Flores returns for WHS, but Yerington wins
Yerington High’s Wes Thomas scored 21 points and Hymie Olvera added 15 Tuesday, as the Lions defeated the Whittell Warriors 67-60, spoiling the season debut of Warrior point guard Nestor Flores.
In a game that was up-and-down from the second quarter on, the visiting Lions came up with a 6-0 run late in the fourth quarter that proved to be the decisive blow.
Up four points with three minutes to go, the Lions spread the floor on offense and forced the Warriors to challenge the ball. Blown defensive assignments by the Warriors led to three uncontested layups, pushing the Lion lead to 63-53 with 2 minutes to play.
“That was our game plan to spread the offense,” Lion coach Daron Wildermuth said. “We rolled the dice and it worked.”
The win was the second for the 3A Lions over the Warriors this year, the first being a 25-point defeat in the Battle Mountain tournament.
But comparing the two games is like comparing night and day.
With the speedy Flores logging his first game for the Warriors, the team had a true point guard for the first time this year, forcing the Lions to run with them all night long.
And while he only scored eight points, Flores’ teammates benefited from his ballhandling skills and quality assists.
Senior Ryan Salomon scored 11 of his 13 points in the second half and Jake Summers dropped in 20 points, including four 3-pointers to lead the Warriors in scoring.
“Nestor coming back is definitely what we needed,” Salomon said. “We’ve been losing point after point and possession after possession, but now we have that little extra umph (with Nestor).”
Salomon’s big second half was highlighted by quick post moves and aggressive play on the boards.
“The first half I really wasn’t feeling it, but then I came out and got motivated, Salomon said. “I really wanted to win ’cause I’m sick of losing; 1-6 isn’t really doin’ it for me.”
Unfortunately for the Warriors, Salomon’s second-half effort inside was equaled by Olvera, who notched 13 of his 15 points after the break.
While the Warriors slip to 1-7 with most of their losses coming by way of 3A and 4A schools, both players and coach feel it’s only a matter of time before they get it going.
“I’ll tell you the honest truth, when we’re on the court, 3A, 4A, 5A, it doesn’t make a difference, they all look the same in height,” Salomon said. “I think we just need to improve on our 2-3 defense and our communication as a team and we’ll be all right.”
Warrior coach Don Amaral agreed.
“We’re getting better and the kids continue to play extremely hard,” he said. “We need to work a little more on our shooting and taking care of the ball and we’ll be OK.”
The Warriors will try and turn it around on the road Thursday as they travel to Quincy.
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