South Tahoe boys b-ball falls at Fallon, tied for 4th after first round |

South Tahoe boys b-ball falls at Fallon, tied for 4th after first round

Steve Puterski
South Tahoe guard Tommy Cefalu reads the defense with Fallon guard Taylen Cordes shadowing him during the Vikings’ 68-47 loss to the Greenwave last Saturday.
Steve Puterski / |

FALLON, Nev. — The South Tahoe basketball team traveled to Fallon for a critical league contest last Saturday — and the Greenwave delivered a much-needed and convincing win. The Vikings never led as Fallon rolled to a 68-47 victory in a Division I-A Northern matchup.

“We were playing from behind the whole game and our kids panicked a little bit — along with me as a coach,” Vikings head coach Joby Cefalu said. “We haven’t played from behind in situations like that from the first tip.”

Led by a balanced scoring attack, the Wave pulled away in the third quarter to improve to 5-3 in league play and 8-9 overall. South Tahoe fell to 5-3, 9-8.

“It was huge for us,” Fallon forward Jeff Evett said. “We started out strong and kept it going. I think we were attacking well and shots were falling early.”

Both clubs are still in the chase for the postseason, a race that became even tighter when Spring Creek (6-2, 8-2) knocked off Lowry (6-2, 11-7) 43-40, and are now tied with the Buckaroos for second place.

“Our league is very evenly matched — any team can beat anybody on any given night,” Cefalu said. “There’s going to be some shakeups that take place throughout the second half.”

Fallon’s third quarter blew the game open as the Wave outscored the Vikings 24-14 to push their lead to 53-35. Evett, who had a game-high 18 points, ignited the run with two jumpers and a three-pointer, while center Braxton Hunter added seven points in the period.

The Wave opened the quarter with a 14-4 run to grab a 43-25 lead.

South Tahoe’s offense struggled to crack Fallon’s 1-3-1 zone defense throughout Saturday’s game. Harry Moses-Chakmakis scored a team-high 13 points in the loss, Denzel Perez finished with 10 and Kirby David added nine.

“We knew exactly what they were going to play against us, we worked on it and prepared for it throughout the week — then unfortunately didn’t go out and execute the game plan,” Cefalu said. “We had a lot of good mid-range shots — 15-footers that just didn’t fall.”

“We stayed in that 1-3-1 … and it paid off,” Fallon coach Brad Barton said. “We are pretty long down the middle … it’s hard to skip the ball to the other side.”

Led by Evett, Fallon had three players in double figures as Connor Richardson and Dylan Ridenour each had 12 including a pair of three-pointers by Ridenour. Hunter finished the game with nine as Fallon concluded a weekend sweep. The Wave dropped Sparks 62-34 on Friday.

“I think they key was the way we finished our game against Sparks,” Barton said of the win over the Railroaders. “I think we took the momentum of that game and it drove right into this.”

Fallon’s balanced scoring attack kept the Vikings honest defensively and away from focusing solely on Evett. Ridenour and Richardson each were solid on the perimeter and slashing to the hoop.

“Our backcourt is really solid right now,” Barton said. “We got reinforcements coming off the bench. Everybody comes in and gets points.”

South Tahoe begins the second half of league play Friday night with a pair of home games in consecutive days at the Blue Gym. The Vikings host Lowry Friday night at 7:30 p.m. and face Truckee Saturday at 2:30 p.m.

“The kids will come back hungry — they had a great practice (Monday) and they know what they need to work on,” Cefalu said. “I’m happy with where we’re at — I think we’re in a perfect position.”

Tribune sports editor Anthony Gentile contributed to this report.

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