ELKO — Don’t be surprised when taking the first glance at the Elko girls basketball team.
Yes, the Lady Indians will look like a relatively-new bunch — despite only a few graduations.
Another senior elected not to play during her final year, so a couple of newcomers may play key parts in returning Elko to the playoffs for the 2019-2020 season.
Last year, the Lady Indians finished the season with a 9-16 overall record and snuck away with the sixth and final seed for the regional tournament with an 8-10 record in the 3A North.
While Elko will be without a couple major contributors from last year’s roster, the Lady Indians will look to build on the 2nd-Team All-League selection of a youngster.
As a freshman, point guard Jersey Tsosie — despite missing six games due to a concussion — showed she can hoop with the older girls, earning a 2nd-Team All-North nod.
She tied for the best free-throw clip in the league at 76 percent, knocking down 71-for-93 at the stripe — finishing third in the 3A North in makes.
Tsosie also shared the rock and ranked third in the league with 2.5 assists per game, dishing a season-best nine dimes in Elko’s must-win, get-in-the-postseason ballgame against South Tahoe on Feb. 18, at Centennial Gymnasium — showing her potential in a near triple-double while adding 19 points and 11 rebounds (eight offensive).
She finished with three assists or more in eight contests.
At 10.4 points per game, Tsosie closed the season at sixth in the league in scoring.
She dropped a season-high 25 points in a 66-60 loss to the Lady Wolverines on Feb. 9, at Centennial, and she booked double-digit points in 11 of 19 games.
At 2.5 steals per game, she tied for ninth in the league — racking up six against Dayton on Feb. 16, at Centennial — finishing with three thefts or more 10 times.
Tsosie also crashed the boards and finished 10th in the 3A North at 6.3 boards per contest.
She pulled down a season-best 16 boards (nine offensive) in the second matchup versus Truckee to go along with her season-high 25 points, collecting double-digit rebounds in three contests — each occasion resulting in a double-double (seventh-best total in the league).
Elko will also return senior Katie Ross, who was an honorable mention for the league awards during her junior year.
In her second-full season of varsity ball, Ross posted averages of 7.6 points (17th in the league), 4.2 rebounds, 1.3 assists and a steal.
She posted her season high of 17 points on two occasions — reaching the total on Jan. 4, at North Valleys, and once again on Feb. 5, in Spring Creek — scoring in double figures five times.
Ross approached double figures in rebounds on numerous occasions, grabbing nine twice in a 48-38 loss to Gooding on Dec. 27, 2018, and once again in a 54-33 home loss to Lowry on Dec. 22, 2018, finishing with seven rebounds or more in five ballgames.
During a 46-32 loss to Damonte Ranch during the High Sierra Winter Classic, in Sparks, Ross dished a season-best four assists to go along with eight points, six rebounds and a steal.
In the Lady Indians’ road win at North Valleys, Ross not only scored her season high of 17 — she also posted a season-best three steals and yanked down eight boards.
During her junior season, Izzy Eklund gave a boost to the Lady Indians on both sides of the ball.
Her hustle plays often led to forced turnovers on defense and created scoring opportunities on offense.
She averaged 5.3 points, 5.4 rebounds, 2.6 steals and 2.1 assists — providing the Lady Indians with an all-around presence on the floor.
She scored in double digits seven times and tied for her season high with 12 points twice, doing so in both meeting versus South Tahoe.
Eklund reached double-digit rebounds twice as well, pulling down a season-best 12 boards against Sparks on Dec. 15, 2018, in Elko.
Against Burley, on Dec. 28, 2018, she dished a season-high six assists in a 51-47 win — also finishing with six points, eight rebounds, two steals and a block.
She notched a rare double-double in the second matchup with the Lady Railroaders, scoring 10 points and swiping 10 steals.
As a sophomore, forward Olivia Morrell averaged 2.8 points and 3.5 rebounds.
In Elko’s home win versus Sparks, Morrell scored a season-best 12 points.
She reached double figures in rebounds once, grabbing a season-best 10 boards on Feb. 8 in a 56-44 win over North Valleys, in Elko.
She made three steals twice, once in her season-best game versus the Lady Railroaders and once again versus North Valleys to go with her 10 rebounds.
Summer Nielsen returns for her senior year, providing the Lady Indians with a solid shot from the perimeter.
During her junior year, Nielsen averaged 1.9 points and 1.5 rebounds.
On Nov. 29, 2018, in Elko’s season opener versus Galena — she scored a season-high eight points on 4-for-7 shooting.
She snagged a season-high six rebounds in the Lady Indians’ home win over Sparks and dished two assists in five contests, also finishing with two steals in a handful of games.
As a sophomore, Sydnee Patterson also have Elko some gritty performances — averaging 1.7 points and 2.6 boards.
You have free articles remaining.
She scored six points in three ballgames and pulled down a season-best 10 rebounds in a 74-21 home loss to Fallon on Dec. 21, 2018, collecting nine boards the next day in a 54-33 loss to Lowry.
Patterson tallied two steals in two games.
Junior Zoe Blair is back in the middle for the Lady Indians, coming off a surgery for a torn ACL and another procedure to clean up some of the mess left behind.
She averaged 1.2 points and 2.4 rebounds as a sophomore.
Blair booked a season-best six points in the season opener versus Galena.
Against Gooding, she posted a season-best seven rebounds.
Elko did not graduate Amelia Marin, but she will not play for the Lady Indians in the 2019-2020 season.
After making her way to the varsity from the JV midway through her freshman season, Marin became one of Elko’s starters and supplied a tenacity defensively and the ability to create offensively.
During the first day of Elko’s open workouts in the fall, Marin tore her ACL when she landed after taking a jumper and recently had reconstructive surgery on her knee.
The Lady Indians will welcome a trio of new faces to the varsity roster, one of each variety — a freshman, a former junior varsity player and a transfer student.
Freshman Aurora Eklund has the potential to supply firepower from the perimeter with her sharp-shooting stroke, junior Sidnee Auge can play a variety of positions on defense as well as on offense and senior Victoria Navarro will close her high school career in maroon and white after wearing blue and white for the Lady Bulldogs of McDermitt.
While it may not have been at the 3A level, Navarro has state tournament experience.
The Lady Bulldogs went through the 1A East with an 8-0 record and won the regional championship.
In her junior season, she averaged two points and 4.3 rebounds.
“We have seven girls returning from last year. There are four seniors, four juniors, a sophomore and a freshman,” said Elko coach Kaaren Ross. “The girls really hold each other accountable. I think we might see more mental toughness and competitiveness.”
Alexis Elquist closed her final season with a 2nd-Team All-State selection — also named a 1st-Team All-League player for the first time.
Elquist put the ball in the bucket, ranking third in the league in scoring at 13.7 points per contest — including a season-high 24 against Sparks on Dec. 15, 2018, at Centennial Gymnasium — reaching double figures in an incredible 20 of 25 ballgames, scoring 20 or more five times.
On the other end of the floor, she used her length and timing — finishing second in the league with 39 blocks and 1.6 swats per game — sending a season-high five shots back to their senders in a 66-60 loss to Truckee on Feb. 9, at Centennial.
She swatted three or more shots seven times and recorded 11 multi-block parties.
Elquist’s size also allowed her to put in stellar work on the glass, snagging 6.8 rebounds per game, the seventh-best total in the 3A North.
She collected a season-best 14 boards (nine offensive) to along with her season-high 24 points in the first meeting with the Lady Railroaders, Elquist finishing with double-digit rebounds in eight games — tying for second in the league with seven double-doubles.
Moving from the block to beyond the arc, she finished third in the league with 42 3s and buried a season-best five bombs in two ballgames — coming in Elko’s league and home opener against Fernley on Dec. 14, 2018, and versus Burley on Dec. 28. 2018, in Jerome, Idaho.
At the line, Elquist tied for the league high with a 76-percent stroke — sinking 50 of 66 free throws — ranking 11th in makes at the stripe.
Elquist also sank two-pointers, ranking fourth in the league with 120 field goals.
Besides making shots, she too set up her teammates for buckets — tying for fourth in the 3A North with 2.3 assists per game — dishing a season-high eight dimes on Jan. 26, in Fernley, making three assists or more nine times.
She tied for 12th in the league with 2.4 steals per game — including six swipes on three occasions — making three thefts or more in eight contests.
Center Nevada Wachob also graduated, posting 1.3 per game as a senior.
She matched her season high with four points in five contests.
In Elko’s road win at North Valleys, she matched her season bests with three rebounds, two assists and a pair of steals.
The Lady Indians will play their annual alumni game at 5 p.m. Saturday, at Centennial Gymnasium.
Elko will get its first taste of competitive action during the High Sierra Winter Classic at 4:30 p.m. Thursday, Dec 5, versus Bishop Manogue, in Sparks.
The Lady Indians will tip off the 3A North season on the road, facing the Lady Vikings at 6 p.m. Friday, Dec. 13, in South Tahoe, California, following with a 1 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 14, contest in Dayton.