ELKO – The Klekas family has always made basketball a tight-knit affair – pushing many talents through Elko High School’s boys program – currently featuring two brothers on the varsity team, with more boys coming down the pipe in the future.
Following the Fab Five’s streak of four-consecutive regional championships, two state runner-ups and a run of three I-A North MVPs in four seasons by 2015 graduate Nathan Klekas – the torch was not only passed on, but grasped firmly by junior Eric Klekas, who ran away with league and state honors.
Eric Klekas was named the I-A North boys basketball MVP, chosen as a 1st-Team All-State selection and led Elko to its fifth-consecutive league championship.
The Indians finished the season with a 23-4 record, running the table against league opponents with an 18-0 mark.
Not only did he receive recognition for his outstanding play during the season, Eric Klekas also stamped his name into the EHS record books in multiple categories.
The previous single-season scoring record of 564 points by Matt Alleman, which has stood since the 2001-2002 season, is now second on the list.
Eric Klekas, in the exact amount of games as Alleman played in his record-setting year, scored 600 points in 27 games – averaging 22.2 points per contest, grabbing the I-A North and state scoring titles.
He also smashed the previous EHS record of three-point field goals in a season, splashing 98 shots from the land beyond. The old record was 82 3s by Corey Thacker during the 1995-1996 season.
While there have been multiple Indians who made more free throws in a season than Eric Klekas, no one has ever shot a better percentage. He fired at a 90-percent clip from the line, breaking the previous mark of 88 percent held by older brother Stephen Klekas since the 2006-207 campaign. Eric Klekas’ 98 makes from the line is fourth in Elko history for a season.
Eric Klekas averaged 6.4 rebounds per game – a remarkable number for a point guard – leading the Indians by more than 40 rebounds on the defensive end, pulling down 147 defensive boards and 172 total rebounds.
He also passed the ball well to his teammates, finishing with a team-high 96 assists for a 3.6 average.
Not only could Klekas give the ball to his teammates, he was proficient at taking the ball away from opponents. He led the team with 72 steals, averaging 2.7 thefts per game.
Joining Eric Klekas on the 1st-Team All-North squad was junior teammate Kyrin Allen.
Allen averaged 11 points per game, leading the Indians with seven rebounds per contest and grabbing a team-high 87 offensive boards. He averaged 2.1 steals and added one block per game.
Also earning 1st-Team All-North honors was Spring Creek senior guard Ryan Knudsen.
Knudsen led the Spartans in many categories – including scoring at 13 points per game, assists with two dimes per contest and steals with two thefts per game. He also averaged 3.7 rebounds.
Allen and Knudsen each earned 2nd-Team All-State honors.
Elko senior Dustin Baum finished as a 2nd-Team All-North selection. Baum averaged double digits, scoring 10 points per game. He pulled down 3.4 rebounds per game and dished 2.4 assists per contest, adding one steal per game.
Spring Creek junior Cooper Cavaness was named to the I-A North Honorable Mention team, averaging 9.5 points per game and leading the Spartans with 30 three pointers.
Elko sophomore Jeron Yopps also earned I-A North Honorable Mention honors, averaging six points and six rebounds.
Lowry’s Chad Peters was named the I-A North Coach of the Year.
Congratulations to Eric Klekas on his league MVP award, 1st-Team All-North and 1st-Team All-State selections, and to all local players who received league and state recognition.