SPRING CREEK — Currently, the Spring Creek girls basketball team is No. 4 in the Division 3A North standings.
The Lady Spartans (11-9 overall, 8-5 in league) are tied with Elko (10-10 overall, 8-5 in league) but own the head-to-head advantage with a 41-37 victory on Jan. 15, in Spring Creek.
In order to keep its hold on the No. 4 seed, Spring Creek must keep winning.
Facing a weekend home stand against a pair of playoff-bound teams, the Lady Spartans will first tip off against No. 6 Fallon (10-10 overall, 8-6 in league) at 6 p.m. Friday.
In the first meeting, the defending state champions — the Lady Greenwave — dug out a narrow, 42-40 win over the Lady Spartans on Jan. 3, in Fallon.
However, in the matchup — Spring Creek was playing with a limited number of varsity players and without its coach.
In a program-decided disciplinary move, the Lady Spartans went on the road with just three varsity ballers — a host of junior varsity call-ups playing admirably in their opportunities.
Fallon junior Madi Whitaker knocked down three 3s and finished with a game-high 15 points, three rebounds, two assists and a steal.
She was joined in double digits by 12 points from senior Makenzee Moretto, who snagged seven boards, made a steal and blocked a shot.
Spring Creek was paced by 12 points apiece from junior Kylee Dimick and sophomore Payge Walz.
Dimick reeled in a game-best 15 rebounds for a double-double, came away with a game-high five steals and blocked a shot — Walz posting an all-around effort as well with eight boards, a team-high four assists, three takeaways and a game-best three blocks.
In the first varsity game of her career, freshman Taylor Brunson did a little of everything — nearing double figures with eight points, jerking down four rebounds, dishing two assists, making a swipe and stuffing a shot.
Senior Karlee Hitchcock posted five points, four rebounds, two steals, an assist and a block for the Lady Greenwave — junior Shaylee Fagg notching three points, three boards and a swat.
Senior Kinsli Rogne went for two points, three rebounds, a team-high three assists and a steal; junior Addison Sandberg scored two points, pulled in three boards and dished an assist and sophomore Shaylee Coldwell added two points, three rebounds and a steal.
Fallon’s scoring was capped by a free throw from junior Sam Frost, who closed with three rebounds and three takeaways.
Without scoring, junior Aisha Sharron impacted the outcome with a team-high nine rebounds, two steals and a dime.
Spring Creek freshman Ella Buzzetti finished with five points, five rebounds, an assist and a steal in her first varsity contest.
Senior Amanda Goicoechea rounded out the Lady Spartans’ offense with three points, three rebounds, two steals and a stuff.
In other inaugural varsity games, sophomore Hayden Youngblood made four rebounds, sophomore Myah Baisley grabbed a board and sophomore Riley Moon added a block.
Spring Creek possesses a wide array of advantages over Fallon in a number of statistical areas, stemming primarily from the interior.
The Lady Spartans score 49.2 points and make 33 percent of their shots, while the Lady Greenwave average 41.3 points and connect on 31 percent of their field goals.
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In the middle, Spring Creek does a number on its opponents on the backboards with 37.1 rebounds per game — Fallon averaging 31.1 rebounds.
The Lady Spartans’ defense also deters attempts with 3.6 blocks per game, the Lady Wave swatting 1.2 shots.
Fallon holds a large lead in takeaways; however, making 17.3 steals — Spring Creek averaging 12.6 swipes.
The Lady Wave also dish to teammates for 10.7 assists, the Spartans diming to scores 9.7 times per game.
Scoring — Whitaker at 9.1 points, Moretto and Sharron (7.1), Hitchcock (6.9), Fagg (3.4), Sandberg (3.2), Rogne (3.1) and sophomore Addison Smith (2.7)
Rebounding — Sharron at six boards, Hitchcock (4.7), Moretto (4.4), Sandberg (3.3), Whitaker (2.8), Fagg (2.7), Rogne (2.6) and Smith (2.1)
Assists — Rogne with 2.1 dimes, Whitaker (1.8), Fagg (1.6), Sandberg (1.5), Moretto (1.4) and Sharron (1.1)
Steals — Sharron at 2.8 takeaways, Whitaker (2.6), Moretto (2.1), Hitchcock (1.9), Rogne (1.8), Sandberg and Fagg (1.7), Frost, sophomore Sydney Jarrett and Coldwell (1.4)
Blocks — Whitaker with .5 swats
Scoring — Dimick with a league-high 14.7 points, Walz (10.0), junior Chelsea Ackerman (5.9), Brunson (5.3 in four games), sophomore Shyann Lamb (4.2), senior Ryley Ricks (4.1), junior Emma Campbell and freshman Rylee Keim (4.0), Buzzetti (3.5 in four games) and senior Elizabeth Canning (2.1)
Rebounding — Dimick with a league-best 10.1 boards, Buzzetti (8.8), Walz (5.6), Lamb (3.6), Brunson (3.5), Keim (3.3), Ackerman (3.1), Moon and Youngblood (3.0 in four games), Campbell (2.4), Goicoechea (2.3) and Ricks (2.0)
Assists — Ricks with 2.9 dimes, Campbell and Ackerman (1.4), Brunson and Buzzetti (1.3), Canning (1.1) and Lamb (1.0)
Steals — Dimick at 2.5 takeaways, Walz (1.9), Buzzetti and Ricks (1.8), Ackerman (1.6), Lamb (1.3), Baisley (1.3 in four games) and Campbell and Keim (1.1)
Blocks — Brunson with one rejection, Dimick (.8) and Walz (.7)
The Lady Spartans (11-9 overall, 8-5 in league) will look to maintain their No. 4 position in the league standings and leave the door open for climbing up versus defending state champ Fallon (10-10 overall, 8-6 in league) at 6 p.m. Friday, in Spring Creek.
Spring Creek will close its season home games at 1 p.m. Saturday against No. 3 Lowry (12-8 overall, 10-3 in league as of Thursday).
In the first meeting, the shorthanded Lady Spartans played the Lady Bucks closely but fell 47-42 on Jan. 4, in Winnemucca.