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Sparks girls basketball struggles in Elko
by Martin Harris - Elko Daily Free Press
Feb 07, 2014 | 592 views | 0 0 comments | 11 11 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Contributed photo - Elko's Shayla Butterfield (50) shoots over Sparks' Gabriela Morgan (10) during the first half of Friday's game at Centennial Gym.
Contributed photo - Elko's Shayla Butterfield (50) shoots over Sparks' Gabriela Morgan (10) during the first half of Friday's game at Centennial Gym.
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ELKO -- The Elko girls basketball team left nothing in doubt Friday night.

The Lady Indians did not utilize their full-court press and still posted a lopsided 65-30 victory against visiting Sparks.

"We wanted to slow it down and work on our execution," Tribe coach Camille Larsen said about not running the press. "We wanted to work on our half-court sets and our half-court defense. I wanted them to see they could be just as aggressive in a half-court defense as they can be in the press."

The Lady Railroaders actually took a 4-2 lead after back-to-back baskets by Roxana Guadron, but it was their first and only lead of the game.

Elko answered with 22 unanswered points to turn the contest into a rout, and they did it with a flurry of good passes.

The Tribe's Shay Digenan dished out four assists in the first quarter. She found Marissa Elquist for the opening basket of the contest. The senior also hit Desirea Danner, Shayla Butterfield and Hailee Simpson.

Danner also connected with Elquist, and Elquist hit a turnaround jump shot to tie the score at 4-all. Danner and Butterfield then went to work as they combined to score the next 15 points.

As well as the Lady Indians played in the first quarter, they were unable to keep the same intensity level through the remainder of the game as they allowed the Lady Railroaders to play them close the last three quarters.

The Lady Indians went on an 11-0 run early in the second quarter. Emily Elquist started the run as she tipped the ball away from Sparks, and teammate Siana Carsrud scooped it up for a layup. About 30 seconds later, Simpson hit Marissa Sandoval for a short-range jumper. Carsrud kept it going by stealing the ball and going the other way for a layup. Ashton Heathman made it 32-6 with 4:24 left in the opening half.

The Railroaders found a little spurt with a 6-0 run that included a 3-pointer by Gabriela Morgan.

In the closing seconds of the first half, Emily Elquist knocked down a basket from just inside the arc off a pass from Digenan, and Heathman stole the ball for a layup to make it 39-15 at the half.

With the game in hand early, Larsen went to her bench early and often as all 11 players saw significant minutes on the court.

"Everybody scored tonight," Larsen said. "That's always nice."

It is the first time this season that every player dressed has scored.

In the third quarter, Danner scored 11 of her 16 points to make it 54-18 by the time she went to the bench for final 10 minutes of regulation.

Midway through the fourth, Heathman was out in front on a transition play and dished off to Dani Brandow. The senior hit a short jumper. It was the senior's first varsity points. Later in the quarter, Mirna Torres hit a layup, and Digenan, who had at least six assists, scored her first basket of the game with just 8 seconds left to get everyone in the scorebook. Danner and Butterfield each scored 16 points for the Tribe, and Sandoval chipped in eight.

Sparks got 10 points from Guadron and nine from Karla Burgos.

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