Fallon’s Brady Alves and his teammates will face the 3A West’s top team in the regional tournament quarterfinals on Thursday.
Photo by Thomas Ranson.
Two years ago, the Greenwave boys basketball team entered the postseason as the favorite to win and defend its state title.
This year, though, has been a different story. After qualifying for the postseason during its home finale, Fallon will play the underdog role being the fourth and final seed from the 3A East.
Elko completed its undefeated regular season after beating Fallon, 67-21, on Friday and Lowry the next day. The Indians (10-0) are this year’s favorite to win the regional title and open with the 3A West’s No. 4 seed, Sparks (4-6), which upset Hug last weekend to sneak into the playoffs.
The Greenwave (4-5), whose game against Spring Creek was postponed to Monday, will face either Wooster or South Tahoe in the tournament opener Thursday. The Colts and Vikings played Monday for the 3A West’s No. 1 seed. The loser will be the No. 2 seed.
Game times for Thursday’s quarterfinals were not available at press time.
The winner of the Fallon game will face either East No. 2 Fernley (7-3) or West No. 3 Hug (5-5) in Friday’s semifinal. On the other side of the bracket, the winner of Elko-Sparks faces either Lowry (5-5), Wooster or South Tahoe on Friday. The semifinal winners advance to the state tournament, which will be played at Cox Pavilion on the UNLV campus next Friday and Saturday.
In Friday’s loss to Elko, the Greenwave were missing a number of players who were out sick. The Indians led 27-2 after the first quarter and 43-6 at the half, rolling to a 67-21 victory.
Senior Michael Klekas opened the scoring with a follow after a tip on an inbound pass from senior Dawson Dumas. The Indians went up 5-0 on a three from senior Isaiah Dahl, set up with a pass to the post by senior Trae Still to Klekas — who dished out — grabbing a 7-0 lead on a bunny for senior Andoni Fesenmaier on a dime from Dumas.
Roles reversed on another inbound pass, as Fesenmaier gave the ball back to the trigger man — Dumas nailing a corner three for a 10-0 lead. The Greenwave hit the scoreboard near the midway point of the first on a pair of free throws by sophomore Kanigh Snyder.
Dahl hammered his second three on a reversal across the floor by Klekas after Dumas kept a possession alive with a free throw, and Still scored on the break with an and-1 from a sweet bounce pass by Klekas — the free throw opening a 16-2 lead.
From an inbound set, Dahl’s third three of the period was set up by a post entry pass to Fesenmaier, back to Dumas and outside. Fesenmaier grabbed his own missed and muscled up a follow in traffic for a 21-1 advantage, and Klekas pushed margin past 20 with a stare-down three.
Holding for the final shot of the quarter, Dumas eyed, stepped back and blasted a triple — opening a 25-point lead. Going to the second, the Indians were on top big at 27-2.
Klekas grabbed his own miss for a put-back, then he stuck a turnaround jumper. Senior Kason Lesbo scored on a rifle outlet pass from Dumas, but the Wave finale notched their first field goal on a deuce for Luke Glinke.
Lesbo drilled a trey on a dish by Klekas, and Fesenmaier scored in the middle from another sweet find by Dumas — who enforced the running clock with 2:10 remaining in the half with a free throw. Fesenmaier scored inside for a 41-4 lead, but Snyder scored in the right on the right block for Fallon.
Moving to the left side, Fesenmaier reached double digits with his fifth field goal of the half. At the break, the Indians led by 37 with the score at 43-6.
Fallon opened the third with a three by freshman Braden Sorensen, but Fesenmaier scored inside for the Indians.
Sorensen quickly stuck his second triple on a pass from Snyder, and sophomore Brady Alves cashed another trey for the Wave — pulling the deficit back down to 30.
But, Still scored for Elko and quickly made another steal — Still steal — say that three times fast — and scored consecutive buckets. Fesenmaier continued to dominate in the paint with his seventh deuce, and Dahl finished a layup on a nice bounce-pass look by Lesbo.
Near the end of the period, junior Chris Amaya grabbed a defensive rebound and pushed the pace down the right side — setting up Still in the middle for a layup. After the third, the Indians were back up 40 with the score at 55-15.
Amaya tallied the first hoop of the fourth, but Fallon gained a straightaway three from junior Parker Steele and the third trey by Sorensen on another find by Snyder. Still scored on a feed in transition by Dumas, and Still set up Dahl on the break for a layup on the right side.
Fesenmaier was fouled and sank both free throws, junior Jarod Tinkorang made a reverse layup on an outlet pass from junior Anthony Atkins and the game closed with a steal and score for sophomore Luis Rodriguez.
Anthony Mori of the Elko Daily Free Press contributed to this report.