ELKO – The Elko girls basketball team nearly had its most-successful weekend of the season.
The Lady Indians beat North Valleys 56-44 on Friday night, and gave No. 4 Truckee all it wanted and then some Saturday in a 66-60 loss.
Versus North Valleys
Elko’s defense was less than stellar early against a team that averages less than 26 points, the Lady Indians outscoring North Valleys 16-12 in the first quarter.
North Valleys refused to go away, giving up 17 points in the second quarter but posting 14 of its own.
At the break, Elko led 33-26.
The Lady Indians had trouble with North Valleys sophomore Georgia Wallin-Reed, who scored half of the Lady Panthers’ 26 points and led all scorers with 13 points at the break.
Junior Katie Ross topped Elko’s offense in the first half with nine points, followed by eight points from senior Alexis Elquist, the duo combining for more than half of the Lady Indians’ points at the break.
The Lady Panthers inched closer with a 4-0 run to start the third quarter, Elko not scoring until the five-minute mark on a free throw by sophomore Olivia Morrell to make the score 34-30.
Wallin-Reed knifed the deficit to two with a pair of free throws, giving her 17 points in the contest.
Following a block by senior Cheyenne Vien, the Lady Panthers took a 35-34 lead on a three by junior Nichole Brandenburg.
Elquist received a tip pass from junior Izzy Eklund and dropped a bucket, giving Elko the lead, Elquist tallying a bank shot for consecutive scores and a 38-35 lead with 3:35 on the clock.
Freshman Jersey Tsosie went to the rim and tallied her sixth point, and Eklund skied for a steal and finished a difficult And-1 plus the free throw – opening breathing room at 43-35.
Wallin-Reed kissed a shot off the glass and booked her 19th point.
Elquist essentially closed the door with a steal and breakaway And-1 plus the freebie, scoring her 15th point and opening a nine-point cushion.
Entering the fourth quarter, the Lady Indians led 46-37.
Elko outscored North Valleys 10-7 down the stretch, hanging on for a 56-44 victory to a team the Lady Indians beat by 40 points on Jan. 4, in Reno.
Wallin-Reed scored a game-high 22 points in defeat – 13 points coming in the first half – Elquist leading Elko with 21 points, notching 13 after the break.
Ross scored all nine of her points in the first half, Eklund finished with nine points and Tsosie added eight for the Lady Indians.
Senior Ivy Vasquez approached double figures with nine points for the Lady Panthers, Vien finished with six points and junior Darlynn Wallin-Reed added four while battling foul trouble – three points unaccounted for.
Senior Nevada Wachob scored four points for the Lady Indians, Morrell finished with three – two points unaccounted for.
After a 70-43 loss to the Lady Wolverines on Jan. 5, in Truckee, California, Elko found itself in a shootout Saturday with an early start time.
The Lady Wolverines exploded for 28 points in the first quarter, the Lady Indians mounting 17 in the opening frame.
Tables were turned by Elko in the second period – the Lady Indians hanging 21 points on the board.
Ross tied the game at 38-all with a pair of free throws with 22 ticks on the clock, but Truckee sophomore Emma Cooley drained her third three with five seconds remaining in the half.
Truckee posted 13 points in the second quarter, but its 11-point lead was sliced to three – Elko trailing 41-38 at the break.
At halftime, Tsosie led all scorers with 16 points – senior Ava Seelenfreund pacing Truckee with 15 points.
Cooley’s nine points all came from beyond the arc, and sophomore Annika Thayer dropped eight points before the break for the Lady Wolverines.
In the third quarter, the Lady Indians fell off to single digits – Truckee remaining consistent with 15 points – Seelenfreund playing Elko in the frame and scoring nine points in the frame, giving her 21 for game.
Entering the fourth quarter, Truckee led 56-47.
The Lady Indians mounted a comeback in the fourth quarter, starting with a pair of free throws by Elquist to give her 10 points.
Ross grabbed a rebound and knocked down two freebies, and Tsosie grabbed an errant three and finished the put-back – giving her 22 points – knifing the deficit to three at 56-53.
Freshman Millie Marin tied the game with a scoop shot with 4:21 on the clock, but Seelenfreund made a steal and outran the defense down the floor – giving Truckee a 58-56 advantage.
With less than three minutes on the clock, Tsosie went high and off-glass for her 24th point, knotting the contest once more at 58-all.
Seelenfreund splashed two free throws for a 60-58 advantage.
Elquist went 1-for-2 at the stripe with 2:25 on the clock, and Cooley made a 1-for-2 trip to the line on the other end.
After a technical foul on the Truckee bench, the Lady Indians could not capitalize – making just 1-for-2 at the line – Elko leaving 13 points at the line in a 23-for-36 effort at the stripe in a one-point game.
Truckee, on the other hand, finished just 16-for-33 at the line – wasting chances to build its advantage.
For the second-consecutive game, sophomore Lauren Tanner came up with a huge play – Elko turning the ball over and Tanner finishing her hoop with the harm.
Seelenfreund hit a free throw, and junior Emily Monson made an And-1 with 15 seconds on the clock.
Truckee outscored Elko 5-0 in crunch time and escaped with a 66-60 victory.
Elko had no answers for Seelenfreund, who scored a game-high 29 points.
Truckee could not stop Tsosie, who scored a team-high 25 points for the Lady Indians.
Cooley scored in double figures with 12 points for the Lady Wolverines, Thayer finishing with eight before fouling out.
Elquist neared double digits with nine for Elko, Ross added eight before fouling out, Marin finishing with seven points before committing her fifth foul.
Elko fell 6-10 in league play, Truckee improving to 11-5 and then 12-5 with a 62-19 win Tuesday against Sparks.
The Lady Indians – currently No. 6 in the Division 3A North standings – will play crucial contests at home to close the regular season.
Elko will face South Tahoe (6-10 in league) at 6 p.m. Friday, the Lady Indians needing a victory to solidify the tiebreaker they currently possess with a 44-43 win over the Lady Vikings on Jan. 18, in South Tahoe, California.
Finishing off the slate, the Lady Indians will play their last game of the regular season against Dayton (2-14 in league) at 1 p.m. Saturday, at Centennial Gymnasium.