Robert Perea, The Fernley Reporter
Defense carried the Fernley High School girls basketball team into the regional tournament last season.
It got them off to a good start this year.
The Vaqueros allowed Incline to score just 4 points in each of the last three quarters, keying a 37-21 win Friday afternoon in the first game of the season at the High Sierra Winter Challenge at Spanish Springs.
Taylor Richardson led the Vaqueros with 8 points, Brittney Gaitan had seven and Grace DeLeon scored 6.
But it was the work of their defense that keyed the win, and which please coach John Rogers most.
“Our defense is our staple,” Rogers said. “Our girls play great defense, and they feed off each other.”
The game looked like it might be a shootout early, and when Hailee Edgar converted a steal into a layup to eat the buzzer at the end of the first quarter, Fernley led 13-9.
But even though they only scored 6 points in the second quarter, the Vaqueros extended the margin to 19-11.
Fernley used its defense to generate points in the third quarter, scoring 6 of its 8 points in the quarter on fast breaks, pushing the lead to as much as 27-17. Incline went 7:20 without scoring, until Taylor Redfern hit a shot at the buzzer.
The Highlanders didn’t make a field goal in the fourth quarter.
“We expect to limit other teams’ scoring,” Rogers said. “I sent the girls a text before the game that you’re going to make mistakes, but you’re going to make some great plays. They did.”
The Vaqueros play Friday at 3 p.m. against Heritage (Littleton, Colo.).
Fernley scoring Brittney Gaitan 7 Grace DeLeon 6 Hailee Edgar 5 Taylor Richardson 8 Celeste Condie 5 Jaiden Sullivan 2 Amy Huckaby 2 Ali Conder 2
Photos by Robert Perea, The Fernley Reporter