Robert Perea, The Fernley Reporter
The road to get there contains many obstacles, but the Fernley High School boys basketball team stayed in contention for a first round bye for the 3A North Region Tournament with a win Tuesday night in Dayton.
The Vaqueros beat Dayton 51-48 to remain tied for third place in the Northern 3a with a 9-3 record. They are one game behind South Tahoe for second place and a game and a half out of first, held by Elko with a 10-1 record.
This weekend will be a defining one for the Vaqueros, playing Friday at 7:30 at Spring Creek, which is tied with Fernley for third place, then visiting Elko Saturday at 2:30 p.m.
South Tahoe, meanwhile, plays at Sparks Friday and hosts Lowry Saturday. South Tahoe holds a tiebreaker advantage over the Vaqueros in the event of a head to head tie for second place by beating the Vaqueros in both meetings, but Fernley could win a 3-way tiebreaker for first if it sweeps this weekend’s game, because it would have beaten Elko twice in that scenario.
The top two teams get a bye for the first round of the regional tournament, which will be played Feb. 16-18 in Winnemucca.
In Dayton, the Vaqueros rallied from a fourth-quarter deficit to get past the DustDevils, 51-48.
Dayton held a 31-27 lead going to the fourth quarter, which Dayton stretched to 7 with about two minutes remaining, but after struggling offensively all night, the Vaqueros put 24 points on the board to pull out the win.
“We were lucky we got out with a win, but some nights you need that,” coach Derek Miller said.
Zach Burns was the only Fernley playing to score in double figures, with 24 points, including four 3-pointers. Justin Turner pitched in with 9 points, and both Drake Howe and Ren Arroyo scored 8, as Fernley shot just 32 percent from the floor, making 19 of 60 field goal attempts.
Trevor Burrows scored 20 points for Dayton, Jonathan Ply had 12 and Brenden Thomas added 10.