Boys’ basketball: Falcons open season with win
With no seniors on the roster and with three returning starters, the Sierra Lutheran High School boys’ basketball team knew it had a bright future.
After last Friday’s season-opener, however, it appears the future may not be as far away as the Falcons initially thought.
Sierra Lutheran cruised to a 52-22 win over Rain Shadow High School of Sparks.
Juniors Lane Pawloski and Zane Waite led the Falcons early on as Sierra Lutheran carried a 19-2 lead through the first quarter.
Team captain, Taylor Love, also a junior, keyed the floor game with four assists and five steals while Pawloski, Waite and sophomore Chris Toll combined for 32 rebounds.
Waite finished with 29 points in the game, Pawloski scored six, sophomore Jonah Young scored six and Toll finished with five points.
Defensively, junior Stephen Deterding and sophomore Ryan Jackson led the way.
Pawloski, Love and Deterding come in to the season as the Falcons’ big returners.
Entering the year at 6-5, Pawloski is expect to play a big role in the middle.
“His game is developing continually,” Sierra Lutheran coach Norm Brauer said. “He is working hard and I really think he is in line for a successful season.”
Love, 5-9, has been the floor general at point guard for the past several seasons.
“He’s really starting to see the floor and understand the complexity of the game,” Brauer said. “It’s exciting to watch him develop. He was our most valuable defender last year and he always takes on the toughest assignment in the backcourt. He is one of those who is always working back there and he shows a lot of endurance.”
Brauer said Deterding is the team’s top off-ball defender and will fill into the grinder role.
“He’s a swingman who makes those subtle contributions to the game,” Brauer said. “He always seems to be in the right place at the right time. He’s a great kid.”
Waite, a solid 6-4 forward, comes to the team after transferring from California.
“He’ll help us both scoring and rebounding,” Brauer said. “He’s still learning the system a bit and getting acquainted with the kids, but I anticipate he’ll be a big part of our team this year.”
Outside of the strong core of juniors, the Falcons will have to depend on underclassmen to fill out their eight-man rotation.
“We’re kind of back to where we have been in our prior years in that we are young and we have no seniors,” Brauer said. “We’ll be looking to three or four sophomores to step into some pretty large roles.”
Toll, a transfer in from Virginia City, will lead the class along with Young (5-11), Jackson and Bob DePaoli (5-11) who both some limited action at the varsity level last year.
“Jonah will help us out in the backcourt a lot and Bob jumps well,” Brauer said. “He is pretty strong, but still learning the game. He has a lot of raw talent and he is willing to put in the work to hone it.”
Sierra Lutheran will run mostly zone defense because of its limited depth and will look to run several versions of motion offense, depending mostly on a flex system.
“We like to see what fits best with the kids and let them play in what they are most comfortable with,” Brauer said. “We’re just looking to play hard this season and build a solid foundation for the next few years.
“They are very aware that there is a strong future here and we are working witha great group of kids that will hopefully all be back next year.”
The Sierra Lutheran girls’ team opened its season as well Friday night, picking up a 29-22 victory over Gabbs.
— Joey Crandall can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or at (775) 782-5121, ext. 212.