Lady Wave charges through two weekend games
Elko Daily Free Press
ELKO — Friday’s matchup of No. 1 against No. 3 was no contest, as the 3A North unbeaten Lady Greenwave opened up a beat-down on the Lady Indians with a 61-38 victory at Centennial Gymnasium.
Fallon got the tip and the momentum swung in the Lady Greenwave’s favor within the first five seconds of the contest, as junior Caitlyn Welch ripped a three from the right wing.
She followed with a strong take down the left side, giving Fallon an early 5-0 lead.
Elko sophomore Alexi Elquist put the Lady Indians on the board with a pair of free throws, but Fallon sophomore Leilani Otuafi lined up the Lady Greenwave’s second triple in the first minute and a half of the game.
Elko sophomore Lauryn Drake grabbed a tough offensive rebound and knocked down a free throw.
The Lady Indians got beat down the floor by the Lady Greenwave in transition and Welch ripped her second three on an outlet pass from Otuafi — grabbing an 11-3 lead with 5:15 remaining in the opening frame.
Elko committed a cardinal sin on Fallon’s next possession, cutting under a screen against a shooter who was hot.
Otuafi drilled her second three and Fallon’s fourth of the period, opening a 14-3 lead.
Senior Alicia Marin made a free throw after being fouled on a drive, but Fallon continually beat the Lady Indians with ball movement — finding a wide-open Otuafi on the left wing for her third shot from distance and Fallon’s fifth.
The Lady Indians answered with a three from the right wing by Elquist on a pass from junior Gabe Rowley, and Drake cut the lead to 17-9 on a baseline jumper on a feed from junior Lexi Baum.
The Lady Greenwave stopped the 5-0 spurt with a runner by sophomore Alexis Jarrett.
Senior Faith Cornmesser finished with the foul on a post-entry pass by Otuafi, and sophomore Leta Otuafi finished on a put-back when the free throw was missed.
Fallon opened a 23-9 advantage with 1:45 remaining in the first quarter.
The lead grew to 26-9 when Leta Otuafi made a nasty finish with her left hand on a move not typically seen by a post player.
Baum fought hard for an offensive rebound on the weak side and scored Elko’s final points of the quarter from the left block.
Elko committed several turnovers on many varieties, but the majority came on weak or ill-advised crosscourt passes that were picked off.
The Lady Indians never recognized the ability to cut back door on the overplaying Lady Greenwave.
Leilani Otuafi finished the frame with a bank shot from straightaway.
Fallon exploded, ran by and shot past Elko for a 27-11 lead at the end of the first period.
Elko did a much better job on the defensive end to start the second quarter, but Fallon was equally as impressive in stopping the Lady Indians on the other end.
Sophomore Chandler McAlexander dropped the first bucket of the frame for Fallon, and Elko did not score until the 4:30 mark — gaining a free throw after a strong drive by sophomore Brenna Hendrix.
Marin made her first field goal and a wicked step-back jumper from the right side.
The Lady Greenwave broke out of their drought on a free throw by Welch, followed by an easy bucket by Leilani Otuafi after an Elko turnover.
The leak-out worked again when the Lady Indians failed to get back defensively, with Welch benefiting on a bunny.
Cornmesser dropped a high-arching rainbow after a blocked shot by Drake.
Marin summoned some muscle to trickle a shot over the rim on a drive — momentarily stopping a 9-0 run.
Fallon ended the half on a 3-0 run, coming on a free throw by Cornmesser and a drive, spine-move, left-handed finish by Leilani Otuafi that was as nasty as cancer.
The Lady Greenwave were in full control at the break — leading by 25 points at 41-16.
Defense and offense mistakes ruled the day for the first three minutes of the third period, ended by a bucket by Marin at the 4:45 mark.
Cornmesser made a free throw for Fallon, but Marin kept digging for the Lady Indians — finishing a drive down the right block.
Elko lost he wrong person on Fallon’s next possession, giving up a wide-open triple to Welch.
Marin answered with a three of her own — starting a personal 8-0 run — ending with a deuce and her second three of the frame.
Elko sophomore Kaitlyn Rizo capped an 11-0 Elko streak with a three from the left wing, but the Lady Greenwave still led by 14 at 45-31.
Leta Otuafi came up with a big basket to end the momentum, finishing with the harm and sinking a free throw for a three-point play after scoring with her left hand.
SPRING CREEK – The Lady Spartans got off to a slow start and did not catch up in the second half, falling to Fallon by a score of 56-41.
The loss moves Spring Creek’s record to 6-8 in the 3A North with two games left on the schedule.
Spring Creek fell behind early and went more than four minutes without making a field goal. While the Lady Spartans’ offense stalled in the early going, Fallon went on an 11-1 run.
Spring Creek scored seven points in the quarter while giving up 19. Fallon scored double-digit points in every quarter while the Lady Spartans were only able to put up one such quarter offensively.
The second quarter was another rough one for Spring Creek as Fallon continued to pull away. Spring Creek’s offense languished while the Lady Greenwave put up 14 points.
With Spring Creek down 33-11 at half it looked like the game was going to get out of hand. Spring Creek head coach Holly Miller said her team showed some signs of life in the second half.
“I thought we played great in the second. We made Fallon work,” she said. “At one point they had a 30-point game and I was worried about a running clock and we pulled it into about 20 points.”
When Spring Creek started playing even with the Lady Greenwave, their interior offense was a big part of the turnaround. Alayna Grosz came alive in the third and fourth quarters and finished with a team-leading eight points.