There's a good chance Yerington High School has the hottest 6-19 basketball team anywhere in Nevada.
The Lions gave their 3A boys postseason hopes a huge boost Wednesday night at home when they shot down Pershing County, 73-55, to take over third-place in Division I.
Yerington (6-19) has now won four of its last five division games to improve to 5-6, one game ahead of Whittell and Dayton in a down-to-the-wire race for third-place in the standings. Whittell (4-6) lost 64-29 at home to division-leading Bishop Manogue on Wednesday.
Pershing County is second in Division I with an 8-2 record.
Josh Allen scored 17 points, Matt Farler 15, Zach Roots 14 and Alex Tapia 12 to lead a balanced Yerington attack. All four came through with some key contributions at various points in the game.
Allen scored 15 in the first half, including a pair of 3-point baskets in the first quarter that helped stake the Lions to a 21-9 lead.
Yerington extended its lead to 27-9 before the Mustangs from Lovelock mounted a comeback. They trailed 38-29 at halftime and got back within five points, only to see the Lions take off again. Roots buried a momentum-killing 3-pointer and Farler scored six points in the third period as Yerington pushed its lead back to 61-45 at the three-quarter mark.
Tapia drew his first starting assignment of the season and played tough defense against Pershing County's high-scoring John Grenz, who finished the night with 20 points.
"Alex did a great job," Yerington coach Daron Wildermuth said. "Grenz scored 20, but I'll tell you, Alex made him earn every one of those points."
Roots was also solid on the defensive end, as he limited talented Brandon Swindlehurst to one point.
Yerington is in position to clinch a berth in the Division I tournament Friday night when it hosts Lyon County rival Dayton.
Whittell is at home for its final two games this weekend: Friday against Mineral County and Saturday. The top four finishers advance to the Division II tournament next week.
DAYTON 66, INCLINE 48
Jeanette Macall, Tasha Thompson and Jennifer Dillie made their final home game a memorable one as they combined to score 53 points on a night when the Dust Devils shot 58 percent from the field.
Macall and Dillie scored 19 points each and Thompson added 15 for the Dust Devils, who improved their third-place Division II record to 7-3 (15-11 overall). The 19-point toal Macall's season high.
Dayton shot 31-for-53 from the field as a team.
The Dust Devils conclude their regular season Friday with a shoot-out at Yerington that will decide second-place in Division I.
YERINGTON 79, PERSHING 53
Letitia Talbot scored 28 points and Brandy Smith 25 as the Lions improved to 9-2 in Division II and maintained their hold on second-place.
The Lions pulled away after halftime as they outscored Pershing County 46-28 in the final two periods. Defense was the key, according to coach Brett Edmunds.
"I thought we did a good job of pulling together and playing defense in the second half," Edmunds said. "We got a lot of steals and that in turn got our fast break going.
Smith scored 10 points in the third quarter, including a pair of 3-pointers. The sophomore also buried three treys in the second period. Talbot also scored 16 points in the second half.