ELKO — Well, it took all of 36 minutes.
After four quarters of play, the Elko girls basketball team needed another four minutes of shorthanded ball and some big plays for an overtime victory Saturday against Fallon, at Centennial Gymnasium.
With the score gridlocked at 53-all in OT, Elko senior Katie Ross glanced at the scoreboard with 13 ticks remaining, drove baseline from the corner and dropped the game-winning bucket on the right block — lifting the Lady Indians to a 55-53 victory and sweeping the season series against the defending state champ.
The Lady Indians struggled mightily in the early going against the Lady Greenwave — missing open shots from the perimeter and turning the ball over — Elko finding nothing easy inside.
The Lady Wave opened the contest with a 10-0 lead, gaining four free throws from senior Makenzee Moretto, a deuce from an offensive rebound by junior Addison Sandberg, a three from the left wing by junior Shaylee Fagg and a freebie for junior Sam Frost.
Elko went nearly six minutes without scoring a point, the drought broken by a three from the left side by freshman Peyton Jacaway.
The Lady Indians came within five on a pull-up jumper by senior Izzy Eklund, but Moretto scored easily on the other end from a press break.
A jumper from the right side by Ross on an assist from freshman Avery Beatty made the score 12-7, but Moretto made a pretty finish across the lane with a running hook.
After the first quarter, the Lady Indians trailed by double at 14-7.
Jacaway knocked down a long two from the left wing to start the second quarter, matched by two free throws from Fallon senior Madison Whitaker.
Moretto once again scored with ease in transition behind Elko’s full-court press, but the Lady Indians answered with a pair of free throws by junior Olivia Morrell.
Freshman Aurora Eklund pulled Elko to within six with a free throw, and the Lady Indians began to turn Fallon over — forcing several throwaways in the backcourt.
Morrell once again made a clean to the stripe, and the Lady Indians pulled two within two at 18-16 on a bucket by Ross from a feed by Jacaway.
With 3:33 remaining in the half, Izzy Eklund tied the contest with two free throws.
Moretto beat the defense down the floor for her 11th and 12th points of the half, but Ross was fouled and hit 1-of-2 at the line.
Whitaker went 1-for-2 at the line for Fallon, and Frost stuck a runner on the left baseline for a 23-19 lead.
Beatty pulled Elko to within a deuce with a pair of freebies, and Elko tied the game for the second time with a step-around move by Aurora Eklund.
With 25 seconds remaining in the half, the Lady Indians took their first lead with an offensive put-back by Beatty.
The Lady Wave pushed the pace and Moretto dished to junior Aisha Sharron for a deuce.
At the break, the game was deadlocked at 25-all.
Elko began the third quarter with a push, making a 6-0 run on a layup from Aurora Eklund after a steal, a bucket off the bounce by Ross in the middle and a friendly roll for Aurora Eklund from a dish by Jacaway.
A drive by Whitaker made the score 31-27, and Fallon’s 2-2-1 zone gave Elko fits — senior Kinsli Rogne cutting the deficit to two with a tough jumper from the right side.
Ross responded with a netted jumper off the dribble at the high post and knocked down a tough J with a hand in her face for a 35-29 lead.
Sandberg scored from a save after an offensive rebound for Fallon, but the Lady Indians closed the third with a long deuce from the right wing by senior Summer Nielsen.
Entering the fourth, Elko led by six at 37-31.
Moretto opened the fourth with consecutive buckets on a jumper in the middle of the lane and an offensive rebound.
Jacaway drained an open jumper on the baseline, and Ross hit a free throw for the Lady Indians.
Sharron dropped a hook shot on the other side — Morrell scoring from a sweet dime from a drive-and-kick by Beatty — Sharron hitting a pair of free throws for Fallon and making the score 42-39.
The Lady Indians went conservative and spread the floor, attempting to run the clock at the 3:30 mark.
However, the Lady Wave forced turnovers — Sharron pulling Fallon to within a deuce on a free throw, scoring five straight for her team.
The Indians committed an over-and-back and had a starter foul out of the game, and Jacaway was trucked to the ground on the defensive end after grabbing a loose ball.
With no foul on the play, Elko’s coach was issued consecutive technical fouls and was ejected from the contest with 1:30 remaining.
Moretto hit 3-of-4 free throws, pushing Fallon to the front at 43-42.
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At the 1:01 mark, the second Lady Indian fouled out of the contest — placing Elko in an uphill climb.
Sharron opened a 45-42 lead with a pair of free throws — scoring seven points in the period — but Aurora Eklund canned a clutch set of shots at the stripe for the Lady Indians.
Fallon turned the ball over with a costly travel, and Aurora Eklund made another huge play for Elko — taking the ball the bucket and burying and And-1 between a pair of Fallon defenders.
In the words of the late-great Stuart Scott, she was “as cool as the other side of the pillow” and drilled the free throw for a 47-45 lead with 22.7 seconds remaining — Whitaker fouling out on the play.
However, the Lady Indians gave up an offensive rebound from a long two-point attempt on the left side, the ball collected on the weak side by senior Karlee Hitchcock — whose first bucket of the game was the biggest of the contest.
Hitchcock’s follow-up finish on the right block tied the score at 47-all with four seconds remaining, forcing overtime.
In the extra frame, Hitchcock pushed the Lady Wave to a 49-47 lead with her second field goal — Aurora Eklund hitting one free throw for the Lady Indians.
Hitchcock went 1-for-2 at the line for Fallon, Morrell doing the same for the Lady Indians.
Elko took a 51-49 lead on an inbound deuce from Nielsen, scoring on the right block.
The Lady Indians got a stop and passed down the floor but missed a wide-open layup with 1:27 on the clock.
Moretto scored with a layup after a Fallon steal, and the Lady Wave took a 53-51 lead on a deuce by Sharron.
Jacaway was fouled and nailed both free throws — tying the contest at 53-all — and Aurora Eklund made a big block on a closeout at the elbow.
The Lady Indians missed a shot and Fallon took a timeout with 26 seconds on the clock, but Elko’s defense made a stop — Aurora Eklund going to the deck for a steal and slipping to Jacaway — setting the stage for a game-winning bucket.
Ross did not settle for a jumper, put the ball on the deck and worked in for the dagger along the baseline with about nine ticks remaining when the ball went through the hoop.
Fallon’s attempt to force another overtime was tipped out of bounds and off the Lady Wave, Elko coming up clutch in crunch time for a 55-53 victory.
In defeat, Moretto dropped a game-high 21 points — matching her 21 points Friday in a 52-48 loss to Spring Creek.
Ross led Elko with 14 points — none bigger than her final two — followed by 13 points from Aurora Eklund, whose old-fashioned three in the fourth turned a one-point deficit into a two-point lead.
Sharron scored nine of her 11 points after halftime for Fallon, and Jacaway neared double digits with nine points for Elko.
Morrell tied her season high with seven points, and the Lady Indians’ offense was rounded out by four points apiece for Izzy Eklund, Beatty and Nielsen.
Whitaker and Hitchcock scored five points each for Fallon — Hitchcock forcing overtime with her first points of the game — Sandberg finished with four points and the Lady Wave’s scoring was closed by three points apiece for Frost and Fagg.
No. 5 Elko swept the season series and opened a 2-1/2 game lead over the No. 6 Lady Wave.
FALLON — 14 — 11 — 6 — 16 — 6 — 53 Total
ELKO — 7 — 18 — 12 — 10 — 8 — 55 Total
The Lady Indians lost to Lowry for the second time of the season Friday, following a 58-40 beating on Jan. 3 with a closer contest of 50-44.
The game boiled down to two things for Elko; a slow start and a big difference in points outside the arc.
The Lady Buckaroos opened a 14-6 advantage in the first quarter and nailed eight 3s in the contest, limiting the Lady Indians to two triples.
Jacaway scored a game-high 18 points and hit a three for Elko, but Lowry sophomore Hannah Whitted did her damage from inside and finished with a team-high 16 points.
Lowry senior Carly Capellen’s nine points all came by way of three 3s, and sophomore Jovi Kuskie scored six of her seven points on two shots from distance.
For the Lady Indians, Aurora Eklund and Ross each finished with seven points.
Izzy Eklund added five points, Beatty chipped in four and Nielsen closed the offense with a triple.
Senior Sierra Maestrejuan hit a three and scored six points for the Lady Bucks, junior Shanae Smith added a triple and five points, sophomore Emily Backus finished with four points and sophomore Amanda Draper capped the scoring for Lowry with a three.
LOWRY — 14 — 11 — 15 — 10 — 50 Total
ELKO — 6 — 12 — 14 — 12 — 44 Total
The Lady Indians (11-11 overall, 9-6 in league) will look to force a tie for fourth place with the Lady Spartans (13-9 overall, 10-5 in league) at 6 p.m. Tuesday on senior night, at Centennial Gymnasium — Spring Creek coming off an impressive 58-43 victory Saturday over No. 3 Lowry (13-9 overall, 11-4 in league).