Fallon girls win a thriller against Lowry, stop Dayton
Nevada News Group
The Lady Wave may have saved their best basketball for the end of the season.
Although the Lady Wave dropped two games on the road at Elko and Spring Creek by seven combined points 10 days ago, Fallon has been on a roll by winning its last four of six games including two home games — a 49-46 thriller against Lowry a week ago and the final regular season game against Dayton, 49-20, on Friday. The Wave takes a 12-12 overall record, 10-8 in the Northern 3A into this week’s first round of the regional playoffs. Fallon will play on a familiar court since Churchill County High School is hosting the three-day tournament. Fallon faces Lowry for the second time this month at 4:40 p.m. on Thursday.
Senior Makenzee Moretto scored in double figures with 19 points to lead Fallon to a 29-point win over Dayton.
Moretto, one of three seniors, scored 21 points in each of her games against Elko and Spring Creek and is averaging almost 16 points for the final third of the season.
“During the last couple of games, she has been working hard underneath and scoring,” said first-year coach Robbie Wickware.
Friday was also Senior Night for Karlee Hitchcock and Kinsli Rogne.
Fallon, though, had to rely on its defense and a little luck in the fourth quarter to upset Lowry, 49-46.
“We’ve had some good defense during the last few games,” Wickware said. “We’re picking up the opposing players pretty good.”
The Wave torched Lowry with a strong first quarter, but the Lady Bucks rallied over the next two frames to trail 36-34 going into the fourth quarter.
Fallon built a seven-point lead during the first three minutes on Madison Whitaker’s 3-point shot and a leaning in set shot. In less than two minutes, Lowry tied the game at 43 on three baskets — two from Sierra Maestrejuan on an off-balanced basket and a 3-pointer from the far side. Hannah Whitted swiped the ball at midcourt and raced for a layup.
Undaunted, the Lady Wave kept their composure despite Lowry taking its first lead of the game.
Whitaker, who had two 3-pointers and a basket in the final stanza, took aim for a set shot that put the Wave up by a basket, but Maestrejuan drained her second 3-pointer of the quarter to give Lowry a 46-45 lead.
With 1:40 left in regulation play, Fallon’s Aisha Sharron penetrated the left side for a layup, and Shaylee Fagg sunk a pair of crucial free throws to give the Wave a four-point lead.
Maestrejuan, though, tried to give the Lady Bucks a win, but a 3-pointer hit the rim, she missed on two free throws and a long trey with a second left glanced off the rim.
Fallon will need a strong start Thursday like it had against Lowry last week.
The Wave shocked Lowry with a 9-0 run to begin the game on eight points from Sharron and five from Hitchcock, who drove inside for her points. Hitchcock wrapped up the game with eight points.
Maestrejuan, who led Lowry with 14 points, accounted for three first-quarter points on a layup and free throw.
Lowry regrouped in the second quarter to outscore Fallon 12-8.
The Wave led by as many as 16 points, 23-7, with 4:41 left before halftime, but Lowry chipped away at the lead on 3-pointers from Maestrejuan and Jovie Kuskie. Lowry was in foul trouble in the second quarter, and the Wave took advantage, sinking 4 of 6 from the free throw line, and relying on baskets from Moretto and Hitchcock.
Lowry surged at the beginning of the third quarter on a 7-2 run on its defense and Emily Backus’ two free throws and a 3-pointer launched in front of the Lowry bench. With less than three minutes left in the quarter, Fallon and Lowry traded baskets with Fagg nailing a 3-pointer, and Whitaker a short layup to give her a game-high 15 points.
Fallon started its seniors in the first quarter against Dayton, and the different look on the floor affected the Wave in a seesaw start after tipoff.
Fallon took a 4-0 lead on Hitchcock’s layup and Hailey Guerrero’s basket underneath the rim, but Dayton scored the next three baskets to lead 6-4. A long pass to Moretto allowed the Fallon to make a layup to tie the score.
The second quarter belonged to the Wave in an 16-6 advantage.
Moretto went to work with five points, and Fagg delivered her only points of the game, a trey midway through the quarter.
“We were out of rhythm and didn’t get back into the game until the third quarter,” Wickware said. “Then we broke the game open.”
The Lady Wave’s defense played better in the second half, scoring 12 points in the third quarter and 18 in the final. Rogne broke through in the scoring column with layup followed by a 3-pooter to give Fallon a 30-15 lead.
After Dayton scored on Abigail Harker’s basket, Fallon closed out the quarter on a 4-0 run with a free throw each from Moretto and Sharron and a layup from Sam Frost.
Fallon sunk a pair of 3-point shots in the final quarter — on each from Hitchcock and Cassie Edgmon, but Moretto was in the right place at the right time for four layups.
Wickware said he has brought up several junior varsity players during the past two games to give them more experience at the upper level.