Playoffs begin Thursday for Fallon, Oasis teams
A late change in the brackets may have given the Lady Wave softball team an easier path to making it to state, again.
Fallon, which has never missed the state tournament since the 2011 season, its first in the 3A, faces No. 6 Spring Creek in Thursday’s regional opener and a win puts the Lady Wave in a rematch of last year’s regional and state championship. Fallon, the No. 3 seed, would face No. 2 Lowry — instead of Fernley because of the late reseeding — and be one win away from going back to state.
Fallon, which is fielding a much younger team than last year, is starting to peak after sweeping South Tahoe last week to end the regular season. Only one team — just like last year — has swept Fallon. No. 1 Fernley lost its first regular-season game over the weekend against Elko and will face the winner of No. 4 Elko-No. 5 Dayton. Aside from Fernley dominating the league, the rest of the five teams in the tournament pose a threat.
And don’t forget what happened last year, either.
Fallon was the No. 3 seed, blasted by Spring Creek and then upset Lowry in the first day of the regional tournament. Fallon proceeded to knock off Fernley for the first time in four tries to punch its ticket to state before beating Lowry again for the crown. The Lady Wave also defeated Lowry for the state title one week later.
Fernley’s been the best team from start to finish this year and the hiccup against Elko came at the right time. The Vaqueros missed state completely last year and have been driven to not let that happen again. Fernley should win the regional championship but the second state berth is up for grabs. Any one of the remaining five teams has a legitimate chance of going to Las Vegas.
On the baseball diamond, it’s similar with one team dominating the league while the rest are battling for the No. 2 spot.
No. 1 Truckee, the defending state champ, has been solid all year and No. 2 Spring Creek turned a corner and is playing well. No. 3 Fallon takes on 3A newcomer and No. 6 North Valleys in Thursday’s opener and the winner faces Spring Creek. No. 4 Elko, which has struggled lately, faces No. 5 South Tahoe with the winner getting Truckee.
The Wolverines will be tough to knock off for the regional crown but, like softball, the second state berth is going to be a fight. Fallon gets a chance at redemption after losing its final home series to North Valleys. Elko, which has been in the top two of the league for most of its 3A presence, will also look at rebounding but takes on a tough South Tahoe squad that nearly won its series over Fallon.
Small but mighty is this year’s theme for the track and field team.
Down on numbers, Fallon has several strong performers looking for their ticket to the state meet next week in Las Vegas. The Wave, which hosts the regional meet on Friday and Saturday, has a pair of the best runners and hurdlers in the league and has dominated the jump and pole vault pits.
Senior Colton Peterson is the only league runner to record a sub-11-second time in the 100-meter run and is the top runner in the 200. Senior Trevor East is one of the best high hurdlers and is also Fallon’s best jumper. Senior Reid Clyburn, who finished second in the 300 hurdles at last year’s state meet, is in the mix for the 110 hurdles and is on the cusp of taking the regional crown in the 300. Both Clyburn and Peterson are on the 4×100 team, which is the best in the league.
For the girls, McCartney McAlexander has turned heads as a freshman to be near the top in the 100 hurdles and the relay teams are looking strong at qualifying for state. In the pits, sophomore Aisha Sharron is the league’s best overall jumper as she leads the triple and long and is fourth in the high. Seniors Allison Lister and Glenda Lee are in position to qualify in the pole vault after Lister broke the school record in March and Lee cleared 9 feet last month.
In the pool and on the course, Fallon will have a tough time qualifying for state.
Senior Jace Harmon is in fifth and would qualify for the state golf tournament and needs to stay in the top six after this week’s final two tournaments. The swimming team’s best chances at state are with the relay teams for both the boys and girls. Members of the girls relay teams include Hannah Rochna, Kamiah Henning, Ashby Trotter, Emily Giovanetti, Whitney Bernard, Darian Brough, Larissa Sanches and Karley Frederick. For the boys, the relay teams consist of Spencer Knight, Justin Bivens, Kaden Grimes, Ruben Alanis and Brian Seline.
Over at Oasis Academy, its softball team has been one of the best in the league. However, the Bighorns are competing in their final year of probation with the NIAA and will be eligible for postseason next year.
The girls lacrosse team, though, is in the top four of the High Sierra Lacrosse League and has two more games in the regular season. Oasis Academy is at home on Wednesday for senior day as the girls play at 5 p.m. followed by the boys at 6:30. The girls, which are in Reno on Thursday, will play on Monday in the league semifinal if it finishes in the top four.
Thomas Ranson can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.