As it turned out, Elko won by a comfortable 81-50 margin Friday night against the visiting Sparks Railroaders. The Indians pulled their starters halfway through the third quarter.
"When you make shots, you look good and we made shots," Tribe coach Chris Klekas said. "We shot the ball well, but what I was real pleased with is the kids made the extra pass to find the wide-open shooter."
The Indians started the game with a play that got the crowd on their feet in a hurry. On the opening play, Nathan Klekas dished an alley-oop pass to Brian Pearson for a dunk. It was merely a sign of how the game would go for the Railroaders, who were outmatched in height at every position.
The Tribe extended their edge out to a comfortable lead thanks to a 14-2 run sparked by a pair of 3-pointers by Brandon Jenkins. The junior was 4-for-4 from beyond the arc and 5-of-6 from the field in the contest.
Marshall Dumas came up with a steal for a layup, and moments later, Dumas passed off to Tim Meo for a basket in traffic. Dumas and Nathan Klekas capped off the run with a pair of layups.
In the final 90 seconds of the first quarter, the Indians buried three 3-pointers - two by Klekas and one by Cody Nielsen to make it 27-13 at the end of the opening period.
To the Railroaders' credit, they hung around thanks to some early 3s as well. They hit three in the first quarter and nine in the game.
"We had some guys doing the right things and some guys who weren't," coach Klekas said of his defense. "Once we all got on the same page, we did a better job."
In the second quarter, the Railroaders could not contain Nathan Klekas. The junior scored 11 of his game-high 21 points during the period. His dunk with a minute left in the first half provided an exclamation point to what turned out to be a 52-26 lead at the break.
The Indians started the second half on a 14-3 run behind two more triples by Jenkins and three buckets from Pearson. Jenkins provided one final highlight as he drove to the basket, faked the pass to lose a defender and went up for an uncontested layup. With that play, the Indians led 66-29, and a whole new five players came off the bench for the Indians.
Elko's reserves played well to maintain a comfortable lead. Wyatt Griggs scored a career-high eight points - all in the fourth quarter.
The Railroaders got 15 points from Isaiah Campbell and 12 from Vhernon Trinidad. The two combined to knock down seven 3-pointers.