Loss makes league race tighter for Fallon
SPARKS — A rough four-point start against Sparks was too much to overcome for the Fallon basketball team, losing to the Railroaders, 54-41, in Sparks Tuesday night.
Tuesday’s outcome throws a wrinkle in the league standings with Fallon (9-13 overall and 6-7 in D1-A) now possessing only a half-game lead over Sparks (6-13 overall, 5-7 in D1-A) for fifth place, although the top six teams advance to the playoffs.
Fallon coach Brad Barton said Sparks came out on fire, scoring three consecutive 3-pointers against the Wave.
“It took us right up until the end of the first quarter to get a turnover, but we blinked and we were down 11-0,” Barton said. “Sparks plays really good in their own territory, and we honestly just didn’t play well at all.”
“We didn’t execute our game plan,” Barton added. “It wasn’t until two minutes left in the first half that we started to figure out our spacing wasn’t working for us. Once we realized that we picked up and hung around for a little bit but we were in too big of a hole at that point.”
Though the loss comes with the playoffs around the corner, Barton said he is confident the Wave wouldn’t see another team like Sparks in the playoffs with a 2-3 zone defense.
“We just didn’t expect them to have such good perimeter and outside shooters, and they created a lot of mismatches for us since they had so many big guys against so many of our medium and small guys,” Barton said.
With their next game against Elko today, Barton said practice this week was entirely focused anticipating Elko and preparing for them in the playoffs through tonight’s game.
“We’re going to use that game as a chance to det a lot of different looks on video,” Barton said. “What we’re going to do is put on a couple of different styles and show them a few different runs so that we can have a better sense for what they will be coming to us with without showing them exactly what we’ve got.”
While Barton’s sights are set on a state championship, the Wave’s captain Marshall Coverston has been recovering from his injury and, Barton said, should be prepared to play against Elko and Spring Creek on Friday and Saturday. Point guard Dylan Ridenour is still out of action dealing with an injured ankle.
Elko leads the league (16-3 overall, 11-0 in D1-A) by one game over Lowry (14-7 overall, 10-1 in D1-A) but both teams still have one more meeting that could determine the top seed.
South Tahoe (10-11 overall, 8-4 in D1-A) and Fernley (11-8 overall, 7-5 in D1-A) are a game within each other for third and fourth, with Fallon 1.5 games out of the top four.
It doesn’t appear to get much easier for Fallon, which went through a line-up reshuffle last month after losing by only four points in Elko.
The new-look Greenwave will entertain the first-place Indians tonight and then turn around and take on Spring Creek (9-13 overall, 4-8 in D1-A) on Saturday.
The Spartans are only a game out of sixth place. Fallon’s final game of the season is Tuesday at home against the last-place Truckee Wolverines (2-18 overall, 0-12 in D1-A).
“We’re entirely focused on preparing for the next team and the next game,” Barton said. “In practice, we’re planning ahead to make adjustments and anticipate everybody for the playoffs. If we do, we should be able to compete in the next three games.”
LVN Sports Editor Mike Sciandra contributed to this story.