Fallon shoots for state run | NevadaAppeal.com

Fallon shoots for state run

Steve Puterski
Fallon senior and foreign exchange student Ettore Niederauer puts up a shot during Wednesday's practice. The Wave open the season Tuesday against defending state champ Clark in Las Vegas.
Steve Puterski / sputerski@lahontanvalleynews.com | LVN

Wave at a glance

Coach: Brad Barton (2nd season)

2013-14 record: 8-8 Northern DI-A, 9-13 overall; lost first round of playoffs

Roster: Marshall Coverston, jr., guard; Connor Richardson, jr., guard; Clay Davison, jr., forward; Brandon Turner, sr., guard; Braxton Hunter, jr., center; Ettore Niederauer, sr., guard; Joe Pyle, sr., forward; Sean Cordes, jr., forward; Taylen Cordes, jr., forward; Jeff Evett, sr., forward; David Ford, sr., forward; Tristen Thomson, jr., forward; Bradlee Stands, sr., center.

2014-15 Wave schedule

Thurs. vs. Clark (Legacy Tip Off), 8:15 p.m.

Dec. 5 at Legacy Tip Off

Dec. 6 at Legacy Tip Off

Dec. 12 at Spring Creek, 7:30 p.m.

Dec. 13 at Elko, 7:30 p.m.

Dec. 22 at Nevada Union (Calif.), 6 p.m.

Dec. 27 vs. Oak Ridge (Calif., Trojan Toss Up)

Dec. 29 at Trojan Toss Up

Dec. 30 at Trojan Toss Up

Jan. 1 vs. Truckee, 7:30 p.m.

Jan. 5 vs. Hug, 7 p.m.

Jan. 6 at Fernley, 7:30 p.m.

Jan. 9 at Dayton, 7:30 p.m.

Jan. 10 vs. Lowry, 2:30 p.m.

Jan. 16 vs. Sparks, 7:30 p.m.

Jan. 17 vs. South Tahoe, 2:30 p.m.

Jan. 23 vs. Spring Creek, 7:30 p.m.

Jan. 24 vs. Elko, 3:30 p.m.

Jan. 27 vs. Fernley, 7:30 p.m.

Jan. 30 at Truckee, 7:30 p.m.

Feb. 6 vs. Dayton, 7:30 p.m.

Feb. 7 at Lowry, 2:30 p.m.

Feb. 13 at Sparks, 7:30 p.m.

Feb. 14 at South Tahoe, 2:30 p.m.

Feb. 20-21 Regional tournament in Fallon

Feb. 27-28 State tournament in Las Vegas

Ahead of schedule is a good thing for a basketball program, especially when all involved are on the same page.

The Greenwave, under second-year coach Brad Barton, is doing just that as coaches and players fully understand the expectations and concepts from each side.

Last year’s club took time to gel and figure out Barton’s philosophy of the game. It showed as Fallon struggled to a 9-13 overall record and 8-8 mark in the Northern Division I-A. They were promptly bounced in the first round of the playoffs by Lowry.

But this season is different. Senior Jeff Evett and junior Connor Richardson said the players are much more comfortable with the coaching staff, plays and expectations.

Barton, meanwhile, echoed the sentiments of his players and is itching to finally get on the court.

Another plus for Fallon is the Northern DI-A regional tournament is in Fallon.

“That’s a big deal for us and gives us an added advantage,” Barton said. “We are hoping to be in the top one or two in the league. Our goal is to compete with Elko for that No. 1 seed and go to state this year.”

Yet another advantage for the Wave, at least in a bittersweet way, is more time for practice with a number of athletes who play football. Last season’s run to the state title game cut into basketball practice, but this season the hoopsters had an additional week to work as the Wave football team lost in the state semifinals two weeks ago.

“At this point in the season, we are way ahead of where we were last year,” Barton said. “The coaching staff is now on the same page … our players are dialed in to what we want. I would say we are three months ahead of where we were last season.”

But the key for the Wave’s success, though, lies on the shoulders of senior Jeff Evett, who was selected to the second team all-North. Evett, though, returns as arguably the league’s best player as he led Fallon by averaging 15.8 points per game and was second with 4.1 rebounds.

The 6-foot-5 standout can hit the outside shot or drive to the basket. His long arms make it difficult for opponents to shot over, while giving him another advantage on the offensive end.

“I expect to get better and better every day in practice,” Evett said.

“He’s going to carry us this year,” Barton said of Evett. “He’s going to creat a lot of mismatches for other teams.”

Richardson, meanwhile, was an honorable mention selection last year as a sophomore point guard. He averaged 7.1 points per game and led the team with 2.2 assists.

Like Evett, Richardson said the familiarity of the system has made for an easier transition this year.

“I think we feel more comfortable with the coaching staff and we worked hard in the summer,” he added. “I think it’s going to be a great year, a lot better than last year.”

But those two standouts aren’t the only talented players on the roster. Fallon only graduated three players from a season ago, thus the juniors and seniors now fully understand the competition in their way to a league title.

Barton is confident in his backcourt, led by Richardson, and supported with Mo Coverston, Brandon Turner and Ettore Niederauer, a Brazilian foreign-exchange student.

“We have a good cast to put around Jeff and be successful this year,” Barton said. “We have more ball handlers this year. We have three guards (Richardson, Niederauer and Coverston) who are interchangeable.”

The post, however, may have seen the biggest upgrade since last year. The Wave were not physical and as a result, they were pushed around by the likes of Elko and Lowry.

This season, though, a trio of gritty, physical players will battle for loose balls, rebounds and playing defense.

Juniors Braxton Hunter and Sean and Taylen Cordes, who all three played offensive line for the Wave, will mix it up down low.

On the wings and also provide rebounding support will be Clay Davison, David Ford and Tristen Thomson.

“We got some pretty decent size,” Barton said. “We got these kids who like to bang. Their mechanics are sound and like to move people. I think it will help in rebounding. It also gives us a different look. We can go in or out.”

Center Bradlee Stands, meanwhile, provides a big presence in the middle. Standing at 6-6, 260 pounds, Stands is an improved player in all facets, Barton said.

But Fallon’s quest for the state tournament begins with a substantial challenge. The Wave plays in the Legacy Tip Off in Las Vegas and drew defending DI-A state champ Clark, who is also considered one of the top programs in the state regardless of classification.

Barton’s focus, besides winning, is to mix and match rotations and analyze the talent.

“We’re going to take that game as a learning experience,” Barton said. “We know they are experienced, fast and athletic. It will be a good opportunity to test the water.”