Greenwave falls just shy of state
Fallon’s boys’ basketball team closed its season on the cusp of going to state Friday, falling to the Elko Indians 66-49 in the Northern 3A Regional tournament in Winnemucca.
Elko claimed an early lead in the first quarter; the defense overwhelmed Fallon, allowing only two baskets, 22-4. The Greenwave was ready in the second quarter and came back strong. The Indians had a big lead, but Fallon was able to outscore Elko and close to within 38-18 at the half.
Fallon continued to push hard after halftime. The Greenwave defenders were evenly matched for the second half and there was little change between the scores in the third quarter, 51-27. The final quarter continued the stalemate; Fallon closed slightly, but Elko was too far ahead and the Indians ended with a 17-point lead.
Fallon coach Brad Barton said his team played very well, but Elko was too far ahead and the Greenwave didn’t have enough time to close.
“We stuck around in the second half, but we just had too big a deficit in the first half to overcome,” Barton said. “We gave up too many points too early to come back from it.”
He said he’s extremely proud of how his team played. He recalled the Fallon players “played their butts off” right to the end and stayed focused. The players kept their heads in the game and didn’t overthink things. He was especially proud of how the younger players performed and what it means for the program.
“This is a great step for the future of our program,” Barton said.
He also said they needed to expect an intense battle going in. Barton said players need an aggressive playoff mentality when going against a team like Elko.
“We realized early on if we were going to compete against that team, it had to turn into a quick, physical basketball game,” Barton said. “Otherwise we were going to get blown out.”
He recalled Elko has great shooters, and the Greenwave had to focus on defending against them to compete. In the second half, he said the Wave made adjustments to keep pressure on the shooters and prevent them from making three-pointers.
On Thursday, the Greenwave defeated Spring Creek in a close game to move on to the semifinals. Fallon came from behind in the first quarter, edging ahead thanks to back-to-back scores from Elijah Jackson. In the second quarter the race was on: Spring Creek regained the lead but Fallon stayed right behind them; the Spartans pulled ahead 12 points, but three-pointers from Dalton Kaady and Hayden Strasdin quickly closed the lead again, 19-13.
Spring Creek tried to regain the lead in the third quarter. Fallon nearly tied the score, but Spring Creek broke away and started opening again. The Greenwave quickly pulled them back in and tied the game at 31 points. The score entered another stalemate as the fourth quarter began; neither team gained a lead without the other countering it. Then, late in the quarter, Jackson, Nick Smith, Kaady and Strasdin dropped a series of baskets to put the Greenwave into the lead.
With the loss in the semifinals, the season is officially over for the boys’ basketball team. Barton said he couldn’t wait for next year though. He said he’s proud of his team’s efforts and is looking forward to getting most of the players back for the 2017-18 school year.
“I’m proud of the commitment they made to our program and I can’t wait to get them back next year,” Barton said.
Only two players from the Greenwave will graduate at the end of this year. Barton said he is extremely proud of how Kaady and Smith did this year, both on the court and as leaders of the team.
“We’re going to miss them extremely and we hope the best for them,” he said. “They’ve been a great part of our program for a long time now.”