Fallon boys blow out Fernley by 40
A reserve, coming off the bench, led an all-team effort in another blowout.
That’s just how good this basketball team has been all season.
Senior Trey Rooks led the Greenwave with a 15-point effort to its ninth-straight win, a 71-31 blowout over cross-valley rival Fernley on Saturday at the Elmo Dericco Gymnasium. Senior Johnny Cooley hit three 3-pointers to finish with 11 points, all in the second quarter, and senior Hayden Strasdin scored 10 in the first half, too, as every player scored for the Greenwave.
“He’s playing well. It took him some time to recover from his football injury,” Fallon coach Chelle Dalager said of Rooks, who missed the first couple weeks of the season. “We’re trying to get him in the rotation where he’s comfortable and doing things right. He’s looked good in spots.”
Rooks was just another example of how deep Dalager’s bench is. The non-starters scored 31 points against Fernley, which included four points each from senior Jace Harmon and junior Brock Richardson, five from sophomore Avery Strasdin and three from sophomore Shaw Lee.
“I have kids on the bench who could be starting,” Dalager said. “That’s the biggest thing about being so deep. I feel like I could start Avery because he’s a sophomore and he plays against Elijah (Jackson), Hayden, David (Mcfalls) and Johnny in practice.”
Everyone has been contributing to Fallon’s 16-1 (8-1, league) start this season, which has the team in second place to Elko (13-2, 9-0) in the 3A Northern and beating teams by an average of 30 points per game. Both teams meet for a rematch on Feb. 1 in Fallon.
“We spoke about it in the locker room. You have to stay humble while you’re winning and stay classy,” Dalager said. “You have to keep your focus on continuing to getting better. When you’re beating teams, you have to stay focused on what’s really important and the ultimate goal. Our ultimate goal is to continue to get better every time we play.”
Dalager’s been impressed with a pair of upperclassmen coming off the bench and embracing their role.
“Jace is a senior and his basketball IQ is very high. When he gets out there, he plays very well for a sixth man,” Dalager said. “Brock’s offense has come a long ways. Before, he used to be just a defensive guy. He wasn’t really consistently scoring but he’s working on it. You can see him make some progress through the league and time. Now, he’s stepping up and looking at shots, looking at the basket.”
Fernley became Fallon’s eighth victim this league season. The Wave hosts South Tahoe this week before traveling to Truckee and North Valleys.
Junior Thomas Steele’s opening bucket ignited Fallon’s 24-point first quarter and Hayden Strasdin’s basket to put Fallon up 4-2 broke the only tie in the game. Mcfalls’ layup followed by Jackson’s pair of free throws and Rooks’ first basket of the game gave Fallon a 10-3 lead with 3 minutes, 48 seconds left in the quarter. A couple of steals led to four points from Jackson and Steele and Fallon closed out the quarter with a 24-8 lead.
The lead continued to grow in the second quarter with Dalager rotating her bench.
Cooley hit a string of three 3-pointers late in the quarter to put Fallon up 47-14 at the break. Rooks scored four points in the quarter and Steele was nearly perfect from the free throw line with three points.
“Coaches in our league understand that you can’t ask your team not to play hard. I’ve known that a long time ago,” Dalager said about her team’s continuous effort. “You can’t ask teams not to play hard against you. You have to keep your kids playing consistent. The one place you can’t rest is defense.”
Carson Kingston led Fernley, which dropped to 4-5 in league, with 20 points and Daunte Ceresola had five.
Fallon 81, Sparks 24
Fallon’s offense was too much for Sparks to handle Friday night at the Elmo Dericco Gymnasium as the Wave race out to an 18-0 lead and then cruised for an 81-24 Northern 3A win.
“We’ve been working on some different set as far as the defense goes,” said Dalager. “It gave us an opportunity to work on things.”
Cooley’s 3-pointer within seconds of the opening tipoff set the game’s tone, and Steele’s aggressiveness on both defensive and offensive resulted in three baskets. The Wave continually looked for the open man down low, and when Sparks collapsed its defense, Richardson unleashed a trey from top of the key. The Fallon junior connected on his second 3-point basket less than 2 minutes later.
The Railroaders didn’t score its first points until 3:50 left in the quarter when Elija Hapa worked in a backdoor basket.
With the score 20-2, the Wave surged ahead on a 9-2 run with additional points from McFalls and Steele and Richardson’s layup with an assist from Strasdin.
Jose Cadena’s follow-up shot accounted for Sparks’ second basket.
Despite a constant rotation during the second quarter, the Wave outscored Sparks 25-6.
“We’re so strong all the way through,” Dalager said of her team’s depth. “This game gave everyone an opportunity to play. They’re pretty good group of kids. We also worked on our defensive game and what we’ll do with it against Elko.”
Cooley, who had 12 points against Sparks, drilled his second trey of the game, another corner shot to begin the quarter, and Elijah Jackson scored on a 3-pointer midway through the period. Rooks had a solid showing in the second quarter with nine points — four from in the paint and the other from the free throw-line line and finished with a season-high 14 points.
Steele continued with his hot hand, sinking 4 of 5 free throws and powering through the defense with a one-handed layup.
“I wouldn’t trade him in his work ethic,” Dalager said, adding many of his points come off rebounds and extra work. “He’s the garbage man — he picks up everything that is loose.”
With 4:01 left before halftime, Fallon’s defense pulled back from its half-court traps and double teaming. Both teams didn’t score for the first 2 minutes of the third quarter. Although he didn’t play for the entire quarter, Steele scored eight points in the Wave’s 17-5 run as the 6-foot-3 Fallon junior worked the inside and baseline and added a nice turn-around layup.
Avery Strasdin came off the bench and also worked the baseline for a layup, and Jackson nailed his second trey of the game and to finish the night with 10 points.
The Wave outscored Sparks in the fourth quarter, 10-9 with half the points coming from Richardson’s 3-pointer and two free throws after he was fouled on a putback shot. Richardson had one of his best games on offense this season with 13 points. Hayden Strasdin stuffed the ball at the rim, and Steele added another basket to finish the game with 20 points. Strasdin wrapped up the game with six.
Steve Ranson contributed to this story.