Robert Perea, The Fernley Reporter
After ending a six-game losing streak with two wins last weekend, the Fernley boys basketball team will try to climb up the Northern 3A standings.
Friday against Lowry, Fernley exploded for 22 points in the third quarter, turning an 8-point deficit to a 10-point lead, and held on in the fourth quarter to beat win 42-36.
“We needed the win,” coach Derek Miller said. “Our kids have been working hard.”
Saturday, the Vaqueros got out of the gate quickly and held on in the second half to beat South Tahoe, 52-50.
With the wins, Fernley improved its record in the Northern 3A to 4-2, tied with Fallon for third place. Elko leads the league at 8-0 and South Tahoe is 5-2.
The Vaqueros host Dayton Friday night and Truckee Saturday afternoon. Dayton is tied with Spring Creek for fifth at 3-4, while Truckee is 2-5.
Last Friday, Lowry used a zone defense and physical play in the paint to shut down Fernley’s offense in the first half.
But that advantage was negated in the second half, as Fernley successfully sped up the tempo.
Fernley needed less than four minutes to erase Lowry’s 17-9 halftime lead. Zach Burns hit consecutive 3-pointers, the second one with 4:13 left in the quarter that gave Fernley a 22-20 lead, the first time the Vaqueros had led since it was 2-0.
Burns’ 3-pointers were part of a 17-2 run over the last 5:41 of the period that ended with Fernley holding a 31-21 lead.
Lowry got back within five when Dorsey Naveran scored with 2:28 left to make it 38-33, but Fernley spread the floor to run clock, and Burns sealed the game by making 5-of-6 free throws in the final 1:21.
It was Burns’ first game since injuring his ankle in a game against Yerington on Dec. 21.
“It was nice to get Zach back even though he wasn’t full speed, he came back and led us, so I was happy,” Miller said. “He’s our quarterback out there,” Miller said, gesturing toward the football field, “and he’s my quarterback, so that’s what we were missing.”
Burns scored 19 points for Fernley, and Drew Miller had 16.
At South Tahoe, the Vaqueros led 14-9 after one quarter and 28-16 at the half, and held on as the game tightened in the fourth quarter.
Burns led the Vaqueros with 14 points, while Russ Ortiz added 13 points and Drew Miller scored 10.