ELKO — Elko’s boys basketball team — coming off two straight home losses — started slowly Tuesday against Spring Creek, but the Indians turned a five-point deficit after the first quarter into a 25-point victory.
The Indians improved to 14-2 in league play with a 61-36 win.
The game’s first bucket came from an Elko steal, junior Jake Zeller making the scoop and the score.
Spring Creek never mounted a field goal until the 4:04 mark, but senior Devin Holmes drained a three — the Spartans’ defense keeping the Indians at bay — opening a 3-2 lead.
Elko senior Sean Klekas — playing in his first game since tearing ligaments in his ankle during the season opener — stuck a long two from the right wing.
Spring Creek grabbed a 5-4 lead on a baseline jumper by senior Reed Westwood that touched all the rim and rolled home, the Spartans going up 8-4 on a three by junior Grant Brorby.
Sophomore Dawson Dumas scored four in a row for the Indians — making a pair of layups — scoring from a steal and reversing along the baseline with a sweet drive.
For the Spartans, Holmes splashed his second three of the frame and opened a three-point lead.
Near the buzzer, Spring Creek took a five-point cushion with the first field goal from sophomore Garrison Bylund.
Entering the second quarter, the Spartans led by 13-8.
Junior Calvin Burden hit a pair of free throws for the Indians, and Dumas got a friendly bounce for a long two.
Senior Kyle Owsley gave Spring Creek a three-point lead with a bucket on the break from the left side on a look-ahead pass from Bylund after an Elko turnover, but the score was knotted at 15-all with a three from the left corner by senior EJ Alvarez — Dumas on the assist.
With 2:04 on the clock, Alvarez pulled the string from the right wing and canned his second three for an 18-15 lead.
Sophomore Isaiah Dahl dropped a midrange shot from the right side, and Dumas — from a Spring Creek turnover — drove the right side of the floor and trickled in an And-1 with 1:27 remaining in the half.
Alvarez railed his second three of the frame on an assist from Klekas.
Junior Brig Johnson scored on the left side from a drive and kick by Alvarez, and Dahl pushed the pace and dimed to Dumas in the corner for a three from the right side — opening a 12-point lead.
Closing the half, the Indians ran the clock with their ball handler and distributor — Klekas breaking down his defender and diming to a slashing Johnson along the baseline for an And-1 plus the free throw.
The Indians outscored the Spartans 22-2 in the second quarter and led by 15 at the half, 30-15.
Dahl cut backdoor and scored from a pass by Zeller, but Holmes answered with his third bomb of the ballgame.
Brorby made a nice drive along the left baseline for a deuce, and Owsley quickly got the tin for a left-handed finish — pulling the deficit back to 10 at 32-22.
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From a loose ball, Owsley banked home a shot on the right block.
Alvarez pushed the margin back to double digits with a drive on the right side, and Zeller drilled a triple from the right corner on a dish from Dumas.
Zeller was fouled and hit 1-of-2 free throws, but Westwood drove baseline and pulled up for a jumper that was bottoms.
Entering the fourth quarter, Elko led by 12 at 38-26.
Dahl opened the fourth with a layup on the left from a give-and-go with Johnson, and senior CJ Marma finished from a nice dish by Alvarez.
Dahl fired a quick-release three from the right wing for a 45-26 lead — Brorby scoring from a dish by Bylund — and Dahl’s second three of the frame opened a 20-point cushion at 48-28.
Brorby knocked down a pair of technical shots at the stripe, and Bylund found a shooter’s touch on a pull-up J.
Alvarez stopped on a dime in transition and nailed his third three, quickly adding his fourth on a handoff from Dahl.
Marma tallied his second bucket of the frame on a post-entry feed by senior Max Shurtz, and Alvarez hit a pair of free throws.
Bylund scored on the right baseline for the Spartans, but Alvarez stepped back for his fifth wet ball of the night on the other end.
The game closed with another bucket by Bylund on the right side, but the Indians overcame a slow start and outscored Spring Creek 53-23 after the first quarter — pulling away for a 61-36 victory.
Alvarez led all scorers with 19 points, joined in double digits by 12 points from Dahl and 11 by Dumas.
Zeller scored six points, Johnson added five and Marma tallied four — Elko’s offense capped by two points each for Klekas and Burden.
Holmes hit three 3s and tied Brorby for Spring Creek’s team high, each finishing with nine points — followed by eight points from Bylund.
Owsley scored six points, and the offense for the Spartans was closed with four points from Westwood.
SPRING CREEK — 13 — 2 — 11 — 10 — 36 Total
ELKO — 8 — 22 — 8 — 23 — 61 Total
The Indians (20-4 overall, 14-2 in league) will open their final road trip with a 7:30 p.m. dance with North Valleys (2-20 overall, 1-14 in league), in Reno.
Spring Creek (5-19 overall, 4-12 in league) will open its last trip against the Wolverines 6-16 overall, 5-11 in league) at 7:30 p.m. Friday, in Truckee, California.