Girls basketball: Vaqueros hit holidays with 3-0 league record

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Robert Perea, The Fernley Reporter

With much bigger challenges ahead, it was mission accomplished Saturday afternoon for the Fernley High School girls basketball team.

The Vaqueros took care of business in a mostly uneventful affair, beating Sparks 48-31 to improve their record in the Northern 3A to 3-0.

Eight different players scored for Fernley, led by Hailee Edgar’s 10 points. Karli Burns had eight points, Jaiden Sullivan scored seven and both Brittney Gaitan and Natalie Stewart added five.

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“Got the job done, we’re 3-0 in league, so just plain and simple happy,” coach John Rogers said.

The Vaqueros controlled matters from the start, leading 11-2 after a quarter and by as much as 25-7 in the second quarter. Fernley led 48-23 in the fourth quarter before Sparks scored the last eight points of the game.

The Vaqueros used their fullcourt pressure to create easy opportunities, but were less successful in halfcourt settings against Sparks’ zone defense.

“Whenever we decided to go uptemp we were able to get deflections and steals and the girls did a really good job of pushing the ball upcourt and getting transition buckets,” Rogers said. “In the halfcourt we just kind of let them lull us to sleep a little bit with the zone, but we’ll get better as the season goes on.”

The Vaqueros will resume league play after New Year’s, but will be tested over the break.

The first of those tests came Monday night, when they lost 40-29 to Douglas.

After facing a Sparks team that tried to slow the temp with its zone, the Vaqueros ran into a Douglas team that pressured fullcourt for 32 minutes. While the Vaqueros turned the ball over occasionally against the press, the bigger problem was being unable to convert when they beat it.

“We tallied it up and I think we missed at least 20 shots inside the key,” Rogers said. “You hit half of them, you win the game. That’s the bottom line.”

Still, Rogers said the loss will benefit the Vaqueros later this season, when they face some of the better teams in league play who play a similar style.

“This is a perfect game for us,” he said. “Now we know some things we got to focus on to get better at.”

Condie led Fernley with 11 points and Sullivan scored nine.

A 3-pointer by Sullivan on the first play of the second quarter gave Fernley a brief 15-14 lead, but it turned out to be the last time Fernley led. Douglas scored the next nine points and pulled away to lead by as much as 40-25 in the closing moments of the game.

“Our defensive effort was outstanding,” Rogers said. “It showed holding them to 40 points, but we couldn’t make a basket. You make baskets, it’s a different game.”

Green Valley Gator Winter Classic Rancho next Wednesday, That’s what’s best about it. This is great because it will help get us ready for the top teams in our league.

The Vaqueros are off until after Christmas, when they had to the Green Valley Gator Winter Classic. They will play Rancho on Dec. 27, Central (Fort Pierce, Fla.) Dec. 28 and Rolling Hills Prep (San Pedro, Calif.) Dec. 29.

The next league game is at home, Jan. 2 against Fallon.

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