JACKPOT – The matchup of the top-two teams of the Division 1A Northern-East provided a close contest in the first half – not contest in crunch time.
Jackpot solidified its position as the No. 1 team in the league and remained unbeaten, outscoring No. 2 McDermitt 37-15 in the final 16 minutes.
The Jaguars cruised to a 74-45 victory over the Bulldogs, Jackpot taking a step closer to clinching the No. 1 seed of the 1A North regional tournament.
The offenses came ready to play in the first period, the Jaguars edging the Bulldogs 20-18.
The second quarter provided another close frame, Jackpot on the high side with a five-point advantage of 17-17.
At the break, Jackpot opened a 37-30 lead.
The key to the game in the final two quarters was Jackpot’s defense, complementing its consistent offensive attack.
McDermitt scored a game-low six points in the third period, the Jaguars scoring 15 and turning a seven-point lead in a 16-point cushion of 52-36 going into the fourth quarter.
In the fourth, the Jags continued to lock up the Bulldogs – allowing just nine points – while the Jackpot offense reaped the benefits and went off for a game-best 22 points in the final eight minutes.
Jackpot improved to 6-0 in league play with a 74-45 victory over McDermitt, sweeping the season series against the Bulldogs.
Five players scored in double digits for the Jaguars, led by a game-high 19 points from senior Ricky Miramontes.
Senior Eduardo Avila finished with 17 points and knocked down two 3s.
He dished a game-best seven assists, tied for the team high with four steals and grabbed nine rebounds.
Senior Michael Salas posted a double-double, scoring 15 points and yanking down a game-high 14 rebounds.
The Jags earned another double-double effort from sophomore Hugo Sanchez, who finished with 13 points and 11 boards, also coming away with three steals.
Jackpot did a great job of limiting McDermitt senior Cauy Crutcher, who scored a season high of 44 points on Jan. 12 in Carlin and followed with a 31-point effort on Jan. 13 at Owyhee – scoring 20 points or more in 11 contests this season.
He finished with 13 points Saturday.
Sophomore Ben Draunidalo had a game for the Bulldogs, leading McDermitt with 16 points and adding seven rebounds.
Jackpot junior Jerry Martinez served as the fifth player in double figures for the Jags, scoring 10 points.
He tied for the team high with four steals and grabbed four rebounds.
Senior Diego Navarro led McDermitt with 10 rebounds, adding four points.
Senior Duane Horse grabbed nine rebounds, scored three points, made three steals and dished two assists.
McDermitt was led the by the defensive effort of senior Duane Masters, who collected a game-high six steals.
He also scored five points, grabbed three boards and made two assists.
MCDERMITT – 18 – 12 – 6 – 9 – 45 Total
JACKPOT – 20 – 17 – 15 – 22 – 74 Total
“I was really proud of our defense in the second half. We really wanted to come out of the half playing tough, aggressive defense,” said Jackpot coach Carlos Perez. “Our defense turned into points in the second half. We knew we’d have to play a big game, and our team really stepped up.”
The Jaguars will host Wells (0-6 in league) at 6 p.m. MST on Wednesday in Jackpot.
The Bulldogs will host Carlin (1-6 in league) at 4:30 p.m. Friday in McDermitt.