Greenwave aims for strong start | NevadaAppeal.com

Greenwave aims for strong start

Steve Puterski
sputerski@lahontanvalleynews.com

Fallon coach Brad Barton, left, looks on during practice as Tyler Bagby (with ball) attempts to ge past Tristen Salazar (4) and Ryan Stockard. The Wave host Spring Creek today and Elko on Saturday at the Elmo Dericco Gym.

Despite a 1-3 start to the season, Fallon boys basketball coach Brad Barton is optimistic of his club.

Coming off the Legacy Tip-Off Classic, Barton's club started slow with a trio of losses before defeating Robert Bateman of Canada. Now, Fallon turns its attention to league play.

The Greenwave hosts Northern Division I-A opponent Spring Creek (0-3) at 7:30 p.m. today and powerhouse Elko (3-0) at 3:30 p.m. Saturday. Both games are at the Elmo Dericco Gym.

"We wanted to get better every time we got on the court," Barton said of the Las Vegas tournament. "We were a little bit behind schedule because of the football delay. We just wanted to come together as a team. We started off a little rusty, but by the fourth game the kids were playing pretty well together."

As the team adjusts to Barton's style, the first-year coach said his players have quickly picked up the new philosophies.

While the club suffered a blowout loss in the season opener against Sierra Vista, Fallon was more consistent in its next three games. But now, the Wave aims to get off to a good start in the newly reformed Northern DI-A.

Recommended Stories For You

The league now consists of nine schools with only the top four clinching a playoff berth,

Spring Creek (0-3) has struggled early, while Elko (3-0), a state title contender, is off to a blazing start.

Barton knows it is important to secure at least a split, but would prefer a pair of victories. It will be a daunting task to upend Elko, but with each practice Barton's club becomes more effective.

"It's been a huge adjustment," he said. "It's been a grind to switch that style. Honestly, they are coming together and playing great team defense. They're starting to get the concept of playing team basketball and protecting the rim."

Fallon will run its offense through Jeff Evett, a 6-foot-5 junior who has the versatility to play in the paint or on the perimeter. In addition, the Wave boast numerous options including Ryan Stockard, Tyler Bagby, Connor Richardson, Branden Turner and the post presence of Beau Marshall and Bradlee Stands.

Spring Creek, meanwhile, is led by Caden Gunnell, who averages 13 points per game and 1.7 assists. Also chipping in are Star Ita (11 ppg, 6.7 rebounds) and Clint Rider (3.7 ppg, seven rebounds).

The Spartans, though, have struggled from the field shooting 27 percent from the floor and 16 percent from 3-point range, but are a solid 72 percent from the free-throw line.

"Since we don't have the pods, every game is going to be competitive," Barton said. "It's a win we got to have. We can't overlook Spring Creek and over prepare for Elko."

Elko's first three games, however, did not provide much of a challenge as the Indians smoked Carlin, 75-47, pounded Damonte Ranch, 84-44, and drilled Reno, 82-61.

Elko is led by Nathan Klekas, who is averaging 23.7 points per game, 12.7 rebounds and 1.7 assists. He is being recruited by numerous college programs, according to the Elko Daily Free Press.

Brian Pearson joins Klekas creating a formidable duo. Pearson averages 14.3 points and 7.3 rebounds.

As a team, the Indians are shooting 51 percent from the field, 42 percent from 3 and 66 percent from the free-throw line.

While Klekas is a player of the year candidate, Barton said his club cannot focus entirely on Klekas.

"I was watching film and initially I planned to isolate Klekas and shut him down," Barton said. "But really, the whole team is too good to do that. We are going to try and slow the game down and limit possessions as much as possible."

Fallon Boys Basketball Schedule

Dec. 5 vs. Sierra Vista, L 75.38

Dec. 6 vs. Rancho, L 63-51

Dec. 7 vs. Desert Oasis, L 57-43

Dec. 7 vs. Robert Bateman (Canada), W 51-41

Today vs. Spring Creek, 7:30 p.m.

Saturday vs. Elko, 3:30 p.m.

Jan. 3 at Truckee, 7:30 p.m.

Jan. 4 at Douglas, TBA

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

Jan. 10 vs. Dayton, 7:30 p.m.

Jan. 11 at Lowry, 3:30 p.m.

Jan. 17 at Sparks, 7:30 p.m.

Jan. 18 at South Tahoe, 3:30 p.m.

Jan. 24 at Spring Creek, 7:30 p.m.

Jan. 25 at Elko, 3:30 p.m.

Jan. 28 at Fernley, 7:30 p.m.

Jan. 31 vs. Truckee, 7:30 p.m.

Feb. 7 at Dayton, 7:30 p.m.

Feb. 8 vs. Lowry, 3:30 p.m.

Feb. 14 vs. Sparks, 7:30 p.m.

Feb. 15 vs. South Tahoe, 3:30 p.m.

Feb. 21-22 Northern Division I-A Tournament, TBA

Feb. 28-March 1 DI-A State Tournament, Lawlor Events Center, Reno

Home games bold

Online

Check out the Fallon basketball team’s commercial at http://www.schooltube.com. Search Churchill County and click on #4 CCHS Announcements 12-12-2013.