In grinder, WRHS girls hold off Minico 44-38
The Minico High School girls' basketball team decided it wasn't going to have enough offense to beat the high-scoring Wood River girls (54.9 ppg) on the Hailey court Friday—so Minico slowed down the league game and fired up its defense.
Minico's plan was to deny the ball to top Wood River scorer Kaitana Martinez (22.3 ppg) and let the other Wolverine guards take the outside shots. It worked, but the Wolverine defense was just as rugged in the grinding Great Basin Conference early-season battle.
Coach Mendy Benson's Wolverines kept their turnovers to an absolute minimum (5), came up with 17 steals and held off the Spartans 44-38. Despite its season-low scoring total, Wood River nearly put four players in double figures for the night.
The Wolverines (7-0, 3-0 league) stayed unbeaten in five games at home and kept opponents under 40 points for the seventh straight game. They are the early leaders in the Great Basin, but their tougher tests lie ahead in Jerome (5-2, 1-1) and Twin Falls (8-1, 2-0).
It wasn't pretty—Hailey shooting 36% from the field and Minico 32%—yet Friday's game felt like tournament time.
Martinez, hounded by the in-your-face defense of Minico juniors Marlee Chandler and Araciel Santana, still managed to lead the Wolverines with 12 points. Her steal and transition hoop starting the fourth quarter gave Wood River its biggest lead, 14 points, at 40-26.
Out-rebounding Wood River 11-3 in the fourth and 26-23 for the game, Minico's shorter lineup chipped away in the final eight minutes and cut Hailey's lead to 42-38 with 50 seconds left. Cheyenne Swanson made a big steal and Martinez canned two free throws to restore order at the end.
With Martinez bottled up, Wood River guards Allie Hesteness (9 points, three 3-pointers, 2 steals, 2 assists) and Taylor Hayes (8 points, 3 steals) got plenty of open looks from the perimeter and came up with season-high scoring totals. They got 23 shots, making seven (30%), while Martinez shot nine times from the field.
Fortunately, junior post Haylee Thompson (12.7 ppg) tallied eight of her 11 points in the middle quarters when Wood River built leads ranging up to 12 points. It was her seventh straight game in double figures. Thompson added a team-high nine rebounds.
Wood River contributors were Martinez (3 rebounds, 5 steals, 5 assists), Hunter Thompson (3 rebounds, 3 steals), Jade Glenn (2 blocked shots), Haillie Taylor (2 points, 2 boards) and Swanson (2 points, 4 rebounds, 3 steals).
Minico's 5-10 senior Dayna Phillips (4 points, 12 rebounds) fueled her team's fourth-quarter surge with six boards and all of her points. Chandler (10 points, 6 rebounds, 2 steals, 3 assists) was an all-around player who wasn't afraid at all of going up against Martinez.
Minico (2-6) fell to 0-3 league.
Tuesday night, Wood River traveled to Kimberly (4-2), the Bulldogs coming off a 23-point win at Filer Saturday.
Wood River goes to Jerome Thursday, Dec. 16 where Martinez and her highly regarded squad face a tough test against Tiger senior guard Carrie Thibault, who recently signed a letter of intent to play basketball for Oregon Tech.
Another trip is Saturday, Dec. 18 to Idaho Falls against Hillcrest (2-5), an 18-point loser in Hailey Nov. 20. That is a matinee 3:30 p.m. contest.
Carey girls, boys take care of Oakley
Carey High School players, coaches and fans enjoyed one of their better basketball nights Friday when the girls' team beat Oakley 60-55 and the Panther boys outscored the Hornets 61-50 on the Carey floor.
The Carey girls (3-2, 3-0 home, 0-0 league) reached a season high 60 points by putting four players in double figures and very nearly five. Coach Lane Durtschi's Panthers rallied from a 31-24 halftime deficit to capture the non-league win over Oakley (3-2).
Carey scorers were Micaela Adamson 17 points, Jaide Parke 10, Darby Northcott 10, Nicky Gomez 10, Morgan Parke 9, Lorene Andrews 3 and Jessica Richardson 1. Coach Lane Durtschi said it was perhaps the best effort of the season.
The Panther girls host Castleford (2-2) Thursday and visit 2A #2-ranked Butte County (5-1) Saturday, Dec. 18 to finish their pre-holiday schedule. Butte dropped its first game 51-44 at home to Challis Dec. 9.
Later Friday, coach Dick Simpson's Carey boys (5-1, 4-0 home, 55.8 ppg) built a nine-point halftime lead and made it stand up 61-50 over Oakley. The 11-point win represented a little breathing room, since Carey's last three games had been settled by a slim total of 11 points.
It wasn't one of Carey's better shooting nights from the field (32%), but the Panther defense came up with 20 steals and Oakley (38% shooting, a 42-35 rebounding advantage) made 23 turnovers for the game.
Top scorer Blair Peck (15.2 ppg) had 21 points but had a cold shooting night (7-for-21, 33%). Peck added seven rebounds, five steals and two assists to the Panther cause.
Other Carey contributors were Chance Chavez (13 points, two 3-pointers, 3 rebounds), Shane Bingham (8 points, 3 steals), Jacy Baird (8 points, 11 rebounds, 6 steals), Dillon Cenarrusa (5 points, 6 boards), Joey Laidlaw (3 points, 5 rebounds), Baley Barg (2 points) and Caleb Cenarrusa (1 point).
The Panthers (11-for-22) outscored Oakley (4-for-10) by seven at the charity stripe.
Carey visited a tough Northside Conference South Division contender Murtaugh (4-1) and its double-barreled Humberto Pacheco and Austin Stanger attack Tuesday night. The Panthers entertain The Community School Friday, Dec. 17 for their first North league game.
On Saturday at Arco, Carey will try to slow down Butte County (3-1), whose Zac Hansen tallied 26 points in Saturday's 32-point win at Mackay. Butte lost only at Salmon 73-54 Dec. 1.
WRHS builds lead, but Buhl grabs it back
They built their first halftime lead of the season and held a 39-37 lead entering the final period, but the Wood River High School boys' basketball players couldn't keep pace with the Buhl Tribe Thursday.
Buhl, shutting down Wood River's leading scorer Stone Sutton with tough man-to-man defense by senior Scott Harris, went on a 17-0 run and out-pointed Wood River 23-4 in the fourth quarter en route to a 60-43 non-league win in Hailey.
Sutton (20.0 ppg) staked the Wolverines to leads of nine points in the second quarter and seven points in the third period by scoring all 20 of his points in the middle stanzas. But Buhl (3-1) shut him down in the fourth and won by 17, despite a season-high 43 points by the host Wolverines.
Buhl's 6-4 senior Markus Lively (11 rebounds) tallied 10 of his game-high 23 points in the fourth and helped the Tribe out-rebound Wood River 32-26.
Hailey contributors included Stone Sutton (7 rebounds, 2 blocked shots), Quentin Dowdle (11 points, 5 boards), Kevin Jensen (4 points, 5 rebounds), Luis Chavez (4 points, 3 boards, 2 steals), Colton Larkin (2 points), Alex Padilla (2 points, 2 boards, 3 steals, 3 assists) and Dylan Carey (3 assists).
Saturday night, Mica Merritt (9 points) and Larkin (6) led Wood River (0-5) in a 69-26 loss to Hillcrest (4-1) at Idaho Falls. The Wolverines visited Buhl Tuesday and host Jerome (3-2) Friday, Dec. 17 in their Great Basin Conference opener.
Cutthroat girls grab first win
The Community School girls' basketball team earned its first win 38-25 over Murtaugh Dec. 9 at The Fish Tank in Sun Valley. Natalie Goddard and Ella Marks each scored 13 points for the Cutthroats, while Taylor Figge (8 points), Chelsea Cloud (2) and Paige Riedinger (2) were other scorers.