Fallon opens season with convincing win
RENO — A fast start backed up by an unstoppable fast break successfully opened the curtain for this year’s Greenwave boys basketball team.
Fallon led by as many as 15 points in the opening quarter as it cruised to a 77-49 win over North Valleys on Monday to open the season. The Greenwave (1-0) faces Vacaville on Thursday at Sparks High School in the team’s first tournament of the year.
“I didn’t expect it to be that dominating but I knew we had the ability,” first-year Fallon coach Chelle Dalager said. “I’ve been saying it ever since we started the season that we have 10 kids coming off the bench who can play at any time. They share the basketball. When you share the basketball, you have success as a team.”
Junior Hayden Strasdin led the Greenwave with 15 points after pouring in 10 in the first half, and sophomore Thomas Steele added 12 as all but one player scored. Three players nearly reached double figures with juniors John Cooley and Trey Rooks, and sophomore Brock Richardson each scoring nine points, while junior Bryce Larsen and senior Christian Nemeth each had eight.
“I felt confident going into the game. We’ve been practicing hard,” Strasdin said. “We ran the floor very well and we were not selfish.”
Fallon scored the game’s first seven points and led 17-2 with 2 minutes, 28 seconds left in the first quarter after Nemeth scored on back-to-back possessions. The closest North Valleys would get came with 4:23 left in the second quarter when a free throw cut the lead to 20-14. Rebounding was a temporary issue as North Valleys kept blocking out Fallon but Dalager told her group to be more aggressive and it worked.
“They kept getting second and third shots and would stay in the game. They made a concerted effort to box out long,” she added.
From there, it was all Fallon as the Greenwave outscored the Panthers, 18-2, to end the first half and lead by 22 (38-16).
The third quarter saw Fallon jump to its first 30-point lead of the game when Rooks completed a three-point play after being fouled underneath the basket. Leading 54-34 in the third quarter, the Greenwave continued to tire the Panthers with Richardson converting on consecutive fast-break plays to end the quarter at 64-31.
“We work on it in every practice,” Strasdin said about the fast break. “We kick it out to the win, then it’s the next pass and next pass and there’s someone always there.”
Dalager credits former coach Tommy Thomson for his three-man layup drills with the younger players for Fallon’s success running the fast break.
“When you see these kids run the floor like they’re running right now, that’s how I ran the younger kids,” Dalager said of when she coached the middle school teams. “This is what comes of that.”
Richardson pumped in five more points in the fourth quarter and Larsen scored in the key to give Fallon its biggest lead of the game, 73-39, with 3:33 left in the game.