There isn’t a better time to be hitting on all cylinders like the present.
Not to mention with a looming showdown with Northern Division I-A power Lowry.
But before the Fallon boys basketball team turns its attention to a home game with the Buckaroos (2:30 p.m. Saturday), the Wave visits pesky Dayton (1-4 league, 3-7 overall) at 7:30 p.m. today.
It is a critical stretch for the Wave in their chase to capture one of the top two seeds for the Northern DI-A regional tournament. A pair of wins would put Fallon back into the thick of the chase.
Riding a three-game winning streak, Fallon (2-2, 5-8) has been lifted by the improved play and scoring of junior guard Connor Richardson and senior guard Ettor Neiderauer.
Richardson scored 12 points and Neiderauer added 13 in Tuesday’s 57-45 win at Fernley.
The rise of the two guards has reduced the pressure on senior forward Jeff Evett, who poured in 19 against the Vaqueros.
The newfound scoring trio, meanwhile, has developed chemistry and become comfortable in the Wave’s offense. It also prevents opponents from solely focusing on Evett, one of the league’s leading scorers.
In addition to the scoring threats, Fallon’s defense has also stepped up its intensity.
“We got some rim stoppers,” Barton said. “You got to shoot over Clay (Davison) and Evett, so we can create some problems for teams trying to get to the rim.”
Also driving Fallon’s resurgence, Barton said, is newfound confidence. As a result, the offense is more fluid and the defense has stepped up its pressure.
As for Dayton, Barton is mindful of the Dust Devils despite a subpar start to the season. Dayton split the season-series last year in a pair of close games.
The Dust Devils lack of height, though, has hurt Dayton’s ability. They are coming off a 63-48 loss to South Tahoe on Tuesday.
Fallon, meanwhile, boasts one of the tallest lineups in the league and uses Evett (6-foot-5) and Clay Davison (6-6) as threats on the wings and in the post.
“Dayton is kind of scary because they always seem to play their best basketball against us,” Barton added. “We got to play our best basketball to beat them. I imagine they are going to stay in a 2-3 zone most of the time, so we’ve been working hard on the 2-3 zone.”
While Dayton may provide a tough challenge, Fallon knows it will have its hands full with the Buckaroos, who are coming off a state tournament appearance last year.
This season, however, Lowry (4-0, 9-5) has been less formidable as it squeaked past Truckee, 57-50, in overtime last week and nipped Sparks, 58-54, on Tuesday.
Still, the Buckaroos are led by a talented quartet.
Nathan Lutzow leads the team in scoring at 12.6 per game followed by Omar Guerrero (8.9), Garrett Naveran (8.8) and Christian Gray (8.0) Naveran leads the club in rebound with 4.8 boards per game.
Guerrero leads Lowry with 11 3-pointers and the team shoots 41 percent from the floor.
“We are playing pretty good basketball and the win against Fernley gave us some confidence,” Barton said. “Lowry just finds a way to win. They execute their game plan all the time.”
Fallon drops Fernley
The Wave held off a tough Vaqueros squad on Tuesday with a 57-45 win.
Fallon led throughout and built a 32-20 halftime lead. Fernley, though, rallied in the third quarter to trim the lead to three, but Fallon countered in the fourth quarter outscoring the Vaqueros 18-10.
“Fernley played a really tough basketball game,” Barton said. “We were playing pretty well also. With three guys (Evett, Neiderauer and Richardson) in double digits, we are always going to be in pretty good shape.”