RENO – For the third time of the season, the Jackpot boys basketball team beat the Wells Leopards in a league contest – the third victory giving the Jaguars the Division 1A West-East regional title.
The Jags advanced to the regional final with a 58-35 blowout of Pyramid Lake and avenged a 2018 regional semifinal loss to Whittell in a 53-34 victory over the Warriors.
Wells reached the championship game with a 77-72, double-overtime victory against Sage Ridge and took down West No. 1 Sierra Lutheran – pulling away for a 21-point, 60-39 win over the Falcons.
On Saturday, the scoring was low in the 1A West-East title game.
Jackpot reached double digits with 11 points in the first quarter – led by five points from junior Steve Rodriguez and four points by junior Hugo Sanchez – limiting Wells to seven points, five points and an And-1 coming from junior Brent Battenfeld.
In the second, the Leopards scored even less – mounting a frame-low six points – the Jags also held to single digits with nine.
Jackpot senior Jerry Martinez scored four points in the frame, senior Abraham Martinez tacking on a triple.
For the Leopards, junior Jared Martinez accounted for half of the team’s offense in the period with a three.
At the break, Jackpot led by seven at 20-13.
The contest continued as a defensive battle in the third quarter, the Jags edging Wells 9-8.
In the third, senior Carlos Camacho led the way for Jackpot with an old-fashioned three on a hoop through a foul and the free throw.
For the Leopards, six of the team’s eight points in the frame came from beyond the arc – sophomore Riley Stewart and junior Sergio Soriano each hitting a three.
Despite an eight-point advantage of 29-21 for Jackpot going to the fourth quarter, the game was still within reach for Wells.
The Jags were not to be denied, coming up clutch in crunch time – scoring a frame-high 18 points in the final quarter – Wells reaching double digits in the period for the first and only time, the Leopards scoring 10 points in the last-eight minutes.
Jerry Martinez notched six points on two 3s in the fourth quarter, Camacho adding four.
For the Leopards, senior Zane Rodriguez scored four points in the fourth and Battenfeld made four free throws – the duo tallying eight of Wells’ 10 points in the final period.
Jackpot doubled its eight-point lead and pulled away for a 16-point, 47-31 victory over Wells – the Jags sweeping the season series – beating the Leopards at home, on the road and at a neutral site for a regional championship.
The Jaguars were led by a game-high 14 points and two 3s by Jerry Martinez, who was joined in double digits by 10 points from Sanchez.
Wells was paced by 10 points from Battenfeld – the only player who scored in double figures for the Leopards – followed by seven points from Stewart.
For each team, only five players scored – Steve Martinez, Abraham Martinez and Camacho rounding out Jackpot’s offense with seven points apiece.
Camacho tallied all seven of his points after halftime.
Wells’ scoring was capped by five points from both Jared Martinez and Soriano, Zane Rodriguez booking all four his points in the fourth quarter.
The No. 1 Jaguars will play Central-South No. 2 Spring Mountain at 4:45 p.m. Friday in the Division 1A state semifinal at Sports Leadership and Management Academy, in Las Vegas.
The No. 2 Leopards will face Central-South No. 1 Mineral County in the other 1A state semifinal at 8:15 p.m. Friday, at SLAM Academy.
Mineral County defeated Spring Mountain 74-69 in the 1A Central-South regional championship on Saturday, at Wooster High School.