Ali vs. Ally — thick as thieves
Northern DI-A girls basketball standings
Team League Overall
Elko 7-1 11-7
Lowry 7-0 11-4
Fallon 4-2 7-7
Spring Creek 4-3 7-9
South Tahoe 4-3 7-9
Fernley 2-4 5-9
Truckee 1-5 3-8
Sparks 1-5 2-9
Dayton 0-7 1-12
A pair of thieves are set to steal the show Saturday on the hardwood.
These two pickpockets are two of the Northern Division I-A’s best players and square off against one another Saturday at the Elmo Dericco Gym.
Fallon and South Tahoe tip-off at 1 p.m. The Lady Wave, though, first entertains Sparks at 6:30 p.m. today.
Fallon’s Ali Tedford and South Tahoe’s Ally King face off in a big matchup between league foes as both clubs chase playoff berths.
For all the thievery expected between the two seniors, their supporting skills are just as important as each fights for victory.
King leads the league with 50 steals (3.6 per game), while Tedford sits just behind with 48 (3.4).
The two, though, are just more than skilled grifters on the hardwood. King is second is in the league in scoring (13.6) and in assists (3.2), while Tedford is seventh in scoring (11.3) and tied for seventh in assists (1.8).
“She’s fast, a good player,” Fallon coach Anne Smith said of King. “I think our perimeter defense matches up well with her.”
Coming off its worst performance of the season in a 56-33 loss to Lowry, Fallon is still confident.
The Lady Wave must use its positive frame of mind to navigate their league opponents.
Sparks (1-5, 2-9) has struggled all season and is riding a five-game losing streak including a 52-45 defeat to South Tahoe on Tuesday.
The Railroaders are led by Marisa Coleman, who averages 10.6 points per game and 3.3 rebounds, and Driftwind Nau, who scores 6.0 points and grabs 7.7 boards per game.
“I think they are still confident,” Smith said. “We are really trying to get back into our offensive pattern.”
South Tahoe (4-3, 7-9), meanwhile, is 3-3 in its last six games including the win over Sparks and a surprising loss to Fernley (41-35) last week.
The Vikings are tied with Spring Creek (4-3, 7-9) for the fourth and final playoff spot. South Tahoe, though, faces four of the league’s best teams — Fallon, Lowry, Elko and Spring Creek — in its next five games making Saturday’s tilt with Fallon a critical game.
The Vikings will mix defenses between zone sets and man-to-man pressure.
As for the offense, King leads the run-and-gun charge and the Vikings can score in bunches.
King’s wingman is sophomore Drue Champman, who averages 6.6 points and Bailey Barcellos (6.5).
“They did beat us here last year,” Smith said. “We know they will probably run a 2-3 zone. They are scrappy. They drive and dish offensively.”
Although Tedford is Fallon’s best player, her supporting cast can fill up the basket just as easily.
Forward Megan McCormick provides a talented and physical presence in the post, while Madison Perazzo adds a bit of finesse to the block.
On the wing, Maggie O’Flaherty has stepped up her game to become a more consistent scoring threat. She possesses range to shoot from the perimeter as well as the ability to take her man off the dribble and drive to the basket.
A pair of wins for Fallon would put the Lady Wave in solid position heading into next weekend’s showdown with Spring Creek (4-3, 7-9) and Elko (7-1, 11-7).
“We have to take care of business,” Smith added. “We have to play like we did against Fernley. Controlling the boards and taking care of the ball.”