Wednesday, December 15, 2004

WR girls throttle Jerome, break 21-year drought

First win over Tigers in 43 games

Syringa Stark, Wood River senior co-captain, goes up hard for a rebound. Photo by David N. Seelig

Don't shed any tears for the Jerome Tigers after the reigning State 4A champions were shocked by the Wood River Wolverines 32-23 Thursday in girls' varsity basketball action on the Hailey hardwoods.

Jerome teams had beaten Wood River 43 consecutive games dating back 21 years, and most times the Tigers had trounced Wood River, by an average score of 54-29. But that long streak ended Thursday.

Senior co-captain Laura Johnson scored 9 points and senior co-captain Syringa Stark added 8 points as Wood River throttled Jerome 32-23. Lauren Morgenthaler added 8 points and Alexa Alberdi 6. Hailey shot 12-of-18 at the stripe.

It was Wood River's first triumph in its new 4A Great Basin Conference West. Jerome fell to 5-3 (0-2 league).

"We really needed it," said Wood River coach Brent Carnduff. "We don't score a lot (29.6 ppg), so we have to protect any points we do get by playing tough defense. The girls played very good defense against Jerome and we hit our free throws down the stretch."

Jerome sharpshooter Lindzie Kulm drained a trio of three-pointers in the first half, but Wood River still held a 17-12 lead at the break. Carnduff switched from a zone defense to a diamond-and-one in the second half, with Alberdi shadowing Kulm's every move.

And Kulm made only two free throws after intermission.

"We were taller than Jerome," said Carnduff.

He added, "We changed our offense a week ago and went back to our continuous motion offense—two posts and three perimeter players—that the girls were familiar with. We seemed to get more shots and had a stronger post presence."

The luxury of a two-game winning streak didn't last long for Wood River, though. Host Skyline (3-6) out-scored Wood River 60-24 Saturday in Idaho Falls. Kristen Miniard scored 7 points, Alberdi 6, Johnson 5 and Jamie Stone 4 for Hailey.

Wood River (2-7, 1-1 league) hosts #3-ranked Bonneville (8-2) tonight, Wednesday then goes to Burley (4-4, 1-1) on Friday for another league clash. The Wolverines lost to Bonneville by 48 points Nov. 19 and the Bees will be buzzing after having their eight-game winning streak snapped by host Blackfoot 65-48 Thursday night. On Saturday, Wood River finishes its pre-Christmas schedule by hosting Gooding (7-2) on the Hailey hardwoods.

WOLVERINE NOTES—Wood River hadn't played Jerome for six seasons, but from 1983-1998 the Wolverines dropped 43 straight games to Jerome. The last Hailey victory occurred Jan. 6, 1983 at Jerome, by a 46-37 score as Lori Pascoe scored 17 and Dana Pidgeon 12. The coach was Patrick Shannon. Three weeks before, the Wolverines had beaten reigning district champion and 1982 state consolation winner Jerome in Hailey 40-36 with Pascoe pumping in 19 points.

Freshman Hannah Ward and sophomore Jordan Scanlon will see more varsity time, since the varsity has lost senior Maddie Miller and junior Jackie Safran, Carnduff said. Kelsey Lidstrom, a 5-10 sophomore, will also be eligible for two varsity quarters.

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