ELKO – The Elko boys basketball team entered the finale of its preseason home tournament with a 2-0 record, leaving the floor Saturday with a blemish in the loss column.
A back-and-forth contest against Reed resulted in a two-point win for the Raiders – who trailed at halftime – the Indians unable to produce a game-tying or go-ahead field goal as time expired, Reed finishing with a 64-62 victory.
A couple things were made clear early on; Elko had to slow the game down – advantage Reed when the pace picked up.
The game’s opening score came on a steal and thunderous dunk by Reed senior Matthew Williams, but the game was knotted when Elko freshman Michael Klekas knocked down a floater.
The Raiders grabbed a two-score lead on consecutive buckets by senior Tyler Wilson on a hustle play in the lane and a steal and layup by junior Trey Stevens.
Elko tied the contest on a pair of free throws by senior Alex Klekas and two freebies from senior Ronin Rowley.
Following an Elko turnover, Stevens made the Indians pay once more on the break.
Elko took a one-point lead with a three by sophomore Sean Klekas, and the Indians went up four on a triple by Rowley in the left corner – coming on a crosscourt skip pass from Ales Klekas.
Trailing 12-8, the Raiders gained a deuce by senior Franz Castillo.
Rowley continued his strong start with a contested finish through contact in the middle on a jump hook, but Reed sliced the margin back down to two on a layup by senior Kellen George from a sweet pocket pass along the baseline.
Sean Klekas drained a contested midrange jumper from the right elbow, but the Raiders cut the deficit to one after a foul on a closeout on a three – Stevens splashing all three attempts at the stripe.
Rowley provided the final points of the period, scoring with a cut down left side on an inbound pass from Sean Klekas underneath the basket.
After the first quarter, the Indians led 18-15.
The game was tied on the first bucket of the second quarter, Williams driving through the defense for an And-1 plus the free throw.
Rowley scored with his left hand on a hook, but the game gridlocked once again on a deuce by junior Ridge Peterson.
Alex Klekas sized up his defender with a jab step and drilled a three from the left wing, but Williams blocked a shot on Elko’s next possession and went coast-to-coast past the defense and finished another hoop with the harm – the free throw making the score 23-all.
Elko grabbed a three-point advantage as senior Joe Simpkins pulled the trigger quickly from distance on the right wing, but the Indians allowed several offensive boards – resulting in consecutive 1-for-2 trips to the line by Wilson.
Rowley went back to the jump hook for the final bucket of the half, the Indians taking a 28-25 lead at the break.
Reed quickly grabbed the upper hand to start the third quarter; senior Takoda Kester banging home a three and Williams penetrating for another resounding jam for a 30-28 lead.
Alex Klekas regained the high side for Elko with a triple, starting the seesaw-second half.
A free throw by Wilson tied the game 31-31, but Michael Klekas scored on an inbound play for his second field goal.
Another three by Kester – his second of the quarter – surged the Raiders in front, 34-33.
Battling fire with more heat, Alex Klekas’ second three of the frame gave the Indians a 36-34 lead.
Wilson scored inside and Reed took the upper hand with a pullup on the break.
Elko sophomore Jake Zeller made a free throw but Reed went up three on a dime to junior Neill Baysa for a deuce.
Sean Klekas trimmed the lead to one with a clean trip at the line, but Williams flew high and collected his own miss for a follow-up bucket in the sea of bodies.
Alex Klekas knifed through the defense and finished at the tin, but the length and athleticism of Williams resulted in another score for the Raiders.
With 2:35 remaining in the third, Sean Klekas tied the game at 44-all with a three from the top of the arc and forced a timeout.
From the reset, the Raiders’ first points came from an Elko turnover – Stevens sinking two free throws after making a steal.
A lefty scoop across the key by Alex Klekas tied the score 46-46.
Michael Klekas ripped the twine from the right side for a three with 45 seconds on the clock, but the contest was immediately tied by a circus And-1 flip from left to right across the lane by Stevens – the free throw making the score 49-49.
Alex Klekas built some momentum for the Indians, starting the fourth period with a triple.
Coming right back, Stevens hammered home a game-tying three and gave the Raiders a 54-52 lead with a layup after a steal.
Sean Klekas buried a free throw and Alex Klekas gave Elko a 55-54 advantage with a baseline drive.
Down by one, the Raiders quickly went up three.
Stevens gashed the left side of Elko’s defense for a deuce and Williams took on all the Indians with a strong take and double-clutch finish.
Rowley hustled for a put-back on a loose ball and Alex Klekas regained the upper hand for Elko with two free throws at the 3:15 mark.
Simpkins drew a charge on the defensive end, and Alex Klekas took the rock to the hole on the right side for a 61-58 lead.
A free throw by Baysa cut Reed’s deficit to two after Rowley appeared to be in position to earn another charging call.
Rowley connected on a free throw of his on the other end, but Williams lined up a triple from straightaway and knotted the score at 62-all.
The Indians missed a good look at a three from the wing, and Reed nearly turned the ball over with 46 seconds on the clock – a jump ball after a timeout going to the Raiders on the possession arrow.
Wilson used the fortune to his advantage, giving the Raiders a two-point lead with a bank from the right block.
Elko took a timeout with 13.2 seconds on the clock, but a clean look from the right corner did not fall – the loose ball collected by Rowley at the last second – the final flip bouncing off the rim.
Reed forced turnovers and used its athleticism in a back-and-forth ballgame, escaping Elko with a 64-62 win.
Alex Klekas scored a game-high 24 points for the Indians – 19 coming in the second half – knocking down four 3s.
Stevens and Williams combined for 38 points for the Raiders, each pouring in 19 and both scoring in double figures in the second half.
Rowley finished with 16 points for Elko, dropping 13 before the break.
Sean Klekas gave Elko its third scorer in double digits with 16 points, making two triples.
Wilson approached double figures for Reed with nine points – providing the game-winning field goal – and all of Kester’s six points came by way of two 3s in the third quarter.
The Indians will be back in action during their Division 3A North opener, beginning league play against Fernley at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 14, at Centennial Gymnasium.