ELKO – The Lady Indians are two games better than .500 in league play for the first time.
Elko improved to 7-5 in the Division 3A North on Saturday following a 65-14 victory over Dayton at Centennial Gymnasium.
The Lady Indians rolled early and often.
Elko put up 19 points in the first period, limiting Dayton to a mere three on a triple by junior Elizabeth Vincent.
Senior Lexi Baum had a field day in the paint for the Lady Indians in the first period, notching double digits on five field goals.
Junior Alexis Elquist tallied five points and hit a three in the first eight minutes.
The scoring was identical for Elko in the second period, tallying another 19 points – scoring the ball more evenly across the roster.
The Lady Indians were led by four points each from sophomore Katie Ross and junior Mackie Griggs.
Elko’s defense held Dayton to five points in the second quarter – topped by two each from senior Cassie Dickenson and freshman Faith Reid – the Lady Indians opening a 38-8 lead at the break.
The 30-point advantage surpassed the 35-point mercy rule in the third period, turning the game into a running clock.
The Lady Indians scored 19 points in the third quarter for the third-consecutive frame.
Senior Lauryn Drake notched eight points in the period on four field goals, followed by seven points with a triple from Elquist.
Baum closed her scoring with four points in the third.
The Lady Dust Devils dropped to four points in the period, three coming on a triple by junior Aleea McGill-Howe.
Entering the fourth period, Elko led by 45 at 57-12.
In the final frame, the Lady Dust Devils notched two points total on a deuce by Dickenson.
Elko closed the contest with eight points in the final eight minutes with the clock running, four from Drake and two each by juniors Brenna Hendrix and Nevada Wachob.
The Lady Indians rolled to a 65-14 victory, improving to a 7-5 mark in league play.
Dayton remained winless in the 3A North and fell to 0-12.
For the first time all year, every player on the Elko roster scored in the game.
Baum finished with a game-high 17 points – adding seven rebounds, five assists and a steal.
Drake scored 14 points – finishing with a double-double and leading the Lady Indians with 10 rebounds – closing with three steals, an assist and a block.
Elquist served as third Elko player in double figures with 12 points, connecting on two 3s – adding five rebounds, four assists, three steals and a swat.
Hendrix, Ross, Griggs and senior Sariah Pulley each finished with four points apiece.
Hendrix led the defense with two blocks.
Senior Gabe Rowley had her passing game on-point and her defense locked in, leading Elko with a near double-double on a remarkable 10 steals and nine assists.
DAYTON – 3 – 5 – 4 – 2 – 14 Total
ELKO – 19 – 19 – 19 – 8 – 65 Total
“We didn’t play as well as we did on Friday, but we only had 10 turnovers,” said Elko coach Kaaren Ross. “We took better care of the ball, and everyone scored – so that was nice.”
The Lady Indians finally dominated to the turnover battle, committing 10 giveaways and forcing 30 takeaways – Elko finishing with 25 steals as a team.
Elko will look to improve to 8-5 at 6 p.m. Friday in Sparks and 9-5 in league play at 1 p.m. Saturday in Truckee, the final two road games of the regular season for the Lady Indians.
The Lady Indians are currently in fifth place in the league standings, two games ahead of Truckee (5-7) and one game behind Fernley (7-4) in the loss column.
The issue being, the fourth and fifth seeds are locked into the top side of the bracket of the regional tournament – the same side as No. 1 and defending state champion Fallon (12-0).
Elko is currently two games out of second and third place, Spring Creek and Lowry knotted up at 9-3.
The Lady Spartans and Lady Buckaroos each have the head-to-head tiebreaker from the first meetings with Elko, the Lady Indians closing the regular season with a 6 p.m. Tuesday home tip against Spring Creek and a 1 p.m. finale against the Lady Bucks on Feb. 10 at Centennial Gymnasium.