Robert Perea, The Fernley Reporter
Despite a handful of returning players from the team that reached the Northern 3A Regional Tournament last season, the Fernley High School girls basketball team takes the floor to begin this season with a young roster that includes six sophomores and a freshman.
But, coach John Rogers says, it’s also a roster that includes a good mix of size and quickness, which will enable the Vaqueros to play different styles of play with different lineups.
“We’re still jelling a little better every day, still figuring each other’s strengths and weaknesses,” Rogers said. “It’s coming. As a coach you’re never quite satisfied, but they’re putting in the work and the time and commitment.”
The Vaqueros are opening the season this week at the High Sierra Winter Challenge, where they lost their opening game, 51-43 to Lassen (Calif.).
Rogers said the Vaqueros played very nervous and panicky at the start.
“It took a while to figure things out,” Rogers said.
The Vaqueros trailed by 12 at one point in the first half and battled back and even took the lead a couple times in the third and fourth quarters.
“Down the stretch we couldn’t make shots and Lassen pulled away at the free throw line,” Rogers said. “Turnovers and confidence were the key to the loss.”
Even so, Rogers said he saw some good things. Hailee Edgar finished with 18 points to lead the Vaqueros, and hit four 3-pointers.
The Vaqueros are scheduled to play again Friday at 4:30 p.m. at Spanish Springs against Heritage (Littleton, Colo.), then at 9 a.m. Saturday against Casa Roble (Orangevale, Calif.).
The three games in the tournament give the Vaqueros a chance to continue that jelling process, as Rogers determines which groups of players play best together, and in what style.
The Vaqueros have only one senior, Hailee Edgar, who as a first-team all-league player last season. Edgar is the team’s point guard, but Rogers said with several good guards on the team, other players will play point guard at times, letting Edgar play off the ball.
With several good guards, and with some size, Rogers said the Vaqueros will play different styles with different players on the floor. They will be able to spread the floor when they have big post players on the floor, or press fullcourt with a quicker lineup.
“It will be like football style, with a series of concepts when taller post players on the floor, and a series when we go smaller and quicker,” Rogers said. “The girls have accepted that and what their roles are.”
Rogers hopes to come out of this weekend with a better feel for the way the team will play best, and he said the tournament is a good format for that.
“It’s a good test because I don’t know lot about any team we’re playing,” he said. “We can go out and see where we’re at. I like it because we’re not playing a league opponent or a team in our school district.”