A 51-29 loss to Pyramid Lake Friday night was looking pretty good to Sierra Lutheran coach Alan Reed.
"That was actually a giant step forward for us defensively," Reed said. "Compared to past games, we had a much-improved defensive effort.
"Now, if we could just put the ball in the hoop, we'd be in a little better shape."
As a gauge, Reed pointed out that Pyramid Lake lost to 1A powerhouse Virginia City 54-49 the following night.
On Friday, the Falcons stayed close until about two minutes before halftime, trailing 19-17.
"We just made some mistakes from there and didn't take care of the ball," Reed said.
Pyramid translated that into a 27-19 halftime lead.
"In the second half we couldn't buy a basket. We only scored 10 more points."
Reed said he was especially pleased with the effort post player Lane Pawloski put in.
Pawloski finished with 13 points and 16 rebounds.
The Falcons got a little payoff in their improvement Saturday, beating Gerlach 64-11.
"We told the kids Friday night that they just need to cut down on their turnovers and play more for execution," Reed said.
"They did a real nice job and reduced their turnovers significantly."
Pawloski and Nick DePaoli each scored 14 points, Jonah Young added 13 and Bob DePaoli finished with 10.
Pawloski pulled down 13 rebounds, Nick DePaoli had seven to go with eight assists and Bob DePaoli had six boards.
Sierra Lutheran hosts Coleville Thursday night at 6 p.m. at the St. Gall Pastoral Center.
"We're really looking forward to playing Coleville and seeing if we can improve," Reed said. "Now that we have a home at St. Gall, the kids really like that. They feel like they are a little more at home."
The girls' game starts at 4:30 p.m. Thursday and the junior varsity game begins at 3 p.m.
The Falcons' junior varsity squad is coming off its first-ever win against Coleville last week. Sierra Lutheran won the game 29-25.