LAS VEGAS – Fallon is now La La Land. Or Lani Land, as in Lani Otuafi.
And add “Land” to all the Greenwave girls basketball players, Zoey and Faith and Leta and all rest.
Fallon rolled to its first-ever school championship in girls basketball, beating Lowry, 54-38, Saturday at Cox Pavilion in Las Vegas.
Fallon sophomore Lani Otuafi, the Northern 3A MVP, scored 10 points, her sister Leta Otuafi had 14 and Faith Cornmesser had 11. Zoey Swisher, Fallon’s lone senior contributed five points in her final game.
The players planned to celebrate Saturday night by hitting a Las Vegas buffett, hard.
Lani Otuafi, whose given name is Leilani Otuafi, smiled and said, “My favorite part was when the clock hit zero and everybody started jumping and everybody got together. It is the best feeling in the world.”
It was the fourth time this season Fallon has beaten Lowry.
Fallon coach Anne Smith said it was tough to beat the same team four times.
“It was tough today, for sure. They’re well coached and I knew we’d be in a dogfight,” Smith said,.
“They had a good game plan. They put that zone defense on us and we had to settle. Once we got into our offensive rhythm, we did OK.”
She said getting the lead early was critical to the Fallon’s game plan.
Lowry opened the game with a 3-pointer, but Fallon closed out the first quarter on a 15-3 run.
Lowry got within four, 20-16, with 3 minutes, 12 seconds remaining in the second quarter. Fallon led, 31-21 at the half, and 46-26, after three quarters.
Smith said Swisher is, “the heart and soul of the team. Because she is the only senior. She gets everybody going.”
Fallon made 18-of-24 free throws, while Lowry was 9-for-13 from the line.
Lowry junior Hailey Hinkle hit a 3-pointer right before the halftime buzzer. Sydney Connors led the Buckaroos with 14 points.
Lowry only lost to two teams this season, Reed and Fallon.
Lowry coach Chelsea Cabatbat was proud her team worked hard until the end.
“Their press killed us. (Fallon) is a good team, but we fought til the end and I’m proud of my girls,” she said.
She will lose seven seniors from the team.
In the other state tournament games Saturday, in the boys 3A championship, Desert Pines beat Cheyenne, 69-46.
In the boys 2A championship, Agassi Prep beat Adelson, 60-43.
In the girls 2A championship, Needles beat Agassi Prep, 64-54.