TRUCKEE, California – With two relatively-easy victories, the Elko boys basketball team cruised to a 6-0 start in the Division 3A North.
The Indians used a 22-5 quarter Friday night in a 66-50 win over North Valleys, riding a 26-6 first period Saturday for a 68-53 victory at Truckee.
Versus North Valleys
The Indians scored nearly as fast as the clock began ticking, freshman Michael Klekas tipping the toss to senior Alex Klekas for a layup.
Sophomore Sean Klekas drained a three, but the Panthers scored on a scoop by senior Clay Perry.
On the other end, the stroke of Michael Klekas was true for a triple.
However, Perry completed an old-fashioned three for North Valleys, making the score 8-5.
Michael Klekas grabbed an offensive board and dropped a jump hook – giving him five points – but the Panthers pulled to within 10-7 when senior Kyle Claiborne grabbed his own miss for a put-back.
Senior Ronin Rowley finished for the Indians for a 12-7 lead – giving Elko its first points from a last name other than Klekas – but Perry drilled a triple, reaching double digits.
North Valleys tied the ballgame with a long two by Claiborne, but the Indians regained the upper hand with offensive board and score by Rowley.
Sean Klekas reached six points with his second three of the game, and he drained a pair of free throws for a 19-12 lead.
North Valleys scored the next four, senior Julien Weaver scoring on a mainline drive and Perry tipping home a bucket – giving him double figures.
The Panthers came out fired up and played Elko two within three at 19-16 by the end of the first period.
Rowley finished after a steal and lob from Alex Klekas to open the second.
Michael Klekas drained a free throw for his sixth point, and Alex Klekas tallied his second field goal in transition after making another steal.
Rowley dished from the interior to Michael Klekas for an easy two, and Rowley found his own uncontested bucket in the paint – Elko opening the second period with a 9-0 run.
Ball movement and passing to the post continued to kill North Valleys, Michael Klekas sinking a hook for a 30-16 lead and double digits for himself, the Indians’ streak hitting 11-0.
The Panthers stopped the run with a weak-side rebound and finish by junior Marcus James.
Elko executed the three-man break to perfection; senior Cooper Jones kicking the outlet pass to Michael Klekas, who found Alex Klekas head of the pack for a layup.
Rowley clean up the offensive glass and reached double figures on the finish, opening a 34-18 lead.
Alex Klekas pushed the pace and was fouled, hitting one free throw.
Perry nailed his second three and for 11th, 12th and 13 points.
However, Alex Klekas took the bump and dropped the hoop plus the harm, the free throw good as well.
To close the half, junior Max Shurtz kicked the ball to Alex Klekas for a three at the horn – money in the bank – giving him 13 points for the game and 10 in the quarter.
At the break, Elko led by 20 at 41-21 – the Indians outscoring the Panthers 22-5 in the frame.
Alex Klekas swirled around a free throw to start the third quarter, but James scored on the break from an Elko turnover, Perry with the steal and the find.
Michael Klekas used a soft touch for a bucket on the left block, and Alex Klekas scored on an inbound pass around a screen.
Claiborne sank a baseline jumper for the Panthers, but Sean Klekas rotated into position and drew a charge for the Indians on North Valleys’ next possession.
Senior Joe Simpkins worked a backdoor cut and scored inside, followed by a pull-up floater by Sean Klekas, giving him double digits and the Indians opening a double-up lead of 50-25.
Following an Elko technical, Perry sank the freebies and James finished in the lane.
Alex Klekas sank a runner but Claiborne finished above the heap, Michael Klekas grabbing a board and finishing an And-1.
The free throw was also good, giving him 15 points for a 55-31 Elko lead going into the fourth quarter.
Claiborne reached double figures with a pair of free throws, and James drilled a midrange jumper to close the deficit to 20.
From an Elko turnover, Weaver stuck an And-1 on the break – the free throw marking a 7-0 run for North Valleys.
The streak reached 9-0 on another runner by James, the Panthers trailing 55-40.
Michael Klekas ended the streak, adding another bucket for his 19th point.
Claiborne created contact and finished a hoop with the harm, and junior EJ Alvarez halted a cold-shooting stretch for the Indians with a triple – opening a 22-point lead at 62-40.
James hit a free throw for the Panthers on separate trips to the stripe, and Perry tallied his first field goal of the second half.
Sophomore Dillan Burden connected on a midrange jumper for the Indians, and senior Bradley Cappini knocked down a jumper while being fouled and hit the freebie.
Junior Devin James hammered home a three for the Panthers, and junior Garrett McKinney posted the final points of the contest with a deuce.
Elko cruised to a 66-50 victory.
The Indians finished with four players in double digits, led by a game-high 19 points from Michael Klekas and 18 from Alex Klekas.
Sean Klekas and Rowley closed with 10 points each, giving the Elko four players in double figures.
The Wolverines scored quickly on a pull-up by senior Dalton Pruyn, but the Indians tied the game with a pair of free throws by Rowley.
Elko took a 4-2 lead on a deuce by Michael Klekas, answered with a jumper by Truckee freshman Sam Purgason.
The Indians booked five in a row, Rowley scoring inside and Sean Klekas striking from distance.
The streak continued with Rowley’s second field goal, and he blocked a shot – turning defense into offense – Alex Klekas looking ahead to Simpkins for a layup on the break, Elko taking a 13-4 lead with a 9-0 run.
Sophomore Ethan Flynn buried a midrange jumper for the Wolverines, but Sean Klekas’ second triple opened a double-digit advantage of 16-6.
He added a free throw for an 11-point cushion, and his third wet three of the first quarter pushed him to double figures and gave the Indians a 20-6 advantage.
After a Truckee timeout, Sean Klekas lobbed a pass over the defense for a tip-in by Michael Klekas.
Cooper Jones jumped a passing lane and turned a steal into a layup, Elko on top 24-6.
With 10 seconds on the clock, Michael Klekas nailed and stop-and-pop.
After one, the Indians exploded to a 20-point lead of 26-6.
Flynn opened the second period with an out-and-in jumper on the baseline for Truckee, but Michael Klekas scored on a reverse and extended Elko’s lead back to 20 at 28-8.
The Wolverines reached double figures on the third field goal by Flynn, followed by a free throw from Simpkins.
The Indians could have really blown the game wide open – dominating the offensive boards – unable to finish on six or seven layups.
Truckee junior Isaac Cruz was fouled while shooting a three and drained all attempts at the stripe, earning another trip to the line and hitting 1-for-2.
With the lead trimmed to 15, Elko scored on a bucket by Shurtz – Cruz slicing the deficit back to 15 with his sixth point of the frame.
Sophomore Jake Zeller was blocked but fouled – hitting both free throws for a 33-16 lead – making 1-for-2 in another trip to the stripe.
Flynn nailed a three and the Wolverines sliced the deficit back to 15.
Alex Klekas booked his first points with a pair of freebies.
A dumb foul by Truckee was converted with two free throws by Sean Klekas, giving him 12 points.
At the break, the Indians led 38-15 but were outscored 13-12 in the second quarter.
Michael Klekas reached double digits with a jump hook, but Cruz splashed a three for the Wolverines.
A steal was taken by the Indians, Rowley finding Sean Klekas for a finish on the break and a 20-point lead.
Rowley added a deuce and Cruz hit 1-of-2 technical free throws, followed by four straight points by Alex Klekas – a steal for a layup and a pair of free throws – opening the largest lead of the game at 25 points.
Senior Elliot Rost scored behind the fronting Elko defense, but Jones pushed the margin back to 25 with a bank shot.
Truckee scored five in a row on a two by senior Sawyer Thompson and a triple by Flynn – giving him 12 points.
A turnaround jumper from the elbow by Michael Klekas recorded his 11th and 12th points, giving the Indians a 52-30 lead entering the fourth quarter.
Flynn lined up and stuck a three to start the fourth – just getting rolling – as was Elko junior CJ Marma.
Marma notched a deuce and finished a three-point play the old-fashioned way with a hoop and the harm, adding the free throw.
Flynn buried his second his and third triples of the period on back-to-back possessions, cutting the lead to 16 at 55-49.
Alvarez answered with a three of his own and blocked a shot, Marma scoring his third field goal of the frame with an up-and-under.
A pair of free throws by Cruz and a deuce by Flynn made the score 62-43, but the Indians earned a bucket inside by sophomore Dillan Burden.
Truckee dropped the next five, Pruyn and Flynn each adding a deuce plus another free throw by Cruz.
Elko senior Michael Iguban got inside and made the score 66-48, but Flynn smoked another triple on the other side.
Junior Garrett McKinney found a bunny as the Indians broke the Wolverines’ press, Rost scoring inside for Truckee to close the game.
Sean Klekas led the Indians with 14 points, Michael Klekas following with 12.
In defeat, Flynn topped all scorers with 28 points – ripping off 16 in the fourth quarter.
Cruz closed with 13 points for the Wolverines.
Off the bench, Marma booked seven points in the fourth quarter, Alex Klekas finishing with six and Jones adding four.
Alvarez, Simpkins and Zeller scored three apiece for Elko.
Shurtz, Burden, Iguban and McKinney tallied two points apiece for the Indians.
The Indians improved to 8-1 overall and 6-0 in league play, dropping Truckee 5-4 and 0-4 in the Division 3A North.
Elko will look to improve to 7-0 in league play in their next matchup, hosting Spring Creek (2-10 overall, 2-4 in league) at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday at Centennial Gymnasium.