Vaquero boys clinch No. 1 seed, girls aim to follow suit this weekend

Robert Perea, The Fernley Reporter

Johnnie Williams hit a 15-foot jumper with 15 seconds left in the game and a last-second 3-pointer by Elko’s Preston Chamberlin bounced off the back of the rim, allowing Fernley to escape with a 58-57 win in Elko last Friday night, and the Vaqueros backed that up with a win in Spring Creek Saturday to clinch the No. 1 seed for the 3A North Region tournament next week.

The Vaqueros will face Fallon Friday night and Lowry Saturday afternoon to finish the regular season as they attempt to complete an undefeated league season for the second year in a row.

The win over Elko gave the Vaqueros a two-game lead over the Indians with an 8-0 league record. The game was tight throughout, with neither team holding a lead larger than 6, but Elko held that advantage at 51-45 midway through the fourth quarter. But Williams scored the game’s next six points to tie it at 51-51 with a steal and layup with 3:10 left in the game.


With Elko leading 55-53, Sheldon Jacobson splashed a 3-pointer from the corner to put Fernley up 56-55 with 1:27 left in the game. Elko’s Derek Parker scored on a jump hook with 40 seconds left to put Elko back up 57-56, setting the stage for Williams, who cut off a screen and calmly buried a jumper from the left elbow of the foul line.

Williams had 22 points for the Vaqueros, 12 of them in the fourth quarter, while Bryce Dunagan-Stephens added 11.

Saturday the Vaqueros overcame a sluggish start, trailing by as much as 11 in the first half at Spring Creek before pulling away in the second half for a 73-61 win.

Spring Creek led 19-12 after a quarter and had a 27-16 edge early in the second, but Fernley went on a 22-8 run to end the half. Fernley then went up 13 in the third quarter, before Spring Creek clawed back within 54-47 heading to the fourth.

Spring Creek got as close as six, at 4:10 left in the game, but a basket by Williams and a steal and three-point play by Anthony Winters pushed the lead back to 11, ending the Spartans’ final threat.

Jacobson had 25 points for Fernley, with 16 for Williams and 12 for Winters.

After rolling to easy wins in Elko and Spring Creek last weekend, the Fernley High School girls basketball team heads into the final weekend of the regular season with the chance to earn the No. 1 seed for next weeks 3A North Region Tournament.

The Vaqueros play at Fallon at 6 p.m. Friday, then go to Lowry at 1 p.m. Saturday. They enter the weekend with a 1-game lead over Lowry for the top seed for the regional tournament with a, 8-0 league record. If Lowry beats Dayton Friday night, Saturday’s game will be for the regular-season league title and first seed for the tournament, regardless of what happens in Fallon Friday night.

The Vaqueros had little trouble last week, beating Elko 59-28 Friday night and Spring Creek 66-26 Saturday afternoon.

The Vaqueros opened the Elko game with a 10-0 run and led 12-3 after a quarter, and had things well in hand with a 35-12 halftime lead.

Jaelese Wasson led the way with 14 points and Taylor Tollestrup added 11.

In Spring Creek, the Vaqueros scored the first 22 points of the game and led 42-11 at the half.

Jasmyne Torres tied her season high with 18 points to lead Fernley, with Tia Otuafi adding 14 and both Tollestrup and Wasson scoring 10.

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