Lady WAVE UNDEFEATED | NevadaAppeal.com

Lady WAVE UNDEFEATED

Mike Sciandra
msciandra@lahontanvalleynews.com
Fallon's Caitlyn Welch, 22, scores a lay-up against two Dayton guards.
MIKE SCIANDRA / LVN |

Fallon has a new undefeated team to rally behind, and the Lady Wave basketball team showed why with a convincing league win against Dayton.

The Greenwave girls varsity basketball team is undefeated after two consecutive league victories, their most recent win Monday at home against the Dust Devils, 64-21.

Dayton is now 3-8 overall and 0-1 in D1-A, and Fallon is untouched 7-0 overall and 2-0 in D1-A.

The Wave’s next game is against the Fernley Vaqueros (2-3 overall, 0-1 D1-A) at home Dec. 22.

Fallon coach Anne Smith said she was pleased with the Wave’s performance, particularly since her numbers were more replenished since she previously competed at Douglas with only six players.

Smith said she knew she would be meeting a well-coached team in Dayton just like she did at Douglas. Her players’ ability to answer on the offensive side was something she could count on.

“Our emphasis tonight was really defense. We wanted to work on some defensive things, working through screens and talking on defense and our full court press. We’re trying to get the trap down on the side and being able to contain the ball,” Smith said.

The Wave held Dayton to three points in the first quarter and led 15-3, after which point difference between the two teams only grew wider through the night.

The Dust Devils’ first nine points were scored by Angela Sikora with two 3-pointers and three free throws. Sikora is third in the Division 1-A in points per game (17.3) as well as in steals per game (3.1) and blocks per game (1.3).

Smith doesn’t shy away from giving credit where credit is due to players from the opposing team, and said Angela Sikora was one of the strongest players Dayton brought to this game.

“She’s a great athlete, a great player,” Smith said. “She sees the court so well, and if you leave her alone, she’ll shoot the lights out. If you’re on her, she’ll still shoot the lights out. She’s a talented player.”

Smith didn’t shy away from crediting her own players, though, particularly since the second quarter practically belonged to the Wave’s post player Megan McCormick, who led the team for the second time in scoring with 18 points. McCormick is fourth in D1-A in points per game averaging 16.0 and fifth in rebounds per game averaging 7.8. Leilani Otuafi also helped dominate the second quarter with key passing. Otuafi was second in points scored for the Wave at 14 points. Otuafi leads the division in steals per game averaging 4.0, is second in points per game (16.0), and is third in assists per game, averaging 3.3.

“Offensively, I thought Megan did a fantastic job around the glass tonight but I will give props to my perimeter players as well for seeing her and feeding her,” Smith said. “I was really impressed with that. Obviously Leilani was a key fact and drove the ball tonight. I wanted her to finish a little better around the glass but she was able to hit from the foul for a three pointer and did a good job.”

In the third quarter, Dayton tired to put points on the board and scored as many points in the third as they did in the first and second combined, never trailing while the Wave led 59-18.

Dayton’s head coach Kelly Frantz said her team simply didn’t take care of the ball against the full-court press that Fallon laid down.

“I think character wise we don’t want to be that team that doesn’t do that, but Fallon is a great pressing team, and they’re good at anticipating steals and really packing up the lanes,” Frantz said.

Frantz also said her team needed to match the intensity that Fallon began the game with and maintained throughout the game, though she said Sikora was still reliable and will come back stronger next game.

“Angela Sikora is always a strong offensive player for us. She’s done a lot of work defensively in the offseason but offensively she’s always hot for us,” she said.

Frantz also said Christina Mason is coming around, a junior for Dayton who had difficulty against McCormmick.

Frantz creited Jessie Ingham for defensive intensity and putting pressure on Fallon even while Fallon was putting the full court press on Dayton.

By the fourth quarter, Fallon forced several turnovers, particularly due to Faith Cornmesser’s ability to rebound and maintain speed. Cornmesser had 15 rebounds against Douglas and seven against Dayton, and is second in D1-A in rebounds per game averaging 11.0.

“Cornmesser, she’s tough,” Smith said. “She rebounds so well an we’re seeing that more and more every game. She just really knows how to cross the boards and get the ball. But I could also say my perimeter players Zoeey Swisher, both Caitlyns, Jenna Hamlin and Stacey Kalt, they ran the first side of that press so well and caused so many turnovers. We got a lot of steals.”

This game was Hamlin’s second time coming up from the junior varsity for Smith, and the Fallon coach said she performed even better than last time.

“One thing I thought she did was she drove to the hoop a couple times, and the ball didn’t go in, but that’s okay because she had the confidence to see the open gap and drive it in,” Smith said, “and that’s hard for kids coming up to a varsity level game. But she recognized it and she went for it, which is good because eventually they’ll fall for her. But they’re all turning into great players.”