, and Ammon Finch is leading the freshman team. “Their hard work is incredible and they’re selfless. They like each other a lot. They’re super coachable.”
As Fallon continues its crossover schedule, Dalager said the team needs to work on scoring in the paint so her team isn’t one-dimensional.
“We need to get some more points inside so we can open up the outside shooting better,” she added. “We just need some consistency on offense. We just need some time to work on that and learn it. When they run it well, it looks good. We were missing shots early on. Those are things we’ll just continue to work on.”
Aside from improving on offense, Dalager has her eyes set on the team winning another academic state title and advancing in the playoffs past the first round.
“I just want to be competitive with every team we play and give ourselves a chance to win the game,” she said. “We always like to try to protect and not lose at our home. Our schedule is tougher.”
Fallon boys basketball varsity roster
- Luis Lopez-Pinuelas, So.
- Braden Sorensen, So.
- Shawn Alexander, Sr.
- Daniel Lords, Jr.
- Brady Alves, Jr.
- Carter Paul, Jr.
- Samuel Sorensen, Sr.
- Lucas Durfee, Sr.
- Parker Steele, Sr.
- Trevor Hyde, So.
- Baylor Sandberg, Jr.
- Luke Glinka, Jr.