Fernley girls face key matchups this weekend

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Robert Perea, The Fernley Reporter

More than two months of work could come down to the next four days for the Fernley High School girls basketball team.

Sitting in fourth place in the East Division of the Northern 3A entering this weekend, the Vaqueros could determine their playoff fate with games Friday and Monday against Fallon and Saturday against Lowry.

The Vaqueros are 5-4 in league play and lead Fallon by a half game for the final playoff seed, heading into their matchup at 6 p.m. Friday night. The teams will then square off again in Fallon at 6 p.m. Monday night, to make up a game that was postponed in January. In between, the Vaqueros will host Lowry at 1 p.m. Saturday.

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The top four teams in the East Division make Northern 3A Region Tournament. The Vaqueros are one game behind third-place Elko, but lose the Tiebreaker to the Indians for seeding, after losing a close battle in Elko last Saturday.

With moving up not likely, The Vaqueros will have to fend off Fallon for the fourth seed to make the playoffs.

Last weekend the Vaqueros split two games on the road, outlasting Spring Creek in overtime, 41-40, then losing 50-45 at Elko, then they lost at Lowry, 58-35, in a makeup game from an earlier postponement.

At Spring Creek, the Vaqueros battle back from a double-digit deficit to win in overtime.

Kaiserita Otuafi led Fernley with 15 points and Jaelece Wasson added 13. Lashay Stephens hit a key 3-pointer in overtime for the Vaqueros.

“Exciting game,” said coach Tom Kingston. “The girls fought back in a big way.”

Saturday the Vaqueros got off to a slow start, trailing Elko 17-9 in the first quarter. They managed to pull closer, but couldn’t make up the early deficit.

No stats were available for the game.

Monday, they went to Winnemucca to make up a game that was postponed a couple weeks earlier. But couldn’t keep up with the league’s top team.

Wasson led the Vaqueros with 10 points.

“Even though we lost against a solid basketball team, the Fernley girls did a lot of good things to give us brighter days ahead of us,” Kingston said.

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