The Greenwave endured two Northern 3A defeats last week, losing to Elko and Spring Creek in back-to-back home matches.
Against Elko, Fallon suffered a crushing 63-29 loss, Jan. 6, but the Wave boys basketball team recovered Jan. 7 against the Spartans, coming just short of a win, 63-59. This brings them to a 6-8 overall standing and 3-3 in league.
Friday’s game can best be described as an assault of treys. Elko jumped to an early lead with a number of 3-point shots as the Greenwave was getting on their feet. The first quarter closed with the Indians holding a strong 20-7 lead.
As the second quarter began, Fallon fought back. The defense harried Elko and tried to keep the players from the net. Both teams were making lots of free throws, though Fallon had trouble sinking them. The first half closed with Elko leading 33-18.
The third quarter was chaos. Both teams played a hard defense with shots being blocked or hitting the rim. Elko was able to edge ahead thanks to another series of treys, closing the quarter 47-24.
The final quarter saw the Greenwave completely overwhelmed. The Indians pressed their attack and scored 16 points to Fallon’s five.
Fallon coach Brad Barton said they had trouble executing their plans. He did not think they performed well with stopping Elko’s 3-pointers. He said this was likely because the players were timid due to their youth — Elko’s team is almost all seniors and juniors where Fallon’s is mostly younger players.
“They (Elko) played physical,” Barton said. “Our guys don’t understand how physical the game is played because they’re so young.”
He added this kind of competition was good and it gave the players a look at what to strive for in practice.
Fallon’s Hayden Strasdin said he felt they could have stopped more of the turnovers and kept the game closer. He said they played sloppily and are better than the game showed.
Barton said Elko is the No. 1 team in the Northern 3A Basketball league and possibly the entire Northern Nevada area. He said he felt the 4A schools would also have a hard time playing the Indians.
“They’re well coached, and they execute their plans well,” Barton said.
Barton also said he was impressed with Strasdin’s performance. He said Strasdin played aggressively and used his 6-foot-3 height to bring the ball to the rim. The tallest person on the team, Barton had advised him to attack the basket and be stronger at the rim.
On Saturday the Greenwave rallied and came from behind, falling just short of victory against Spring Creek. The whole game, they kept within five points of the Spartans.
In the first quarter, Spring Creek took an early lead; but the Greenwave was right behind them and clawed their way back to a 3-point difference. By the end of the quarter, the home team was tailing Spring Creek 13-10.
The second quarter saw the Spartans try to break away, but Fallon kept close. For each score from Spring Creek, the Wave had one in return. While both teams greatly increased their score, the difference remained the same with 27-22 at halftime.
The second half saw much of the same. Spring Creek tried to break away but the Greenwave matched them. There were several points where Fallon closed to a 2-point difference before Spring Creek pulled away again. At the end of the third quarter, the Wave tied the game at 44 points. In the final seconds though, the Spartans made a final basket for 46-44.
The final quarter was the most intense yet. Both teams fought hard, trying to get the lead — each time it looked like Fallon would get ahead Spring Creek came back and scored enough to prevent it. Spectators were on their feet cheering as the clock ticked down. The Greenwave only needed two baskets to tie the game with just over a minute left. Fallon’s Elijah Jackson scored 2 points, and the Wave pushed to get one more basket in the final seconds. The Spartans broke through with four seconds left and Spring Creek’s Thomas Ledford opened the score to 63-59.
“Their No. 4 (Cooper Cavaness) played outstanding,” Barton said. “We didn’t expect him to be that hot; he really hurt us.”
Barton said they had a flat first half and didn’t play very effectively. The players fixed their strategies for the second half though and had a stronger game.
Jackson led the Greenwave, scoring 27 points; Barton said this was outstanding for them and made for a really good game. Dalton Kaady had a great game too, scoring 11 points with one 3-pointer and two free-throws. Barton said he was good at managing the floor and sparked the strong defensive action of the second half.
“Dalton plays with a lot of passion and he gets his team motivated, so it’s good to have him out on the floor,” Barton said.
The coach also commended Christian Nemeth. This was Nemeth’s first game back after a break from play, and he scored 10 points as well as getting three rebounds.
Barton said he was pleased with his team’s effort. His only criticism was the team needs to improve on stopping the opposition breaking away to score quick points. They will also work to improve responding to the coach calling plays — Barton said this was something they have been working on all season.