Both the Greenwave basketball teams enter the final week of the regular season with their playoff hopes alive.
After Chelle Dalager’s boys team gave No. 1 Fernley a scare before losing in double overtime Friday, Fallon took down Dayton and it needs to at least split this weekend’s games against Elko and Spring Creek, and for South Tahoe to win the 3A West.
For Kevin Wickware’s girls team, the path is more difficult. Not only does Fallon need to sweep No. 4 Elko and No. 5 Spring Creek, South Tahoe needs to lose against Truckee and winless Sparks.
The top team in each of the 3A West and 3A East leagues based on divisional record gets a bye to next week’s regional tournament at North Valleys while the next four in are based on the points system where one point is awarded for each divisional win and two points for each crossover win.
Fernley’s win over Fallon clinched the 3A East league title and No. 1 seed for the tournament. Truckee (six points) and South Tahoe (12) are tied for first at 6-2 in the 3A West. Outside of the byes, Elko would be the next team in the playoffs with 18 points followed by Lowry with 14 and Fallon with 12. Spring Creek has 10. Truckee winning the 3A West could hurt Fallon if it finishes tied with South Tahoe in points because the Vikings won the crossover battle last month.
In the girls standings, Fernley clinched the No. 1 seed with 21 points and 9-0 league record. North Valleys (13 points) and South Tahoe (nine) are tied for first in the 3A West at 7-1. South Tahoe winning the league would eliminate Fallon, which has eight points and sits behind Lowry (18), Elko (17) and Spring Creek (11).
Fallon hosts Elko on Friday for Senior Night. The girls game tips off at 6 p.m. followed by the boys at 7:30. The Greenwave closes out the season at home on Saturday against Spring Creek at 1 p.m. (girls) and 2:30 p.m. (boys).
Both teams will honor their seniors before each game on Friday.
Boys basketball recap
In Fallon’s 79-78 loss to Fernley, junior Brady Alves hit a pair of free throws in double overtime to give Fallon a four-point lead before Fallon missed the front end of a one-and-one. That allowed Fernley to trim the deficit to 77-75 before Alves fouled out with 1 minute, 24 seconds left. Fernley tied the game then sophomore Braeden Sorensen fouled out, leaving Dalager without a point guard for the final minute.
After a Fallon turnover, Fernley’s Jett Caudle penetrated to the free throw line, floating the ball into the basket to give Fernley a 79-77 lead. Fallon, though, had a chance to tie the game with 2.6 seconds left when Shawn Alexander was fouled in front of the Fallon bench but the senior missed the first free throw before sinking the second.
Alves finished with 25 points and three 3-pointers while Sorensen added 18.
“I honestly think our kids can compete with anybody,” Dalager said. “After having the game with Fernley last time, their confidence is going to be better. They played extremely well. They followed the game plan extremely well and defended great.”
Dalager said the difference in the second meeting was Fallon adapting to a zone defense, which it struggled with in a loss to South Tahoe two weeks ago. After playing Fernley the first time, too, Dalager said the coaching staff was able to make adjustments to slow the Vaqueros down on the fast break.
“The first time you play somebody and hear about personnel and watch game film, you don’t know the matchups are until they play you,” she said. “After watching how match up the first time, the coaching staff felt like we could compete with them.”
Fallon picked up a key 51-35 win on the road against Dayton on Saturday to stay in the race for one of the final playoff berths.
“We learned a lot from Dayton,” Dalager said. “We did some game stuff and made some changes, and made them play man-to-man defense. We were able to see ball movement.”
Girls basketball recap
One bad quarter was the difference in the Lady Wave’s 47-26 loss to Fernley on Friday.
After being down by only four points, Fallon went scoreless in the second quarter, allowing Fernley to break the game open before halftime. However, Fallon battled in the second half, resulting in Fernley subbing back the starters to keep the game out of reach.
“Besides our second quarter, we played really well. You take away that second quarter and you’re playing with one of the best teams,” Wickware said. “We quit doing what we did in the first quarter. We handled their pressure fine. We got back into it in the third and the fourth and the scores were relatively the same. That second quarter killed us.”
Wickware said the team struggled with the pace, which led to turnovers, and that they need to stay calm and play with confidence.
“We had good shots. If we’re under control, we take good shots,” Wickware said. “Trusting themselves and having the confidence to do it: it’s just being able to, when things get tougher, to persevere through that.”
Freshman Jade Anastasio led Fallon with 12 points and junior Zoey Jarrett added seven.
In Fallon’s 40-19 win over Dayton, Wickware said the team started strong with Jarrett scoring 10 of her 15 points in the first quarter. She hit a pair of 3s in the frame and also finished with eight steals and six rebounds. Moyle had 12 points and Anastasio added five.
With the final week of the regular season, Wickware said the approach doesn’t change in practice although Fallon needs help to make the playoffs.
“We do the same thing as we always do. We prepare for our next game. We don’t look past what we can’t control,” he added. “That old saying one game at a time is all we can do. Our girls do know that we what started this year is a rebuilding process. They know it’s a long-term, working game.”
And Wickware is thankful for his senior group for steering the ship this year while the Lady Wave gains momentum after the 2020-21 season was cancelled due to the pandemic and last year’s team lost nine seniors.
“Our seniors have done a great job understanding that,” he said. “The biggest thing the seniors brought to us is attitude to this team. I couldn’t ask for a better group of seniors to have that rebuilding year with. They’re positive. They understood what we were doing and supported it. Hats off to them for what they started. They won’t know their successes until multiple years down the road with what they did.
“One thing I can say about this team is truly enjoyed coaching them. Our level of success isn’t wins and losses. What they created this year is great to have.”