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Fallon opens league play with blowout wins

Robert Perea
The Fernley Reporter
Fallon senior Thomas Steele goes up to the basket in the first half of Saturday’s game against Fernley.
Thomas Ranson

FERNLEY – After playing a trio of out-of-state teams in an invitation-only tournament, the Greenwave boys basketball team picked up a pair of league wins in convincing fashion.

Following a 43-point win over Sparks on Thursday, the defending state champs relied on a third-quarter surge to break free from Fernley on Saturday. After Fernley scored the first two baskets of the third quarter to get within 11, Fallon scored 15 consecutive points in a span of 2:24, carrying the Greenwave to an 81-53 win.

It was the second consecutive lopsided loss to open league play for the Vaqueros, who are playing shorthanded at least until after the Christmas break.

“I thought we made some progress tonight in some areas, but it’s a process,” coach Derek Miller said. “We’ve got young guys that haven’t played a lot of varsity basketball, and they’re just going to continue to get better.”

Carson Kingston, who led the Vaqueros with 23 points, scored the first two baskets of the second half to cut Fallon’s lead to 42-31.

But Thomas Steele scored inside with 6:32 left in the quarter, then followed up with a 3-pointer, kicking off a 15-0 run to balloon the lead to 57-31.

“We cut it to (11) and then they went on a spurt and it just killed us,” Miller said.

The game was competitive through the first 17 minutes, but Fallon built its edge on the strength of its work on the glass. For the game, Fallon grabbed 17 offensive rebounds, and it was converting on many of those extra possession s that allowed the Greenwave to extend a 16-10 first quarter advantage to 42-27 at the half.

“You get a stop and you give a team second and third, sometimes four opportunities, it doesn’t bode well for you,” Miller said. “That’s the defending state champs and they have one of the best players in the North, and you can’t give them two or three opportunities.”

That player, Elijah Jackson, led all scorers with 27 points, getting to the rim almost at will and creating multiple opportunities from the foul line. Steele added 18 for Fallon, even though neither Jackson or Steele played in the fourth quarter.

Tucker Hall was the second Fernley player in double figures with 10, while Justin Hyman scored 7 and both Jonah Turner and Daunte Ceresola scored 6.

The Vaqueros returned five of their top six players from last season’s team, but two of them, Drew Miller and Isaac O’Neill, haven’t yet played this season. Miller is out with a broken ankle, and O’Neill has a broken bone in his foot that required surgery, and the Vaqueros hope both will be back sometime in January.

In the meantime, the Vaqueros are relying on a bunch of players who were on the JV team last year and still finding out how to play varsity basketball.

“I’m seeing improvements every week, just nose to the grindstone and keep working,” Miller said. “We competed, but it’s just things we got to take care of, and it just takes time.”

With five games in the books, Fallon turns its attention to Truckee and North Valleys this week. The Greenwave traveled to Truckee on Tuesday and returns to Reno for the second weekend this season when it plays North Valleys on Saturday.

Fallon rebounds tournament outing with home win over Sparks

Fallon blew open a close first quarter (19-13) by outscoring Sparks, 27-2, in the second to eventually win, 71-28, in the Greenwave’s home opener on Thursday.

Jackson led the team in scoring with 21 points on 83 percent shooting, Steele had 13 and Richardson added 10. All but one player recorded a rebound against the Railroaders with Shaw Lee leading the team with eight total rebounds and Steele having seven.

Fallon opened the season two weeks ago with the Wild West Shootout, an eight-team, invitation-only tournament played at Bishop Manogue High School. The Greenwave went 0-3 with a pair of losses decided by single digits. Fallon lost to the tournament champion, Jesuit (Carmichael, Calif.), 66-49, in the opening game before falling to Monterery Trail (Elk Grove, Calif.), 70-66, and Vacaville (Calif.), 55-46.