Robert Perea, The Fernley Reporter
The Fernley High School boys basketball team won its fifth consecutive game Saturday afternoon, beating Lowry 61-44 in Winnemucca.
Zach Burns scored 23 points, including three 3-pointers, Drake Howe added 16, and the Vaqueros broke the game open with a big third quarter.
“That’s not an easy place to win,” coach Derek Miller said.
The Vaqueros followed the same recipe that has worked throughout their recent winning streak – strong defense, good free throw shooting and enough offense to get by.
This time the Vaqueros shot the ball better than they had during the rest of the streak.
“Which is weird because a lot of people don’t like those fan backboards,” Miller said.
Fernley built a 15-point lead in the first half, but Lowry clawed back into the game before the break.
Leading 26-20 at the half, the Vaqueros scored 25 points in the third quarter, 10 of them by Burns, to open a 51-33 advantage.
“In the first half we took some ill-advised shots and got sloppy,” Miller said. “But we had a 25-13 run in the third and kind of sealed it from there.”
Fernley made 16 of 19 free throws.
The win moved Fernley to 7-2 in the Northern 3A and 13-5 overall.
The Vaqueros play again next Thursday, at Truckee in a game that has been postponed twice because of weather. They also host South Tahoe next Friday.
Miller said the Vaqueros’ goal is to earn a first-round bye for the regional tournament, which means finishing first or second in the league. They are one of three teams with two losses in league play, with South Tahoe and Spring Creek, while Elko leads the league at 7-1.
“The kids are starting to realize we don’t have a lot of time left,” Miller said. “The season winds down quick, and we only have a couple of weeks left, and then the regional.”
Correction: This story originally said the Vaqueros host South Tahoe next Saturday.