JEROME, Idaho – After its first game of the Magic Valley Holiday Classic, the Elko boys basketball team remains unbeaten.
The Indians used a big second half offensively and pulled away for a 66-55 victory over Pocatello on Tuesday night.
The Indians started slowly in the first quarter but received shots of life from freshman Sean Klekas and senior Angelo Antoniou.
Klekas buried a three and added a deuce, Antoniou making an impressive And-1 finish for a three point play toward the end of the period with a behind-the-back move.
Senior center Jeron Yopps gave the Indians two buckets in the opening frame, and junior Ronin Rowley stepped out and knocked down a triple.
The Indians led 15-11 at the end of the first, but the other Indians – Pocatello – took the fight to Elko in the second quarter.
Pocatello put up 16 points in the second period – limiting Elko to 12 – tying the ballgame entering halftime.
Antoniou kept Elko afloat in the second, scoring five points and sinking a triple.
The three ball served Pocatello well in the second quarter, knocking down four 3s in the frame – two by Kaden Hales and one each from Isaac Brown and Tyler Olson.
With the score locked up 27-all going into the third, the Elko Indians found their best stuff of the contest.
Elko heated up and poured in 22 points in the period, limiting Pocatello to single digits in the frame with nine, the eight-minute span serving as the difference maker in the outcome.
The Indians scored the ball with balance across the floor, earning six points apiece from junior Alex Klekas – including an And-1 – and senior Jose Zataray scoring six on three field goals in the frame.
Yopps put in five points during the third and Sean Klekas buried his second three of the contest.
The Elko Indians opened a 49-36 advantage going into the fourth, which proved to be a back-and-forth offensive affair.
In the final eight minutes, the teams combined for 36 points – Pocatello posting 19 and Elko finishing with 17.
The lead the Elko Indians built in the third quarter was too much to overcome, defeating the Pocatello Indians by a final score of 66-55.
Elko finished with four players in double digits, Antoniou and Yopps tying for the team with 13 points apiece – Antoniou scoring eight of his 13 in the first half.
Zataray scored 10 of his 12 points in the second half, and Sean Klekas led the charge from the outside with two 3s – finishing with 10 points.
Alex Klekas nearly gave Elko five players in double figures and closed with nine points, six coming in the third quarter.
Ryan Wickersham finished with five points and nailed a triple, and all of Rowley’s three points came on a deep strike in the first period.
Brown and Hales tied for the game high with 18 points each for Pocatello, Brown scoring 11 in the fourth quarter and Hales connecting on three 3s in the first half.
Olson served as the third player in double digits for Pocatello, dropping seven of his 11 points in the first half.
ELKO – 15 – 12 – 22 – 17 – 66 Total
POCATELLO – 11 – 16 – 9 – 19 – 55 Total
Elko improved to 8-0 on the season and will look for its ninth win in its second game of the Magic Valley Holiday Classic, playing at 7:30 p.m. MST on Wednesday at Minico High School.