PREPS: Taylor hits game-winner again to beat Fallon

FALLON - The rematch was just as exciting as the original.

In the end, Dylan Taylor scored the winning basket as time expired to lead to Dayton boys basketball team over Fallon, 60-58, on Saturday at Elmo Derrico Gym.

Fallon had a chance to take the lead but Tyler Schroder missed a layup and Dayton gobbled up the rebound and called timeout to set up the winning play. Marcos Macias took the inbound pass, found Jake Koch, who's pass was blocked by the Greenwave's Aaron Evett, but Koch regained possession and hit Taylor underneath the basket.

Taylor put up the shot, which bounced twice on the rim, before falling through the hoop for the win.

"We ran a play called Nevada," Dayton coach Jason Santos said. "They ran it perfect, but it was deflected and we got it back and scored. This is our whole season. If we lose, we are the No. 2 seed and have to go to Elko or go to Lowry."

Dayton, which lost to Yerington on Friday, locked up the 3A Lahontan League's No. 1 seed for the regional playoffs. Fallon, who beat ROP on Friday, secured the No. 2 seed.

Saturday's thriller was the second time this season the Dust Devils beat Fallon on a last-second game-winning shot. Dayton improves to 9-0 in league and 18-4 overall, while the Wave fall to 6-3 and 15-6.

Kage Walker had a game-high 18 points for Dayton and Evett had a team-high 15 points for Fallon.

"We had that opportunity to make some baskets," Fallon coach Chip Rutledge said. "Typically, Tyler makes that shot. He's the guy you want taking that shot. Sometimes they go, sometimes they don't."

To no one's surprise, the game was back-and-forth all night as Fallon took a 14-12 first quarter lead. Dayton responded with 21 points in the second quarter, led by eight from Koch, including a pair of 3-pointers.

Dayton was able to extend its lead to 39-32, the largest lead for either team, in the third period after Taylor hit a short jumper. The Wave cut the lead to 41-39 after Miles Adams hit a 3.

Adams opened the fourth quarter with a jumper and after Schroder's 3-point play, nailed another 3 to give Fallon a 49-47 lead. Fallon pushed its lead to 52-47 after an Evett 3, but Dayton wouldn't let the Wave pull away.

Trailing 55-49, Taylor hit a pair of free throws and Walker nailed a jumper to cut the lead to two. With 24 seconds left, Walker converted a 3-point play to tie the game at 58 and set up Taylor's heroics.

"It was a nail-bitter there," Rutledge said. "We had our chances. Some defensive assignments were missed."

Coming into the game, Fallon need to beat Dayton by three points or more to take over the top seed, as set by the tiebreaker, due to the Dust Devils two-point win on Jan. 28.

However, both teams knew the importance of this game. The No. 1 seed, Dayton, will likely host Truckee when the regional playoffs begin Feb. 18. Fallon, meanwhile, will travel to play the No. 1 seed in the Ruby Mountain League, currently Lowry.

"Now we get to host a home playoff game," Santos said.

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