EUREKA – The Jackpot Jaguars winning the Division 1A Northern-East is merely a formality, holding a two-game lead with two games left – it’s over – they will be the No. 1 seed of the Northern-East in the 1A North regional tournament.
Jackpot played on the road Saturday against Eureka, owning the contest from the opening tip.
The Jaguars broke the gate and ripped off 20 points in the opening period, the Vandals finishing with 12 in the frame.
Senior Ricky Miramontes ignited the offensive explosion, scoring 18 of Jackpot’s 20 points in the first quarter.
The second quarter served as the most competitive eight-minute stretch of the contest, the Vandals approaching 20 points and closing with 19.
Jackpot kept pace and scored 18 points in the second period, taking a 38-32 lead into the locker room.
The frame that booked the fates of each team took place in the third period.
The Jaguars not only remained consistent on the offensive end, the defense absolutely locked up the Vandals up – allowing just two points.
The lead ballooned to 22 points, Jackpot on the high side at 56-34 going into the fourth.
In the final period, Jackpot outscored Eureka 17-10 and cruised to a 73-44 victory over the team that was tied for second place in the league standings.
The Jaguars improved to 8-0 in league play, dropping the Vandals to 6-3 and to third in the 1A Northern East.
Miramontes closed with a game-high 29 points, 18 coming in the first period – banging home six 3s.
Junior Jerry Martinez joined Miramontes in the 20-point-plus club, finishing with a smooth 20.
He also grabbed a game-high seven steals.
Sophomore Chace Green paced Eureka with 13 points, knocking down three triples.
He led the Vandals with 14 rebounds – finishing with a double-double – also dishing a team-best two assists.
Junior Abraham Martinez scored 11 points for the Jaguars.
Junior Tristin Birchim and sophomore Gage Hayward each scored 10 points, six of Hayward’s 10 coming on two 3s.
Hayward collected seven rebounds, Birchim pulling down six boards.
Senior Eduardo Avila stuffed the stat sheet – scoring six points, dishing a team-high seven assists, grabbing five rebounds and making three steals.
Senior Michael Salas also had a good all-around game – finishing with three points, seven rebounds, two assists and two steals.
JACKPOT – 20 – 18 – 18 – 17 – 73 Total
EUREKA – 13 – 19 – 2 – 10 – 44 Total
“Ricky really came out ready to shoot. His performance really helped balance Eureka’s attack. We really needed someone to have a big game. Hugo Sanchez was a game-time decision and only played a minute in the game,” said Jackpot coach Carlos Perez. “We really figured things out coming out of the half. Our team settled down and got after it. Our bench played a big role this game. Manny Salas and Carlos Camacho really gave us some big minutes.”
The postseason is virtually set.
Jackpot will be the No. 1 seed and Owyhee will be the No. 4 seed.
The only seeds to settle will be whether McDermitt (7-2) or Eureka (6-3) flop positions for No. 2 and No. 3.
The Braves hold a two-game lead over Carlin for fourth with two games remaining, but Owyhee swept the season series – eliminating the Railroaders from postseason contention.
The Jaguars will play at 5 p.m. MST on Friday against Owyhee in Jackpot, closing the regular season at 2:30 p.m. Saturday in Carlin.