Fallon’s Jace Nelson sinks his second three-quarters shot to give Fallon the lead against Dayton going into the fourth quarter Saturday.
After dropping a pair of league games on the road, the Greenwave boys basketball team returned home to punch its ticket to the playoffs.
Senior Jace Nelson hit a pair of three-quarter-court, buzzer-beating shots that ended up being the difference in Fallon’s 41-38 win over Dayton on Senior Day on Saturday at the Elmo Dericco Gymnasium.
“They were crucial. We were down in the first quarter. We won the third quarter because of the same reason,” Fallon coach Chelle Dalager said of Nelson’s performance. “He rebounded well. He blocked. He had seven the night before in Fernley. He just has impeccable timing. He works really hard. He’s leading us with rebounds. He was all fired up. He had a great senior night.”
Sophomore Brady Alves led Fallon in scoring with 12, including a pair of 3-pointers, and Nelson, senior Tyler Austin and sophomore Kanigh Snyder each had eight points. Snyder led the team in rebounding with nine boards followed by Nelson with six. Nelson also had five blocks and two deflections.
A couple of double-digit losses to Lowry on Tuesday followed by Fernley on Friday put Fallon in a must-win situation against Dayton for the last playoff berth. Fallon can still finish higher than its current position, fourth, but Dalager likes her team’s chances right where it’s at. Instead of facing Elko until the championship of the regional tournament, Fallon would encounter South Tahoe or Wooster if it were to win in the quarterfinals.
“I want to stay in the four slot because four plays their (3A West) one,” Dalager added. “I feel confident that we can compete with both of those teams. It keeps you away from Elko (until the championship). That’s actually a perfect finish for us. When we lost to Lowry, it kind of put us in a different spot so we were just hoping for fourth. We don’t want to finish third. We have to play to win.”
Fallon closes the season out this week on the road against Spring Creek and Elko.
In Saturday’s win, Nelson’s timing couldn’t have been better.
Fallon senior Logan Johnson is introduced during the starting lineups light show Saturday. Thomas Ranson / LVN
His first heave came from the 3-point arch on the other side of the court as time ran out in the first quarter to give Fallon a 10-9 lead. The second was closer to the halfcourt line but when it swished in front of the team bench and student section, the crowd roared. Fallon led 29-28 going into the final quarter.
“They shot 3-point shots every day,” Dalager said of Nelson, who was in Anne Smith’s basketball class. “The joke in practice is he’s a 30 percent shooter. It doesn’t matter where he shoots the ball from. I was so happy to finally see that happen. It was pretty amazing.”
Before the game, the senior group of Nelson, Austin, Logan Johnson and manager Sydney Gusewelle were recognized. Snyder played the National Anthem on his electric guitar. Then, the lights went off for a college-style light show for the starting lineups.
“We wanted it to be not just for the seniors,” Dalager said about the light show, which was orchestrated by Snyder’s mother, Haley Dahl McKay. “It was a lot of work to get that done.
“It was special to have Kanigh play the National Anthem. I love to highlight some talents other than basketball because we have amazing kids (Nick Springfield sang the anthem two years ago and Toby Anderson was going to play the piano last season). I love the opportunity to highlight their talents. It was amazing to be part of that and see it happen.”
Fallon’s Kanigh Snyder plays the National Anthem before the Dayton game Saturday.
Thomas Ranson / LVN
Dalager said the team has adjusted to the recent departure of several seniors with several underclassmen stepping up. She noted freshman Braden Sorensen and sophomores Carter Paul and Baylor Sandberg coming off the bench
“The kids coming off the bench are playing hard. They know their jobs and they do their jobs well,” she said. “I see this younger group being so coachable. They do have a bright future. These seniors have been really pivotal in teaching them to be more successful.”
The week didn’t start off how it ended after Lowry beat Fallon, 56-45, in Winnemucca. The 11-point win gave the Buckaroos a one-point advantage in the tiebreaker over Fallon. Both teams are tied in the 3A East standings.
Fallon appeared to leave Humboldt County with a win after coming back from a 20-12 first-quarter deficit to lead 38-34 after the third quarter. The host, though, outscored Fallon by 15 in the final quarter.
Fallon’s Jace Nelson is swarmed by his teammates after sinking his second 3-pointer beyond the halfcourt mark.
Thomas Ranson / LVN
Austin led the team with 12 points and Alves added 11, including three 3-pointers. Nelson led the team in rebounding with 10 boards.
Fernley snagged the season sweep over Fallon with a 71-58 win on Friday.
Alves buried five 3-pointers to finish with 21 points, Nelson scored 12 and Snyder added 10 as Fallon shot 48 percent from the field. Nelson led in rebounding with nine boards to go with his six blocks and a deflection.