By THOMAS RANSON
Lahontan Valley News
A late fourth quarter rally faltered for Fallon's varsity boys' basketball team as the Greenwave lost to Douglas 58-55 Saturday night in Fallon.
With the loss, Fallon, 2-9, finishes its preseason and looks to its first league game against McQueen Friday night in Fallon. Douglas, 8-6, hosts North Valleys in its Sierra league opener also on Friday.
"We picked the intensity up too late in the game," said Fallon coach Corey Williams. "We came out flat in the first half."
Douglas coach Keith Lewis praised Fallon's play as well as the haunting feeling of playing at the Elmo Derrico Gym.
"I thought Fallon played well and we just couldn't shake them off," said Lewis. "As a coach, I'm scared to death to play here in Fallon."
Fallon trailed 48-36 going into the fourth quarter and started its comeback after Douglas had sprung a 13-point lead. Lane Whitney, who led all scorers with 20 points, highlighted Fallon's run in the final quarter by converting second and third shots for easy points. Jeff Weed helped from the free throw line as did Kevin Flores.
Turnovers, specifically traveling violations, and foul trouble hurt the Greenwave during the late half of the fourth.
"We were out of position on defense and not moving which caused the fouls and turnovers," said Williams.
Fallon played with two of its starters with four fouls, while Kal Schank fouled out early in the fourth quarter.
Blake Cooper nailed a jumper with his foot on the three-point line to narrow the lead to 52-47 with 3:10 left in the game. Cooper also finished the game in double figures with 12 points. The Tigers' Luke Rippee and Pat Carlson continued to frustrate the Greenwave as Carlson never missed with his running jumpers.
Turnovers troubled the Tigers as Cooper took advantage by banking a 3-pointer from the top of the key. Three traveling calls on both Fallon and Douglas brought the ball back to Weed who laced a trey in the corner with 10 seconds left.
Fallon led 14-11 after the end of the first quarter with Owen Mackedon and Schank sinking the net from downtown. A second quarter burst from the Tigers gave Douglas a two-point lead at the half. Rippee and Andy McIntosh took advantage of Fallon's fouls with their near perfect consistency from the charity line. Keith Olson, who scored a game high 16 points for Douglas, used his height to outrebound Fallon in the key and was able to convert missed shots.
"It was a battle and both teams played hard," said Olson. "The inside game was working with the jumpers. It was a team win."
Olson helped Douglas gain some cushion in the third quarter with a couple of baseline lay-ins, and Carlson stung Fallon by hitting his first three jump shots in the late half of the quarter.
"We executed very well and I felt like we had a good transitional game, especially in the third quarter," said Lewis.
Fallon's lone side of offense sparkled through Whitney as the tall sophomore scored eight points in the quarter.