ELKO – The Wells boys basketball program received a solid amount of recognition when the divisional awards of the IV Northern-East were released, both from a player and a coach standpoint.
Leopard senior Raul Naranjo was named to the 1st-Team All-Division squad, while his coach, Joel Soriano, was named the Coach of the Year in his very first season at the helm.
Soriano guided the Leopards to a 13-7 overall record and a 9-1 mark in league play, earning the No. 2 seed entering the regional tournament. Wells fell to Pyramid Lake by a score of 66-48 in the regional quarterfinal.
“Well, the kids are what won me the award. They were the ones out there playing and picking up the wins. They made me look good,” Soriano said. “It was different being the head coach after serving as an assistant. I got to insert my style of play, and we can move forward using that and build a successful program.”
Naranjo led Wells in virtually every statistical category, posting team highs of eight rebounds, 3.5 assists, three steals and three blocks per contest. He scored in double figures at 11.5 points per game.
Wells junior Joey Gardner earned 2nd-Team All-Division honors, as did Carlin senior Kade Armstrong.
Gardner led the Leopards with 12 points per game, adding 3.3 rebounds, three steals, and two assists.
Armstrong posted averages of seven points, seven rebounds, two assists, two steals and more than one block per game.
Elko County had five players named to the Division IV Northern-East Honorable Mention team.
Two of the five Elko County honorable mention players were from Wells and two came from Owyhee, the final being a Railroader.
Wells senior Patrick Wines scored in double digits, averaging 10.4 points per contest. Wines also added 4.1 rebounds and two steals per game.
The other Leopard on the honorable-mention team was junior Britton Johnny. Johnny scored 8.1 points, grabbed two rebounds and collected a steal per game.
The two Owyhee Braves who earned honorable mentions were senior Eric Cota and junior Ricky Baker. Owyhee did not keep up-to date stats on MaxPreps.com.
Carlin sophomore Makai Haub was also tabbed as an All-Division Honorable Mention selection. The big man tallied eight points, eight rebounds and one steal per game.
Congratulations to Wells head coach Joel Soriano on his Coach of the Year Award, starting an upward trend in the Leopards’ basketball program, and a job well-done by Raul Naranjo – ending his senior season as a 1st-Team All-Division selection of the IV North.
All players who received divisional recognition deserve to be applauded for their efforts during the 2015-2016 basketball season.