ON THE ROAD TO VEGAS
Continuing its undefeated season, the Lady Wave captured the championship of the Northern 3A Regional tournament in Winnemucca on Saturday.
The Wave crushed Lowry 50-15, securing their place as top seed in this week’s state tournament at Las Vegas.
On Friday, Fallon will play Virgin Valley in the semifinal round at 11 a.m. in the Cox Pavilion. The winner will play Lowry or Moapa Valley for the championship.
During Saturday’s regional championship, the Lady Wave grabbed a strong lead in the first quarter. Fallon reached seven points before Lowry scored once, then nearly doubled it before the quarter ended 13-3.
In the second quarter, Fallon’s defense kept Lowry back, holding them to five points. The Wave’s offense continued to advance for a halftime score of 27-8.
Fallon continued to advance after halftime. Lowry only secured two baskets, closing the third quarter 42-11. More of the Lady Wave bench took the floor for the final quarter, and the players continued to hold the Lady Bucks back until the end of the game.
Fallon coach Anne Smith said Lowry is a strong team, and the Wave worked hard preparing their defensive game; Lowry has two especially good shooters, and Smith said the Wave wanted to be sure and prevent them taking shots.
“We knew we were going to have to play them tight and not give them the opportunity to take those three-point shots,” she said.
Smith praised Kaitlin Hunter and Zoey Swisher for keeping on the shooters and preventing them getting in position.
The team also controlled the boards. Smith said Faith Cornmesser, Leta and Lailani Otuafi and Caitlyn Welch did well with rebounds. Welch and Lailani Otuafi each caught six rebounds while Leta and Cornmesser caught four.
Cornmesser also led the team in scores, tallying 12 against Lowry. Right behind her was Lailani Otuafi with 11 while Welch and Leta Otuafi scored eight.
“Just about everybody,” Smith said. “They all got rebounds. They were all in there working hard, every possession, to win the rebound. That truly was the best part of our game tonight, was our defense and our rebounding effort.”
She said it wasn’t a perfect game, though, and there’s always room for improvement. Smith said they never got going like they wanted and struggled in a few areas on offense. They also failed to execute some of the strategies they prepared for the game.
In Friday’s semifinal game, Fallon took an early lead against Spring Creek. By the end of the first quarter the Wave opened its lead, 16-4. They continued to open the rest of the half, though the Lady Spartans improved their offense. Going into halftime, the Wave led 33-12.
After halftime, neither team scored much as their defenders played hard. Both teams broke through, though, reaching 47-18 for the third quarter before ending the game 61-30.
Smith said Friday’s game went well. She said Fallon could have done better boxing out at times, and the players seemed to struggle offensively in the first half; while they didn’t score as much, they had a better rhythm in the second half.
Cornmesser played well against Spring Creek. She topped the team’s rebounds, catching eight. Smith said Cornmesser worked hard to grab the most rebounds and to be a top scorer.
Smith said there are still things they need to improve on and the team started practicing Monday. Smith said they received video of the Southern Nevada teams and are reviewing footage to prepare for this weekend.