Robert Perea, The Fernley Reporter
Playing at Lowry or Fallon is a tough enough task for any Northern 3A girls basketball contender.
This weekend, Fernley gets the challenge of facing both of them on consecutive nights.
The Vaqueros take a 5-2 league record, tied for third place, into this weekend’s contests, at 6 p.m. Friday at Lowry and 1 p.m. Saturday at Fallon.
Fallon leads the Northern 3A with a 7-0 record, while Lowry is the team tied with Fernley at 5-2.
The Vaqueros fell into the third place tie after suffering a 49-44 loss at Truckee last Friday, a game in which good first and fourth quarters weren’t enough to overcome Truckee’s control of the middle two frames.
The Vaqueros led 9-6 after a quarter, but were outscored 20-11 in the second quarter and 15-1 in the third, proving too big of a deficit to overcome in the fourth.
Jaiden Sullivan led Fernley with 16 points, while Karli Burns and Celeste Condie added 9 each.
Last Tuesday, the Vaqueros had blasted Sparks 54-8, in a game played with a running clock for the last 15 minutes.
In that game, Fernley led 11-0 before Sparks scored its first points with 3:22 left in the first quarter. They then scored 20 consecutive over the last minute of the first quarter and first 7:45 of the second.
Twelve of Fernley’s 13 players scored, led by McKenna Montgomery with 8.
Despite the lopsided score, coach John Rogers was impressed with the Railroaders.
“They didn’t make a lot of shots obviously,” Rogers said. “I thought they played hard on defense and they weren’t afraid to shoot. I know it doesn’t show on the scoreboard, but I think (coach Dorothy O’Mealia) is trying to do some good things for them.”
As for his own team, after playing in two early tournaments, including one the week of New Year’s Day, Rogers said the Vaqueros need to be prepared for the weekly grind of league play the rest of the way.
The Vaqueros went 2-2 in the Gator Winter Classis in Las Vegas, with wins over Sunrise Mountain and Valley, and losses to Flagstaff (Ariz.) and Foothill.
“It’s going to come down to preparation and execution,” Rogers said. “I’ll put my girls up against any set of girls in our league. I think we have just as much talent as anybody else. If we execute, we’re going to have success.”