Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Hailey boys grab first league win, girls keep rolling and wrestlers debut

Hailey boys rally past Hawks 45-37 in Basin

Running its motion offense very well and getting to the free throw line, the Wood River High School boys' varsity basketball team rallied past the Canyon Ridge Riverhawks 45-37 Thursday in Twin Falls.

Not only was it Wood River's first win of the 2009-10 season, it was the first Great Basin Conference victory for the Wolverines in two seasons. The Wolverines had lost 17 straight league games dating back to a 61-56 win over Minico in 2007.

At Canyon Ridge, sophomore Stone Sutton scored a game-high and season-best 16 points and senior guard Jordan Doan (13 points) had his best game ever, said Wood River cage coach John Radford.

"Canyon Ridge pressed us the entire game and we handled it well," said Radford. The Riverhawks (0-3) lost their first conference game.

Radford said the Wolverines have been trying to stay away from 3-point shooting in favor of working the ball inside. They made 21-of-28 free throws at Canyon Ridge, the team's best effort in that area in two campaigns. Last year, Wood River was 19-for-27 from the charity line in a 55-34 victory at Buhl.

Doan (9-for-10) was particularly effective at the line, where the Wolverines out-pointed Canyon Ridge 21-10. Sophomore post Quentin Dowdle added 7 points, senior Keven Abbott 4, senior Juan Martinez 3, senior Ryan Dean 1 and junior post Olle Hoeglund 1, his first point.

Wood River (1-3, 1-1) also lost at home to Buhl 56-32 Saturday.

Radford didn't have the services of Doan (bronchitis) and Martinez (hip injury), two of his best ballhandlers, on Saturday against Buhl (2-1). But Wood River ran its offense crisply against Buhl's man-to-man defense in the first half and trailed 20-15 at the half.

Sutton (7 points, 5 rebounds, 8 assists, 3 blocked shots) was effective passing to cutting players like Abbott (9 points, 2 boards, 2 steals) and Dowdle (8 points, 3 rebounds, 3 steals). Wood River kept its turnovers low, nine, in the first half.

"We ran the offense well in the first half," said Radford.

After half, Buhl did plenty of damage with its 1-2-2 zone trapping defense. Wood River committed 14 turnovers after intermission and gave Buhl some easy baskets. The Tribe took advantage, particularly quick junior guard Scott Harris (11 points, 6 steals, 3 assists).

Buhl put three players in double figures and nearly four. Besides Harris, they were senior post JD Leckenby (12 points, 4 rebounds) and junior wing Matt Hamilton (11 points, 5 boards). The Tribe outscored Wood River 36-17 after half.

Collecting two points apiece for Wood River were Isaiah Garza, Hoeglund (2 steals), Lucito Chavez and Alex Padilla (5 rebounds).

Wood River played at Kimberly Tuesday night and will host the Twin Falls Bruins Friday, Dec. 18.

Hailey JV captures first win

After double-digit losses to Filer and Burley and a close 48-47 loss at Canyon Ridge Thursday, the Wood River boys' junior varsity coached by Liz Clark posted its first victory Saturday by a 54-31 margin over Buhl on the Hailey floor.

Sophomore post Pedro Contreras tallied 8 of his game-high 14 points lifting Wood River to a 16-3 first-quarter lead against Buhl. The Wolverines shot well with eight field goals in the first eight minutes and built a 22-12 halftime advantage.

Other Hailey scorers were Lucito Chavez 10 points, Mica Merritt 7, Pancho Gomez 5, Dustin Rutkowski 4 and Jake Vegwert 4.

Two nights before at Canyon Ridge in Twin Falls, Contreras got hot with 9 of his team-high 20 points in the third period as the visitors erased a 24-20 halftime deficit—but the Riverhawks pulled out the one-point victory at the game's end.

Clark said she felt the Canyon Ridge game turned Wood River's fortunes around so they continue playing well and win against Buhl. Other scorers at Twin included Chance Larkin 6, Colton Larkin 6, Merritt 5 and Eddie Schobert 5.

Filer sweep makes it five road wins for WRHS

Humming along at the season's midpoint, the 4A Wood River High School girls' varsity basketball team (8-1, 1-1 league) added its fifth road wins in five tries Saturday by a 49-34 score at Filer to sweep the season series with the 3A Wildcats.

Eight Wolverines ended up in the scoring column led by top scorer Kaitana Martinez (13.6 ppg) with 14 points. Wood River (11-for-16 free throws) led 25-22 at halftime and stretched its advantage with a 14-4 third period run.

Pitching in with 8 points apiece were Monica Garceau, Tristin Bowers and Alex Lindbloom. Others were Haylee Thompson 5, Grace Lagodich 3, Kelly Chapman 2 and Cheyenne Swanson 1. For Filer (2-6), which dropped its fourth straight, Charmaine Weatherly had 12 points.

Wood River coach Mendy Benson said, "We had a couple of nice stretches where we looked to run the floor and played well, but overall Filer was a much improved basketball team and outworked us. We were fairly lucky to walk out of there with a win."

Wood River, winning its third consecutive game, came home to Hailey energized for two home league games—on Tuesday against Burley and on Thursday, Dec. 17 against Canyon Ridge (0-10, 0-4).

The Great Basin Conference is proving to be a real scramble. The early leader and ranked #2 in the poll is two-time defending league champion Jerome (8-1, 2-0) carrying a seven-game winning streak into Tuesday's league game at Twin Falls (5-4, 1-2).

Jerome will be tested this week. The Tigers visit #4-ranked Minico (7-2, 3-0) Thursday, Dec. 17 in Rupert and return to Burley (6-3, 1-1) on Saturday, Dec. 19. Minico won its fourth straight last Thursday by a 54-53 score at Twin Falls. And Burley goes to Twin Falls on Thursday.

Wrestlers debut at Capital duals meet

Wood River High School wrestlers battled against some of Idaho's best in last weekend's Capital Duals tournament that opened the 2009-10 prep season in Boise.

Head coach Shawn Huntington reported:

"It was a great tournament. We are so young so it was great for our kids to not have to worry about getting knocked out of the tournament. Since it was a dual tournament we were guaranteed six matches against other schools. They also made sure that district foes didn't match up so that was nice.

"We wrestled Vallivue from Caldwell and kept it really close. Then we wrestled the 5A bandit team (composed of really good #2 kids from around the state). We lost by 12 but gave up 18 points in forfeits so we won more than we lost.

"Then we wrestled Meridian, Caldwell and Eagle, all 5A teams. They all beat us pretty good but our kids fought hard. For the final match

we wrestled 4A Hillcrest of Idaho Falls and won 42-30.

"We didn't have any kids that went undefeated. Like I said before, we are very young, however I was very impressed with how aggressive our kids were and how they never appeared intimidated. After losing five matches in a row and being very tired we came out on fire and wrestled really well against Hillcrest in our final match.

"I was very proud of their effort."

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