ELKO – Wins are hard to come by with a young, struggling squad.
The Elko girls basketball team has started the season 2-8 and 1-3 in the Division 3A North, the Lady Indians needing to defeat every opponent they possibly can.
The Lady Indians will face the Lady Panthers (1-11 overall, 0-3 in league) at 6 p.m. Friday, in Reno.
During the holiday, the Lady Indians gained their second win of the season at the Jerry Callen Memorial Tournament, in Jerome, Idaho.
Elko lost its first-two games of the tourney; falling 50-24 in a blowout loss to Madison (Rexburg, Idaho) – which entered the tournament with a 3-8 record – losing 48-38 to Gooding (Idaho).
The Lady Indians righted the ship with a 51-47 win over Burley (Idaho) in their tournament finale, the Lady Bobcats sporting an unimpressive 2-9 record.
Perhaps, a road trip to North Valleys could give Elko a confidence lift.
In three league games, the Lady Panthers have not played a contest closer than 38 points.
North Valleys was beaten 60-32 by Fernley, absolutely crushed in a 52-7 – yes, 7 – loss to Lowry and fell 63-24 to two-time defending state champion Fallon.
The Lady Panthers actually gave the Lady Greenwave a better game than Elko did at home, the Lady Indians losing by 53 points for the second-consecutive time in a regular-season contest to Fallon with the score at 74-21.
Like most struggling teams, the Lady Panthers have had trouble putting the ball in the bucket – scoring just 26.6 points per contest.
Junior Quincy Love leads North Valleys at 7.4 points per game, and junior Ileana Ruiz-Gonzalez scores 7.1 points per contest, grabbing 4.4 rebounds.
As a unit, the Lady Panthers pull down only 18.6 boards.
Sophomore Georgia Wallin-Reed posts averages of 4.3 points and 4.2 rebounds, while junior Darlynn Wallin-Reed leads the Lady Panthers on the glass with 4.7 boards and scores 4.2 points.
With only five of Elko’s 10 games recorded to MaxPreps, senior Alexis Elquist paces the Lady Indians at 16.2 points per contest and leads the defense with 2.4 steals and 1.2 blocks.
She also grabs 6.4 rebounds.
During the Jerry Callen Memorial Tournament, Elquist tallied 47 points in three games – including games of 21 (three 3s) against Gooding and a game-high 20 points with five triples in Elko’s win against Burley.
Junior Izzy Eklund has emerged for Elko, scoring 10 of the Lady Indians’ 24 points against Madison with two 3s, adding six points in the win over Burley.
Her energy, athleticism and length have paid immediate dividends on both ends of the floor – leading Elko with 7.2 rebounds per game, dishing 2.6 assists and swiping 1.8 steals.
Junior Katie Ross has given glimpses of big contributions, leading Elko with nine points against Fallon.
She added nine points in Elko’s win over Burley and reached double figures with 11 points in the loss to Gooding.
Freshman point guard Jersey Tsosie was leading Elko with 2.8 assists per game – adding 3.8 points, 4.8 rebounds and two steals – suffering a concussion in a 49-43 home loss to Fernley on Dec. 14.
She has missed the last five games.
The Lady Indians have advantages over North Valleys in nearly every statistical category; 34 points to 26.6, 26.7 rebounds to 18.6 and eight assists to 4.8.
However, the Lady Panthers lead the defensive battle with 8.1 steals per game to 7.7, 2.1 blocks to 1.2 and North Valleys has turned the ball over less with 19.1 giveaways to 20.5 for Elko.
The Lady Indians need a win to improve to 2-3 in league play, the Lady Panthers looking for their first league win at 6 p.m. Friday, in Reno.
Elko will face a major test against the Lady Wolverines at 1 p.m. Saturday, in Truckee, California.