Knights use press to rally past
3-pointers a factor in Hillcrest
Ball handling mistakes cost Wood River
dearly last Tuesday in an exciting non-conference girls’ basketball game on the
Tiffany Wheeler shoots over Hillcrest’s 6-0 senior post Kellie Anderson
during last Tuesday‘s game in Hailey. Express photo by David N. Seelig
Wood River High School’s varsity
squandered a 13-point half-time lead and 11-point fourth-quarter advantage in a
61-57 loss to the 4A Hillcrest Knights from Idaho Falls.
Turnovers were Wood River’s nemesis on a
night when the highly-regarded Hailey squad out-rebounded Hillcrest 29-16 and
put up its best offensive numbers of 2003.
But Hillcrest (4-1) out-pointed Wood River
29-14 in the fourth and left Hailey with its fourth straight victory. Wood River
fell to 3-2 on the season.
It was Wood River’s first loss on its new
court. Top scorer Natalie Green scored 22 points, Emily Smith 17 and Jessica
King 14—but the trio tallied all but four of Hailey’s points.
Hillcrest’s full-court pressure defense
took its toll. So did some hot outside shooting by the Knights’ guards (five
3-pointers in the fourth, seven for the game). Junior guard Michelle Boyce
pumped in 15 of her 20 points in the fourth.
Before the fourth, things were looking
good for Hailey.
Wood River’s tough match-up zone gave
Hillcrest plenty of problems in the first half. Patrolling the middle, King
muscled the Knights’ inside game and did well shutting off passes from the high
to the low post.
At half, Wood River led 30-17 and the
Wolverines kept holding their own against the Hillcrest press in the third
Nikki Calzacorta of Wood River has the soft touch close to the basket,
with Hillcrest’s Kellie Anderson defending last Tuesday. Hillcrest’s Knights
rallied to win 61-57. Express photo by David N. Seelig
Playing only seven players, Wood River
couldn’t afford to lose anyone—and things started changing dramatically when
King sat down with her third personal late in the third.
Before she returned, Hillcrest sliced its
11-point deficit to three points and the game settled into a series of
hard-fought lead changes until Boyce popped two straight 3-pointers turning a
50-49 Hillcrest deficit into a 55-50 lead.
Boyce was the difference. After she and
Knights guard Cherie Fairbourn were shut out in the first half, Boyce (four
3-pointers) had 20 and Fairbourn 8 after half. Hillcrest’s 6-0 senior post
Kellie Anderson (18 points, 7 boards, 3 steals) was a major factor as well.
Green had a great all-around game with 22
points, 6 rebounds, 4 steals, 4 assists and 2 blocked shots. Smith added a
season-best 17 points, 5 rebounds, 2 steals and 2 assists.
King’s boardwork yielded 9 rebounds and
she also had 6 steals, 3 assists and 14 points.
Syringa Stark added 4 rebounds and 2
assists, Dawn Bird 2 points, Tiffany Wheeler 2 points, 3 boards and 3 assists.
The Wolverines had a difficult road
assignment at Declo Tuesday night. It was the first Sawtooth Central Idaho
Conference game of the season.
On Saturday, Dec. 6 Wood River tries to
get home court revenge against the Vallivue Falcons. Vallivue defeated Wood
River 62-46 in Caldwell Nov. 15 in the season opener.