Wave fights Sparks for 3A league win | NevadaAppeal.com

Wave fights Sparks for 3A league win

Thomas Ranson
Elijah Jackson (2) races Sparks players to the basket during Tuesday's game at Sparks High School.
Thomas Ranson / LVN |

SPARKS – For every Sparks run, Fallon always had an answer.

The Greenwave boys basketball team buckled down when it mattered in preventing the Railroaders from picking up their first league win of the year. Fallon downed Sparks, 57-47, and returns home to face Truckee tonight at 7:30 p.m.

“We wanted to be a little more aggressive defensively,” Fallon coach Brad Barton said about the adjustment from losing to Elko and Spring Creek over the weekend.

Freshman guard Elijah Jackson led the Greenwave with 19 points, and Christian Nemeth added eight. Craig Smith scored seven and Hayden Strasdin, John Cooley, Dalton Kaady and Thomas Steele each had six.

“He’s been contending in the points department,” Barton said of Jackson. “He’s getting to the rim. He’s come a long way since the beginning of the season.”

Fallon built a 16-9 lead after Kaady hit back-to-back 3-pointers, but Sparks roared back to trail by one (17-16) at the end of the first quarter. The Greenwave built a five-point lead at halftime but Sparks battled back to within one (34-33) with 4 minutes, 5 seconds left in the third quarter. Fallon clamped down on defense and hit free throws to build the double-digit lead it wouldn’t lose.

“That’s basketball. You’ve got to stop the runs,” Barton said. “When the team made a run, we did a good job stopping the possession.”

While Fallon had problems stopping Sparks’ James Bates and Matthew Longland, Barton was pleased with the team’s adjustment. Bates led all scorers with 19 points and Longland had 14.

“We wanted to contend with their shooters. We didn’t do a good job on (Bates),” Barton said.

Fallon, which improved to 4-3, finds itself in the middle of the playoff hunt as it hits the halfway mark with Truckee tonight. The Greenwave sits in fifth behind South Tahoe (4-0), Elko (5-1), and Spring Creek and Fernley (both 4-2). Only the top six advance to the playoffs next month.

“It’s exciting to see,” Barton said of the league race. “South Tahoe and Elko are two of the better teams. Fernley’s probably the third best team.”