ELKO, — In a heated Adobe Middle School gymnasium, the third-seeded Battle Mountain Longhorns took down the second-seeded West Wendover Wolverines 56-49 and advanced to the 2A North regional final and state on Friday evening.
The Longhorns were led in scoring by senior forward Chris Figueroa, who finished with 17 points on the night, 10 of them coming in the second half. The big man was even able to drill a 3-ball corner pocket to finish off the first quarter to give the Longhorns an 11-9 lead.
Only four other Longhorns found the bottom of the net on the evening, all of them also being seniors.
Miles Piramide was able to drop in 11 points, making up for a drab first half where he only had two points. Seven of Piramide’s nine second half points came in the Longhorns’ 22-point fourth quarter.
Senior forward Reese Artz also recorded 11 points for the Longhorns and it came only a week after he was able to pour in 16 against the Wolverines on senior day back in Battle Mountain.
Sharpshooting guard Mason Fuller chalked up 10 points on the evening and Gabe Naveran rounded off the Longhorns in scoring with 7 points of his own. Six of Fuller’s 10 points came in the first quarter while five of Naveran’s seven points came in the fourth quarter.
West Wendover was led in scoring by the junior Eric Correa with 13 points, who actually was the only Wolverine to find double-digit scoring on the evening.
Behind Correa was a trio of Wolverines with nine points and it included seniors Eric Cerna and Saul Palacios and junior Luis Esparza. Both Cerna and Esparza finished right around their season averages, but that was not the case for the usually reliable Palacios.
At 19.4 points per game, Palacios was held well under his season average and it became one of the key reasons why the Wolverines fell against the upstart Longhorns and were ultimately eliminated from postseason play.
With the win, the Longhorns advance to the 2A North regional championship where they’ll take on either top-seeded Pershing County or fourth-seeded Yerington, who squared off at Adobe at 8 p.m. on Friday night. The Longhorns also secured their spot in the state semifinals, which will be played Friday at Sparks High School.