WELLS – In the Division 1A West-East regional tournament, the Wells boys basketball team whipped West No. 1 Sierra Lutheran in the semifinal round Friday by 21 points – the Falcons then the No. 3 team in the 1A state standings – the Leopards doing so after a grueling, 77-72 win in double overtime against Sage Ridge.
The Leopards’ next challenge will be an even-more uphill climb than Wells’ upset of Sierra Lutheran – facing the No. 1 team in all of the land – tipping off against Mineral County at 8:15 p.m. Friday, at Sports Leadership and Management Academy, in Las Vegas.
The Serpents’ lone loss of the season – sporting a 26-1 overall record – came against Division 2A Incline on Dec. 7, 2018, in Whittell, by a final score of 59-57.
Mineral County is unbeaten against Division 1A teams – going a perfect 17-0 – including 10-0 in the Division 1A South.
Against 1A teams, the Serpents have outscored their opponents 1,211-583 for an average advantage of 71.2 points to 34.3, more than doubling the other teams.
Division 1A schools aren’t the only programs Mineral County has dusted, the Serpents going 6-1 against Division 2A squads and outscoring the opponents by an average of 62.7 to 38.1.
The Serpents even took down Division 4A North Valleys by a final score of 64-61 on Dec. 7, 2018, in Whittell.
Strength in numbers.
Mineral County does not have one or two or even three or four players who dominate the flow of its game.
Senior Robert McFalls leads the Serpents in a number of areas – points (14.2), steals (3.9), assists (3.3) – and collects 6.4 rebounds and bocks a shot per game.
The Serpents have five players who drop 5.5 points or more per contest, 12 players in total averaging two points or more.
Junior Treven Wachsmuth tallies 8.6 points, 4.2 boards, 2.4 assists and 1.7 steals.
Charging the rebounding effort is junior Seth Bozzi at 8.7 boards – scoring 8.4 points – also leading the defense with 1.8 rejections.
Senior Antonio Dominguez gives the Serpents 7.5 points, 3.8 rebounds, 2.5 assists and 2.8 steals.
Seniors Jonathan Scott and Damien Montoya each average 7.4 points – Scott adding 5.1 rebounds, 2.4 assists and 1.4 steals – Montoya chipping in three boards, 2.2 dimes and 1.3 takeaways.
The hits just keep coming as 6-foot-4, 230-pound senior center Devon Davis posts 5.5 points and 4.9 rebounds per game – senior Jared Dore notching 4.8 points and 5.1 boards.
As a team, the Serpents pull in a remarkable 41.3 rebounds per contest – combining athleticism with size – six players standing 6-foot or taller, led by the 6-foot-4 statures of both Davis and Bozzi.
Mineral County snags 14 steals and blocks 5.3 shots per contest but – as indicated in the scoring totals – the Serpents do a remarkable job of sharing the basketball.
On 750-made field goals, the Serpents have assisted 430 – averaging 16 dimes per game – five players posting 2.2 assists or more per contest.
Wells is led in scoring by sophomore Riley Stewart at 12.4 points per game – adding 2.1 steals – and senior Zane Rodriguez also scores in double figures at 11.3 points and leads the Leopards with 8.1 rebounds, 3.7 steals and 1.7 rejections per ballgame.
Junior Brent Battenfeld has emerged as a weapon for Wells and averages 7.1 points, 4.8 rebounds and 2.3 thefts.
Another junior, Sergio Soriano, dishes a team-best 3.1 assists per contest – also posting 6.1 points, 3.6 boards and 1.7 takeaways.
The Leopards are also balanced, 10 players averaging two points or more.
Juniors Jared Martinez and Matthew James each tally 3.8 points per game – Martinez dishing 2.5 assists and snagging 2.1 swipes – James tallying 3.4 boards and 1.6 steals.
Junior Angel Salazar averages 3.6 points, 2.8 rebounds, and 1.8 steals – senior Jesus Quintero posting 3.5 points and 3.1 boards.
The West-East No. 2 Leopards hope they can contain No. 1 Mineral County, Wells finishing off the first day of the Division 1A Nevada State Basketball Championships against the Serpents at 8:15 p.m. Friday, at SLAM Academy, in Las Vegas.