Winning on the road is infinitely harder than winning at home, so Wood River basketball coach Fred Trenkle was encouraged by his team's split in non-conference action last week.
The Wolverines (2-3) bounced back from a 36-34 loss to Buhl Thursday, besting Kimberly 47-36 Friday. With the victory, Wood River equaled its win tally from last season.
"Hey, it's all gravy from here on out," Trenkle joshed, but quickly added why he liked his team's effort last week.
"Buhl is picked to win their conference and they beat us twice last year, but they needed a buzzer beater to do it this time. We did a nice job staying with them."
Despite the Tribe's energy and enthusiasm of being in a new gym, Wood River trailed by only three at the end of the first quarter, 9-6, and played Buhl (3-1) even up for the remainder.
Wolverine Travis Beckman hit a 15-foot jumper with 24 seconds remaining to tie the contest 34-all, but Buhl's Will Chivers (12 points) bagged the game-winning bucket with two ticks on the clock.
Given the fact the Tribe knocked off the Wolverines 58-47 and 62-56 in 2004, it was a loss Trenkle could swallow.
"We were 5-of-16 from the free throw line and had we made those we would have won," Trenkle commented. "We were 0-for-6 before we made one." Committing 22 turnovers to Buhl's 17 did not help the team's cause either.
Back from a knee injury, Morgan Uhrig scored a game-high 17 points, the second-highest scoring effort of his career according to Trenkle.
Travis Beckman and Eric Jacobson chipped in 4 points apiece. Jesse Stark added 3, Cooper McCroskey 2, Kyle Lubeck 2, and Cory Rutkowski 2.
Despite getting home at midnight the previous night, Wood River was raring to go in a Friday night showdown against Kimberly (1-2), leading at every break in a 47-36 victory.
Trenkle recounted the keys to victory.
"We rebounded the ball better. We had an 11-rebound advantage. We guarded Kimberly extremely well. We played closer to the bone."
Wood River also upped its free throw percentage to 64 percent (11-for-17) opposed to 31 percent in its previous performance.
Once again, Uhrig was the game's high man with 11 points. Also scoring were McCroskey 10, Jacobson 9, Stark 4, Lubeck 4, Rutkowski 4, David Sibrian 3, and Corbin Miniard 2.
"It's going to take a team effort to do well this year, but we're going to get better as the year goes on," Trenkle said.
Wood River (2-3) entertains Middleton (1-2), tonight, Wednesday, December 14 and plays host to Challis tomorrow. The Wolverines first Great Basin Conference West league contest is at Minico in Rupert on Saturday, Dec. 17. Varsity tip off is 7:30 p.m.
The Spartans are currently 2-2, and like the Wolverines will have two more games under their belt by the time they meet.
"We have played three good games in a row and we want to build it up to five games in a row and then six games. That will be great," Trenkle said. "No one is going to play any harder than us."