Facing the toughest team in the 3A West, the Lady Wave basketball team didn’t back down, even when it trailed by double-digits late.
After Fallon came back to take the lead in the second half, rebounding was the difference as North Valleys escaped with a 51-45 win last Wednesday in Reno. Fallon, though, rebounded from its first loss of the season to defeat Hug, 64-23, on Saturday.
Freshman Jada Anastasio led the team in scoring against North Valleys, finishing with 10 points, while senior Kambrie Thorn and junior Zoey Jarrett each scored eight. Freshman Janessa Bettencourt led the team in rebounding with eight boards and senior Mattea Cortez and sophomore Vernita Fillmore each had four.
Fallon pulled down 31 rebounds as a team but only six on the offensive end.
“It did expose some things we need to work on,” Fallon coach Kevin Wickware said. “We knew they were a little longer than we were expecting and they had height. They controlled rebounds. We struggled to keep them off the boards.”
Wickware was pleased with the team’s effort against North Valleys, which is off to its best start in more than a decade.
“That’s the one good thing. We got to get into a dogfight with another team and see how we responded,” Wickware said. “That’s what I was worried about going in because we won a few in a row and how they would respond when we get tested.”
Fallon returned only one starter from last year’s squad so playing time this month is crucial before it jumps into 3A East play. Fallon opens with Lowry, the defending state champion that beat North Valleys by 31 points, on the road after the holiday break.
“How you react in those situations is a valuable experience you’re going to get, especially with the freshmen and sophomores,” Wickware added. “I don’t think they’ve shied away from any yet. Jumping straight from eighth grade to varsity is huge. They haven’t backed down. They stepped right up and went right after it.”
Fallon was able to apply lessons learned in the next game against Hug.
The Lady Wave grabbed five more total rebounds compared to North Valleys, including 22 rebounds on the offensive side, which led to second- and third-chance points.
“We did actually see that. We can talk about rebounding and boxing out all week against Hug,” Wickware said. “It was good to make that adjustment going forward.”
Jarrett, Anastasio and Janessa Bettencourt each scored nine points, junior Skai Shults added eight and Cortez had seven. Jarrett’s points all came from long distance, and all but one player scored in the game.
Fillmore led the rebounding effort with seven boards and Bettencourt added six. Jarrett led the team with eight steals and Shults had six.
After a crossover game at Wooster on Friday, Fallon will travel to Las Vegas next week for a tournament before returning to league play.
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