ELKO – The Elko boys basketball team’s victory Saturday over Dayton did a number of things.
The Indians’ 66-34 win over the Dust Devils kept Elko’s unbeaten record intact in the Division 3A North – improving to 12-0 – but the victory also solidified a No. 1 seed in the regional tournament, booking the seventh straight regular-season regional title for the Indians.
Elko jumped on Dayton early, limiting the Dust Devils to five points in the opening frame, the Indians scoring 16 of their own.
Of the Indians’ 16 points in the first, seven were scored by senior Jose Zataray – including a three-point play on an And-1.
Elko’s other nine points in the first came on three 3s: one each by freshman Sean Klekas, senior Ryan Wickersham and junior Alex Klekas.
Scoring was even more difficult to come by for the Dust Devils in the second period, mounting just four points.
The Indians matched their game high of 19 points in the second quarter, led by six points each from Sean Klekas – two 3s – and senior Jeron Yopps.
Alex Klekas scored four points in the period, and Wickersham buried his second three of the game.
At the break, Elko built a 26-point lead of 35-9.
The hot shooting of Sean Klekas continued and paced a 19-point third period for the Indians, connecting on his fourth and fifth triples of the game and adding a deuce – scoring eight points in the frame.
Dayton posted its best offensive frame of the contest in the third, scoring 13 points – four points coming from senior Trevor Burrows and gaining a three each by freshman Lance Peterson, sophomore Keerat Bhullar and junior Joey Martinez.
Elko led by 32 points after the third quarter, entering the fourth with a 54-22 advantage.
The fourth period played out evenly, each team scoring 12 points – Elko junior Cooper Jones scoring five in the final frame with a deuce and a triple.
Bhullar scored five in the fourth for the Dust Devils, knocking down his second three and adding a two-pointer.
Elko rolled to a 66-34 victory and its seventh-consecutive No. 1 seed for the playoffs.
Sean Klekas scored a game-high 17 points, 15 coming on five 3s.
Burrows led the Dust Devils with 13 points.
Elko scored the ball with balance, Yopps finishing in double digits with 10 points.
Zataray and Alex Klekas approached double figures with nine points each for the Indians.
Wickersham’s six points point came on two triples, and Jones followed with five points.
As a team, Elko knocked down 10 3s.
Peterson and Bhullar each made two 3s and closed with eight points apiece for Dayton.
“We looked OK. We did enough to win the game,” said Elko coach Chris Klekas. “We locked up our seventh league title in a row. We have to keep improving and play our best ball the next few weeks.”
DAYTON – 5 – 4 – 13 – 12 – 34 Total
ELKO – 16 – 19 — 19 – 12 – 66 Total
The Indians will play their last two road games of the year, closing the season with two games at home.
Elko will play at 7:30 p.m. Friday in Sparks, closing the road slate with a 2:30 p.m. tipoff Saturday in Truckee.