Lady Wave face Reed for title | NevadaAppeal.com

Lady Wave face Reed for title

ByThomas Ranson | lvnsports@yahoo.com
The Greenwave's Caitlyn Welch dribbles around Damonte Ranch's Alexus Hunter during their Monday game.
THOMAS RANSON / LVN |

The Lady Wave basketball team ran its record to 11-0 at the Elite Varsity Basketball Tournament at Reed with a strong 48-35 win against McQueen on Tuesday afternoon.

Fallon will face either Reed or Northgate (California) today at 4:30 p.m. in the championship game at McQueen High School in northwest Reno.

Lani Otuafi and Faith Cornmesser each paced Fallon with nine points, while Leta Otaui added eight. Caitlyn Welch had seven and Madison Perazzo, 6.

The Wave, though, faced a determined Damonte Ranch team on Monday determined to stop Fallon’s winning streak.

Facing its toughest test of the young season, the Lady Wave basketball team didn’t disappoint.

Trailing by six points in the fourth quarter to Damonte Ranch, Fallon’s high-pressure defense and dominance in the paint enabled Anne Smith’s squad to come back with a 53-52 win on Monday to open the Elite Varsity Basketball Tournament at Reed.

“Anytime you get down four, five points, it tends to make you nervous,” Smith said. “We were very clear with our instruction. For the most part, they did what they were asked to do.”

Fallon, which defeated Pershing County, 45-20, following the Damonte Ranch win to stay unbeaten at 10-0, earned Pool B’s top seed into the double-elimination bracket, which began Tuesday. The loser will compete in the third-place game against either the Pool A or B loser at 3 p.m.

Leilani Otuafi powered the Lady Wave with 17 points, while Megan McCormick dumped in 14 as Fallon stayed unbeaten against Division I schools after knocking off McQueen and Douglas earlier this month. Leta Otuafi scored eight points, Caitlyn Welch added four and Stacy Kalt and Faith Cornmesser each had three points.

Damonte’s 1-2 punch of sharpshooter Kyra Bruescwitz and Meagan Carlson anchored most of the scoring. Carlson scored a game-high 19 points and Bruescwitz nailed six 3-pointers to finish with 18. Morgan Waller added eight points for the Mustangs.

Competing in its second tournament of the season, Smith said the team’s undefeated streak hasn’t been mentioned as Fallon gains more experience against strong competition before jumping back into league play next month.

“Yes you want to win, but that has not been brought up,” Smith said about the streak. “I told the team to absolutely not worry about the winning streak.”

After leading most of the first half, Fallon trailed for the majority of the final quarter, finding itself in a hole as big as six points with 6:52 remaining. Fallon turned up its full-court pressure and strong rebounding to help erase the hole.

“We did a good job controlling the boards,” Smith said. “We’ve faced good competition this year.”

The Lady Wave scored the game’s next five points to trim the deficit to one after Leilani Otuafi’s steal lead to a layup with 6:14 left in the game. Damonte’s Carlson converted an offensive rebounded to give the Mustangs a 50-47 lead but Fallon came back again when Leta Otuafi spun inside the point toward the basket and McCormick laced in a layup for a 51-50 advantage at the 3:17 mark.

Carlson stole a Fallon pass on way to a layup to regain the lead at 52-51 but McCormick’s put-back at 1:38 sealed the Lady Wave’s win over the Division I school.