Heading to the locker room after watching his team hold Fernley to nine first half points Friday night, Lowry coach Chad Peters figured the second half would be a little different.
It turned out to be a lot different, and in this case, change wasn’t good for the Buckaroos.
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 Lowry, 42-36.
“The third quarter killed us,” Peters said. “We didn’t survive that one quarter that killed us and we missed a few free throws in a row that kind of killed our momentum.”
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. Fernley’s 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.
“We came out with high energy, and we knew Zach was going to be slow going his first game back, so we were just trying to kind of contain him a little bit and not let him have open threes,” Peters said. “They kind of weathered the storm and survived us. They’re at home, they should be able to do that.”
Naveran led Lowry with 15 points, doing most of his damage inside, where Lowry held an advantage when they were able to keep the game in the half court. Oscar Juanes had six points for Lowry, on two 3-pointers
“We pounded it inside, that’s our strength, but we couldn’t make any outside looks,” Peters said.
Burns scored 19 points for Fernley, and Drew Miller had 16.