South Tahoe puts fear of Fallon on pause |

South Tahoe puts fear of Fallon on pause

Mike Sciandra
Fallon's Dylan Rassmussen (14) jumps high on the glass over South Tahoe's Ethan Strain (20).

If a second chance to beat South Tahoe came two weeks earlier, the Greenwave varsity basketball team might have put the fear of Fallon back into the Vikings.

With circumstances as they are in the second half of the season, the Wave boys team lost 60-43 to the Vikings on Tuesday night, their second loss since the end of their winning streak.

Fallon’s boys team is now 8-12 overall and 5-6 in D1-A, while South Tahoe is 9-10 overall and 6-3 in D1-A.

The Wave’s next game is on the road at Dayton tonight at 7:30 p.m.

Fallon held on in the first quarter with its energy and coordination despite Marshall Coverston sitting the game out with an injury he received in their loss to Lowry. “I think once they realized we didn’t have a true point-guard on the floor;they put the full court pressure on us and we had some trouble on offense getting down the court,” Fallon coach Brad Barton said, acknowledging Trae Thomson filled in for Marshall Coverston.

Despite their enthusiasm and the help of Fallon junior varsity players Thomson and Christian Nemeth, South Tahoe dominated the first quarter in a fashion most teams can’t brag about — scoring almost all of their points through 3-pointers. The Vikings’ Harry Moses-Chakmakis, Hirshal Suka and Noah Jackson led this pattern which was tough for the Wave to defend.

Fallon’s Braxton Hunter responded in kind with some 3-pointers of his own, but South Tahoe’s range and speed off the rebound let them lead in the first half, 31-27.

Barton praised Nemeth for his efforts on the court. This was Nemeth’s first varsity game after only one practice before the Wave threw him into the fire, he said.

“Christian, he’s a good athlete,” Barton said. “He’s got good size to him and he’s actually a fairly decent shooter. I think he was just a little bit damp last night in his first varsity game. But once he settles down a little bit he’s going to do a lot for us for sure.”

The Vikings’ coach Joby Cefalu commended his second team for a fantastic job, particularly in the second half where he said the defense made the difference for his team to surge ahead. “Fallon played a great game in the first half and stuck with us, and they were causing havoc for us,” Cefalu said. “We turned to some guys who haven’t had a lot of minutes this year and they did a great job playing defense. It’s unfortunate that Fallon is down some guys. I have a lot of respect for the coach and his situation.”

Cefalu also said his team’s defensive rebounds helped stretch the point difference and that in addition to Chakmakis and Suka, Dylan Gooding and Tommy Cefalu used their time well.

Despite the Wave still being crippled by the absence of veterans such as Clay Davison and Thomas Diaz, this game marked the return of Fallon’s Dylan Ridenour, whom Barton has cited several times as their lead point guard. Ridenour was third in scoring for Fallon with seven points, behind Kaleel Rickerson with 11 points and Dillan Rassmussen who led the Wave with 12 points.

Cefalu commended Ridenour and said he was a great player while discussing Fallon’s aggression in the second half that slowed down scoring despite the end result. “I fear Fallon,” he said. “Fallon is a team that plays with a lot of heart. They’re fast, and even being down a few players as they are they came to battle. The difference was the pressure towards the latter part of the game, but I think that Ridenour is a great player and not having Coverston hurt them a lot even with him back. Still, I fear playing Fallon in the playoffs if that’s a seeding we end up seeing because they’re a good team and they are very well coached.”

Barton also commended Ridenour and said he gave the best that he could but that he was also cautious playing him since he is still not 100 percent.

“We didn’t want to waste him or injure his ankle any more than we need to since we’re going to need him a lot more for the playoffs towards the end of the season,” he said.

Before he can set his sights on the playoffs, Barton said Dayton is a team the Wave needs to beat tonight if they want to keep the momentum necessary to get to the postseason.

“I think the more we practice with the team that we have the better we’re going to be,” Barton said. “We had a great practice tonight and we’ll have another good practice tomorrow. The more these guys become familiar with each other and learn to work together, they’ll do just fine.”