High school basketball is back in session at The Community School in Sun Valley.
The Cutthroats of first-year coach Ed Flory have opened their 2008-09 campaign with two varsity losses, but they showed promise for the challenges coming up this season.
At Twin Falls Christian Academy in Twin Falls Thursday, TFCA's Tom Broadfield (16 points) and Austin Brown (12) combined for 28 points to lead the Warriors to a 51-32 win over the Cutthroats.
Tanner Flanigan, a junior, was an impressive standout in his first basketball game with competitive intensity and end-to-end floor energy. Senior Casper Brun came alive in the
second half and scored a team-high 14. The Fish played evenly with the Warriors after the break but couldn't overcome the 29-15 halftime deficit.
Other Cutthroat scorers were Chet Stephens 5 points, Paul Davis 4, Pete Atkinson 3, Lucas Vorsteveld 2, Will Weston 2 and Alex Conn 2.
Monday, the Cutthroats dropped a 51-22 decision to the host Jerome junior varsity. Paul Davis scored 10 points including two 3-pointers and Casper Brun had 6. Will Weston added 4 and Alex Conn 2.
The first home games at the Fish Tank in Sun Valley for both the JV and varsity squads are Friday, Dec. 12 against Bliss at 6 p.m. JV and 7:30 p.m. for the varsity.
Cutthroat JV starts 2-1
Two wins in their first two games kicked off the season for the Cutthroat JV boys.
Coach Jim Carkonen's boys opened with a decisive 42-10 victory over ISDB Tuesday, Dec. 2 in Gooding. They followed up with a thrilling 38-36 come-from-behind triumph at Twin Falls Christian Thursday.
At Gooding, the slower and shorthanded Raptors were unable to handle the speed and depth of the taller Cutthroat team. Out-rebounding ISDB by a three-to-one margin, TCS led at halftime by 12.
Charlie Grabow knocked down a sweet 12-foot swisher, while Reed Stokes and Eli Albarran each tallied 4 points. Henry Rickbeil scored 5 points and gathered 8 big rebounds. Peter Atkinson not only contributed 8 points, but he did a nice job controlling the Cutthroat offensive attack. Alex Conn had too much speed for the Raptors as he drove the court racking up 10 points.
Zac Dolenar, fresh from a cast removal and playing with a hand heavily bandaged, nevertheless gave valuable minutes. Harry Dreyfuss contributed hustle and energy to the Cutthroat 2-3 zone defense.
Chet "The Jet" Stephens had a nice overall floor game as he led all scorers with 11 points, including 9 in the 3rd quarter.
And Stephens was "the man" in Thursday's last-minute victory.
Stephens continued his red-hot shooting by draining a deep 3-point bomb with 42 seconds remaining in regulation to give the Cutthroat JV a thrilling 38-36 win over the Warriors of Twin Falls Christian Academy.
The trifecta rainbow, shot from beyond the 20-foot arc, silenced the hometown fans and abruptly ended the Warrior two-game win streak.
Relentless in their rally, the Cutthroats fought back from a 12-point halftime deficit to move within seven points by the end of the third quarter. Fueled by an intense 1-3-1 half-court trapping zone defense, the Fish backcourt trio of Peter Atkinson, Alex Conn and Stephens pressured the Warriors into numerous turnovers in the final minutes.
"This team really showed me something of its character and poise tonight," said Carkonen.
Reed Stokes, Charlie Grabow and Zac Dolenar all played key minutes in relief, while Eli Albarran battled to the end before being disqualified with his fifth foul. Henry Rickbeil (9 boards) led all rebounders. And Atkinson rang up the till for a baker's dozen 13 big points, 7 after the half.
Monday, the shorthanded Cutthroats (Stephens, Conn and Atkinson played varsity) fell 48-10 to Jerome's freshmen. Rickbeil (8 points, 11 rebounds) was an all-around force while the backcourt trio of Dolenar, Albarran and Grabow played their hearts out.
Fish girls have a busy week
It's a busy week for The Community School girls' junior varsity basketball team, which has four games including two at its Fish Tank homecourt.
Coach Willy Felton's Cutthroats fell 37-14 to a much more numerous Lighthouse Christian Academy squad Monday night in Sun Valley.
He said, "We faced a much larger team both numerically, and physically. We had one of our top scorers out for the game with a minor knee injury, Kayla Cloud. We missed her level head and great passing.
"Sophia Carkonen had her first start of the season, and had a great effort, but she had a hard time against the more veteran posts of Lighthouse. Lighthouse had most of its points from within the key.
"Maggie Flood stepped up with 6 steals and 6 points. Natalie Goddard did a good job as point against a swarming front court. When we run our offense we get all the scoring opportunities we need, but Lighthouse got us out of rhythm for a lot of the game."
The Fish visited Magic Valley Christian Tuesday in Jerome, host Bliss Friday at 4:30 p.m. in Sun Valley and entertain the Twin Falls sophomores Saturday at 5 p.m.
In their first games, the Cutthroats lost to Richfield 29-12 and the Twin Falls sophs 29-26 while winning their opening game at Twin Falls Christian back on Nov. 18.
Felton said, "We have had two juniors leading the charge with Kayla Cloud and Maggie Flood being our highest scorers on a regular basis. Natalie Goddard has been doing a good job at point and has been the next in the scoring category.
"With our height in the middle, we were dominant on the boards against Richfield but couldn't overcome their great guard play. They trapped and pressed the first quarter, which got them up early and fast.
"Overall, the players have a great team dynamic, and have been working together really well."