Hoops back on court | NevadaAppeal.com

Hoops back on court

Steve Puterski
sputerski@lahontanvalleynews.com

A two-week hiatus makes it difficult to stay hot.

Coming off solid offensive performances on Dec. 12-13, the Fallon girls basketball team aims to continue its torrid shooting.

The Lady Wave’s offense burst in a Northern Division I-A win over Spring Creek and a loss to Elko. Now, Fallon looks to continue its solid play in the Elite Varsity Basketball Tournament today and Saturday at McQueen High School in Reno.

First up is a rematch with Division I foe Damonte Ranch at 3 p.m. today followed by the nightcap at 6 against Pershing County. Fallon (1-1 league, 2-4 overall) lost to Damonte Ranch, 33-17, on Dec. 5 in the High Sierra Winter Challenge.

“They’ve had hard practices. They’ve been pretty brutal,” Fallon coach Anne Smith said. “We didn’t want them to get out of shape.”

To combat lethargy and complacency, Smith said she and her staff have worked the girls hard in practice. The fourth-year coach said her club has worked on all aspects of their game, but have emphasized transition offense and defensive sets such as falling back from a full-court press to various half-court sets.

On the court, though, Fallon will be without guards Kalyn Huckaby (injury) and Miranda Ford (personal), leaving only two substitutes.

Smith, though, said the tournament provides yet another opportunity for the coaches to evaluate the players, and for those reserve players to earn more playing time once the league slate resumes in earnest on Jan. 2 against Truckee.

One way the Lady Wave has prepared for the tournament, though, is by practicing against an eighth-grade boys team. The boys provide speed and different sets to work against the girls.

“We are trying to simulate a game atmosphere and work on things before we go into league,” Smith said. “They’re fast … and it’s better playing against them than our second team everyday for two weeks. They don’t know our offense and we don’t know theirs so we can’t cheat on defense.”

The rematch against Damonte Ranch, though, is one the Lady Wave has been looking forward to since their previous meeting. In the Dec. 5 matchup, Smith said she was pleased with the effort, defense and shot selection.

The only problem, however, was the shots just wouldn’t fall. With an addition three games under the Lady Wave’s belts, Smith figures this go-round will “hopefully” be more favorable to Fallon.

“When we played them, the girls were taking great shots,” Smith said. “It will be good competition for us.”

The Lady Wave, though, will lean on senior guard Ali Tedford to lead the charge. An all-state selection from last year, Tedford exploded for 35 total points in Fallon’s last two games and sits sixth in the Northern DI-A in scoring averaging at 10.5 points per game. She also averages 1.7 assists per game and 4.5 rebounds.

Following Tedford’s lead, meanwhile, are junior forward Megan McCormick (9.5 ppg, 6.2 rebounds per game) and senior guard Maggie O’Flaherty (5.5 ppg).

Boys on the road

The Fallon boys basketball team hits the road on Saturday for the Trojan Toss Up in California.

Fallon is riding a four-game losing streak including a 63-38 loss to Nevada Union (Grass Valley, Calif.) on Monday.

On Saturday, the Wave (0-2 Northern Division I-A, 1-6 overall) face Oak Ridge (Calif.), who is 7-4. The Trojans are also in the midst of their own losing skid, having dropped their last three.