Boys basketball: Vaqueros face South Tahoe to open region tournament

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Robert Perea, The Fernley Reporter

The 2017-18 season has been largely defined by injuries for the Fernley High School boys basketball team.

To make a return to the state tournament, they’ll have to overcome yet another one.

The Vaqueros enter the 3A Northern League Tournament against South Tahoe at 8 p.m. Thursday in Elko.

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Fernley enters the tournament as the No. 4 seed with a 10-6 record in league play. South Tahoe is the No. 5 seed after finishing league play 9-7.  The winner will play Elko Friday at 8 p.m. The championship game is scheduled for 5 p.m. Saturday.

The Vaqueros navigated the league season with four and three-game winning streaks and a three-game losing streak, mostly coinciding with the losses and returns of injured players.

Senior Zach Burns suffered an ankle injury in December, but his return sparked a four-game winning streak.

But that streak ended, and the Vaqueros lost three consecutive games, after sophomore Drew Miller broke his hand in practice before the team’s trip to Elko and Spring Creek.

The Vaqueros then won three games in a row, but that streak ended in a 46-38 loss to Dayton on Feb. 9, in a game in which junior Jay King broke his arm.

Both Miller and King will miss the league tournament.

“I am very proud of how our kids have responded to so many injuries this season,” coach Derek Miller said. “They continue to work hard in practice and are excited to play South Tahoe at zone.”

Photos by Michael Michaelsen, For the Fernley Reporter

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