Despite a pair of losses in Elko County, the Lady Wave basketball team is still in position to qualify for the 3A playoffs with the second half of the league schedule coming up.
After Fallon lost to Elko, 52-29, and Spring Creek, 51-42, last weekend, it has work to do in the second half, beginning with a home rematch against the defending state champion, Lowry, on Friday at 6 p.m.
Friday’s game is followed by a key crossover at South Tahoe on Saturday.
But the good news for Fallon is, outside of North Valleys, it has outgained the rest of the 3A West in the league’s points-scoring system and it would snag the sixth and final playoff berth.
Fallon’s two-point tilt against the Vikings can bump the Lady Wave (seven points) past Dayton (eight) for the final spot. The top team in each 3A North division gets a bye and the remaining four spots are decided by total points.
Crossover games count double because the teams from each division face each other only once.
The automatic byes would go to 3A East leader Fernley (17) and 3A West leader North Valleys (10). The next four would be Lowry (13), Elko (11), Spring Creek (eight) and Dayton (eight).
In Fallon’s loss to Elko, freshman Jada Anastasio led the team with nine points and junior Zoey Jarrett hit a pair of 3-pointers to finish with six. Freshman Janessa Bettencourt and sophomore Vernita Fillmore added four apiece and the offense was capped with two each for seniors Liliana Bettencourt, Kambrie Thorn and RayAnn Rasmussen.
Elko built a 10-2 lead midway in the opening quarter before its pressure closed out the frame with eight more points and an 18-4 lead.
Fallon’s defense, though, clamped down in the second quarter as the Greenwave trimmed the deficit to 21-13 at halftime.
Opening the second, both teams struggled to make shots, going nearly three minutes without a point. The drought was broken by a three from the right wing by Jarrett.
Fallon defense jumped passing lanes and tipped multiple passes, the Indians not recognizing the need to cut backdoor. Elko’s first point of the frame came on a free throw by sophomore Lindsey Johns, with freshman Julyssa Rivera scoring in transition on a pass from junior Bryleigh Cervantes.
Senior Liliana Bettencourt drained a baseline jumper for the Lady Wave, and Anastasio was fouled on a drive down the right side and made two free throws.
Elko came out of the locker room strong in the third quarter, opening a 15-point lead before taking advantage of turnovers created by the press. Freshman Janessa Bettencourt scored on the right side for the Lady Wave, but Aurora Eklund rattled home a bank with a runner down the middle — Bettencourt then answering with her second deuce in as many shots.
Whenever Elko scored, it enabled the Indians to set up their press — leading to multiple Fallon turnovers. Following a Fallon technical, Eklund sank one of two shots at the stripe, opening a 21-point lead at 47-26.
Fallon’s narrow loss to Spring Creek saw a difference in scoring in the middle quarters after the Lady Wave finished the first frame tied at 9. The Spartans outscored Fallon by four in the second and five in the third.
Anastasio led the team in scoring with 12 points, including three 3-pointers, Moyle had 11 and Skai Shults added nine, all coming from behind the arc. Fallon shot 26 percent from the field. Jarrett was the team leader in rebounding with five, assists with four and steals with three. Fillmore, Anastasio and Moyle each grabbed four rebounds.
Elko Daily’s Anthony Mori contributed to this story.
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