ELKO – With just four games remaining in the regular season, the Elko girls basketball team could use some Ws.
Luckily for the Lady Indians, all the contests will be played on their hardwood.
Elko is currently No. 7 in the Division 3A North standings with a 5-9 record, trailing No. 6 South Tahoe (6-8 in league).
However, the Lady Indians currently hold the head-to-head advantage over the Lady Vikings – Elko winning 44-43 with a last-second score by sophomore Olivia Morrell on Jan. 18, in South Tahoe, California.
After playing its last-seven games on the road – posting a 3-4 record – the Lady Indians will begin their four-game home stand at 6 p.m. Friday against North Valleys, a team Elko has already drubbed.
Elko is coming off a competitive loss of 54-47 on Tuesday, in Spring Creek.
The Lady Indians rolled to a 40-point, 64-24 victory over the Lady Panthers (5-19 overall, 4-11 in league) on Jan. 4, in Reno.
In the contest, Elko built an 18-7 advantage in the first quarter and blew the game wide open with a 25-7 streak in the second quarter.
Leading 43-14 at the break, Elko turned the game into a running clock in the third quarter – outscoring the Lady Panthers 16-4 in the frame – North Valleys edging the Lady Indians for the only time by a tally of 6-5 in the fourth period.
At the final buzzer, Elko cruised to a 64-24 win – the defense limiting the Lady Panthers to single digits in every quarter.
Senior Alexis Elquist – Elko’s leading scorer at 13.8 points per game – dropped a game-high 18 and nailed four 3s against the Lady Panthers, dished three assists, pulled down two boards and made a steal and a block.
Elquist also tops Elko’s roster with 6.1 rebounds, 2.5 assists and 1.6 blocks – adding 2.2 steals.
Junior Katie Ross was right on her heels in the first matchup with North Valleys and posted 17 points.
She ripped down a game-high eight rebounds and came away with three steals.
Ross is third on the team at 7.2 points per contest, averaging 4.2 boards.
Freshman point guard Jersey Tsosie also scored in double figures with 11 points, tying for the game high with five steals and grabbing seven rebounds.
For the season, Tsosie has averaged nine points, 5.8 rebounds, a team-best 2.5 takeaways and 2.1 assists.
Morrell – who gave the Lady Indians new life with their win over South Tahoe – scored five points and collected five boards against North Valleys, both totals better than her season averages of three points and 3.3 rebounds.
Junior Izzy Eklund has done a little of everything for Elko, notching 5.2 points, 5.2 rebounds, 2.4 steals and 2.1 assists.
Although she only took one shot against the Lady Panthers, she set up her teammates – dishing a game-best four assists – creating offensive opportunities with three takeaways.
In the first matchup with North Valleys, junior Marrisa Valdez played well with more minutes off the bench – finishing with four points, six rebounds, five steals and an assist.
Junior Summer Nielsen knocked down two shots and scored four points, sophomore Zoe Blair posted three points and four rebounds and senior Nevada Wachob tallied two points, three boards, two assists and two steals.
For North Valleys, junior Julia Dondero tallied six of her team-high eight points on two 3s.
Sophomore Georgia Wallin-Reed scored six points, tied for the team high with six rebounds, led all players with two rejections, dished an assist and made a steal.
She tops the team with 6.8 boards, 2.1 steals and 1.7 assists per contest – scoring 7.1 points.
Senior Cheyenne Vien scored four points – posting the stat line of six rebounds, a steal and an assist.
The scoring for the Lady Panthers was capped by a triple off the hand of junior Nichole Brandenburg.
For the season, North Valleys has been led by 7.5 points from junior Darlynn Wallin-Reed – who grabs 5.7 rebounds per game – but she was held scoreless against Elko.
Junior Ileana Ruiz-Gonzalez was also shut out by the Lady Indians, but she averages 5.1 points, 3.5 rebounds and 1.5 takeaways.
Despite Tuesday’s loss to the Lady Spartans, Elko showed some positive signs and hopes to carry the ups into their next game.
Ross scored a team-high 17 points, Elquist hit two 3s and finished with 12 points and freshman Millie Marin reached double digits and closed with 11 points.
The Lady Indians will step on the floor of Centennial Gymnasium to face the Lady Panthers at 6 p.m. Friday.
Elko will finish the weekend home stand with a 1 p.m. Saturday tip against the Lady Wolverines (16-5 overall, 9-5 in league), who blew out the Lady Indians 70-43 on Jan. 5, in Truckee, California.