Fernley girls hope to be tested in McQueen Tournament
Robert Perea, The Fernley Reporter
After rolling to 11 consecutive wins against mostly overmatched opponents, the Fernley High School girls basketball team figures to face significantly tougher competition this week in the Varsity Elite Tournament at McQueen.
The Vaqueros are scheduled to start the tournament Tuesday against Galena at 9:30 a.m., then come back at 6:30 p.m. to face Reno. Wednesday they face the host McQueen at 8 p.m. before finishing the tournament Thursday against Loyalton (Calif.).
The Vaqueros come in on an 11-game winning streak with a 12-2 overall record, most recently having beaten South Tahoe 58-16 on Dec. 7, Wooster 56-19 on Dec. 10, Truckee 63-21 on Dec. 14 and Sparks 61-22 on Dec. 17.
In each of those four games, much of the second halves were played with a running clock due to Nevada’s mercy rule.
Coach Ralph Dunn said games against overmatched foes like that present a dilemma, because he doesn’t want to run up the score, but also doesn’t want to tell his players to let up, particularly when some of the players on the floor haven’t otherwise gotten much playing time.
And with the Northern 3A East dominating the West so far this season in crossover matchups, Dunne expects league play after New Year’s Day to bring stiffer competition. He said facing tough competition this week will help prepare the Vaqueros for their difficult assignment to open league play next week, a trip to face Spring Creek and Elko on back-to-back days on Jan. 6-7.
The Vaqueros have been led so far this season by sophomore Jaelece Wasson, who is averaging 15.3 points and 5.1 rebounds per game. Scoring behind Wasson has been very balanced, with Tia Otuafi averaging 8 points per game, Nadia Velazquez tallying 7.6 points, and three others scoring more than 5 points per game.