Wednesday was a big night for Great Basin Conference girls' basketball, when three games gave some indication of which teams will battle for the title and which will be spoilers in the 4A six-team league.
The Wood River High School varsity (6-0, 2-0) kept its early-season winning streak alive by posting its first GBC road victory of the season by a 53-35 margin at Burley (2-6, 1-1).
Putting eight players in the scoring column for the game, Wood River (56.7 ppg) busted out to an 18-4 first-quarter lead and beefed it up to 30-9 at halftime.
Juniors Kaitana Martinez (20 points, 5 rebounds, 4 steals, 2 assists) and Haylee Thompson (12 points, 8 boards) topped the scoring. The Wolverines (a low total of 12 turnovers) shot 44% from the field and out-rebounded the Bobcats 29-18.
Wood River coach Mendy Benson said, "We came out strong, and I don't think Burley played its best game.
"Our first-half defense was awesome. We did a great job of closing out on the catch—we had very active hands, got some nice deflections and steals and forced turnovers. Burley didn't shoot the ball very well, but we did a pretty good job on the boards and limited their second chances.
"I think it's been awhile since we beat Burley on the road. We put a lot of emphasis on this game because we have to beat some teams on the road to get a good seed for district tournament. Our girls did an outstanding job of preparing mentally and physically to play after a long bus ride."
Other contributors were Taylor Hayes (8 points, 2 rebounds, 2 assists), Allie Hesteness (4 points, 4 boards, 4 steals, 3 assists), Cheyenne Swanson (3 points, 3 rebounds), Hunter Thompson (2 points), Jade Glenn (2 points, 6 boards) and Haillie Taylor (2 points, 3 rebounds, 3 steals). Burley's top point-getter was Chelsee Baker (14).
In another league battle, unbeaten Twin Falls (7-0, 1-0 league) captured a rare win in the Jerome gym by a 52-47 score. Jerome (4-3, 0-2) is getting ready for the visit of Wood River on Thursday, Dec. 16. Twin Falls arrives in Hailey Jan. 6 for the first of two games.
Meanwhile, Wood River will host Minico of Rupert (2-5, 0-2) today, Friday, Dec. 10 on the Hailey hardwoods. Canyon Ridge of Twin Falls (4-3, 1-1) slipped past visiting Minico 39-36 Wednesday night.
Wood River Athletic Director John Rade announced Thursday that starting immediately, freshman basketball games will begin at 5:50 p.m. instead of 6 p.m. in the upper gym. The junior varsity games will start at 6 p.m. and the varsity at 7:30 p.m.