Winning 46-38 in Jerome, Wood River
sends a message
Defense, free throws, Trenkle = First
win at Jerome in 11 years
By JEFF CORDES
Express Staff Writer
It was only one game, one early-season
game, in a long boys’ basketball season.
But few games in Wood River High School
history have meant more to the basketball program than Hailey’s come-from-behind
46-38 victory Friday on the Jerome hardwoods.
First-year coach Fred Trenkle’s initial
win in his second stint at Wood River sent a clear message that reverberated
across southern Idaho.
The message: Wood River is back—don’t
underestimate the Wolverines on the court.
"We’re gonna be all right," said Trenkle,
acknowledging that Wood River’s first win at Jerome in 11 years boosted the
team’s confidence. "The kids played hard all night."
Junior guard Brady Femling sparked Wood
River’s rally by scoring 9 of his 12 points in the third quarter.
Fueled by aggressive man-to-man defense
and movement on offense, Wood River’s 28-7 run after half turned a 9-point
deficit into a 12-point Hailey lead.
"We got the ball down low and started
getting it inside," said Trenkle. "When they got some movement, the shots came a
"Defensively we just shut them out. They
tired, and we had the energy—although we’ve still got a long way to go before
we’re in shape."
It was a different story at the beginning
of the game.
Turnovers and a reluctance to shoot
plagued Wood River in the first half at Jerome. Hitting from the outside, the
Tigers out-rebounded the Wolverines 7-2 in the first seven minutes of the second
quarter and stretched their lead to 12.
At half, Hailey trailed 24-15.
"Jerome was taking away our wing pass,
just like Mountain Home did a couple of nights before," Trenkle said.
Facing a big deficit in a tough gym,
Trenkle urged the young men from Hailey to take it two points at a time. And
that’s what Wood River did.
And the Wolverines (17-for-33 at the free
throw line) kept getting Jerome starters into foul trouble. Midway through the
third, three Tiger starters had four fouls—and three Tigers ended up fouling
Jeremy Selcho (12 points, 5 rebounds) made
a spinning shot and Jason Hofman (10 points, 7 rebounds) drove to the hoop on a
Matt Pruett (4 points, 4 boards) drilled a
pull-up jumper and Femling (12 points, 3 rebounds, 2 steals, 2 assists) softly
canned a 3-pointer on a pass from Riley Neff.
Cut in half, Jerome’s lead was 29-24
before Wood River embarked on a 10-0 run to end the third period.
Hofman made two charities. Jerome, faced
with a surprising Wolverine zone defense, turned the ball over. In the
high-post, low-post offense, 6-3 Neff passed to 6-7 Hofman, who went in and
dunked the ball with authority.
Femling spotted a seam in Jerome’s defense
and raced to the basket for a lay-up and 30-29 Wolverine lead. Femling then made
two free throws, 32-29.
Most telling, Femling showed Wood River’s
resourcefulness in the final seconds.
After Jerome’s Curtis Bell stripped the
ball from point guard Femling at midcourt, Femling stole it right back and
scooped up an 18-footer at the buzzer for a 34-29 Hailey lead.
"Now, we know we can hit shots,"
Trenkle said at the break entering the fourth.
The lead grew to eight when Selcho scored
on a cut, from Pruett, and Pruett stole the ball and scored on transition. Joe
Paisley then drew an offensive foul. It was Wood River’s fourth drawn charge of
With four minutes left, Wood River held a
38-31 lead—certainly unfamiliar terrain for a Wolverine program that entered the
season with only 15 wins in its last 89 games. Trenkle felt it was high time to
send one more vital message.
"Who are we playing?" he barked in the
Several Wolverines muttered the word
"No, we’re playing the scoreboard, not
Jerome," Trenkle barked back, drawing attention to the need for taking some time
off the clock and taking advantage of Jerome’s 10 personal fouls in the half.
Wood River snapped back to attention,
making seven of its final 10 free throws—after going 1-for-8 at the stripe in
the fourth before Trenkle’s talk.
Reserve guard Dylan Fullmer made 3-for-4
at the line and had two big rebounds. Other stats: Paisley 2 points and 3
boards; Riley Neff 2 points, 2 boards and 2 assists; Jonathan Dittmer 1 point.
All 11 Wolverines got playing time.
Trenkle, his players and Wood River fans
hope the Jerome victory is a sign of good things to come for Hailey.
Not only did the win snap a 10-game
Wolverine losing skid to Jerome teams dating back to 1996, here’s another dreary
statistic that the Wolverines stopped Friday:
Wood River had lost seven straight games
in the Jerome gym by an average 26 points per game. The last Wolverine win at
Jerome came in 1992, 11 years ago, when the last Wolverine winning team (15-8)
beat the Tigers 55-50 in overtime on Sean Johnson’s 22 points.
One sign of Trenkle’s influence was that
in Wood River’s first two road games last week against 4A opponents the
Wolverines were 29-of-61 at the free throw line, compared to 12-of-25 for their
Last Wednesday, Wood River fell into a
30-17 half-time hole at Mountain Home and couldn’t climb out, although nine
Wolverines ended up scoring in the 51-37 setback.
Selcho scored 13 points, Neff 7, Hofman 4,
Femling 4, Paisley 2, Kory Ott 2, Brian Ward 2, Dittmer 2 and Scott Bohrer 1.