Wolverine tennis team posts first wins of season
The defending State 4A boys' tennis champs from Hailey's Wood River High School got their 2011 season off and running with four dual meets on two days March 15 and 17.
Wolverine coach Vicki Johnston said, "It's great to get some really good competition so early in the season so we can get an idea of what we have to look forward to at state."
Playing 8-game pro sets indoors at Apple Tennis Center in Idaho Falls March 15, Wood River beat Bonneville of Idaho Falls 8-4 (boys won 5-1, girls tied the defending state champions 3-3) and also lost to 5A tennis powerhouse Idaho Falls 7-5 (boys won 4-2, girls lost 5-1).
The Hailey boys captured nine of their 12 matches led by a boys' singles sweep by #1 Karl Wilander, #2 Josh Morell and #3 Lane Coulthard. The boys' doubles teams of William-Eagan-Charlie Grabow and Gardner Cord-Cole Caminiti picked up wins.
Other WRHS winners in the March 15 meets at Idaho Falls were Hannah Baybutt-Margaret Reutter and Alex Feldman-Audrey Brassil in girls' doubles, Raleigh Grossbaum-Jessica Hamilton and Bryan Donoso-Ellen Davis in mixed doubles.
"Everyone handled the pressure and the strong competition better than I expected," said Johnston. "We all gained confidence and had a positive experience."
It was another good day outdoors at Pocatello March 17 where Wood River defeated Blackfoot 7-5 (boys won 3.5-2.5 and girls won 3.5-2.5) and also lost to last year's State 4A girls' runner-up Century 7-5 (boys won 4.5-1.5 and girls lost 5.5-0.5).
"Jessica Hamilton and Karl Wilander had exciting matches against the defending state champions in girls' and boys' singles for Century," said Johnston. "Almost every game had several deuces."
In those matches Hamilton, a senior, fell 6-0, 6-2 to sophomore Olivia Wathne of Century and junior Wilander dropped a 6-2, 6-2 decision to Century soph Josh Goodwin.
WRHS winners against Blackfoot were Wilander, Morell, Reutter, Erin Murphy and Feldman in singles, reigning state champions Grossbaum-Grabow in boys' doubles, and Eagan-Baybutt in mixed doubles.
Against Century, Morell and Cord took #2 and #3 boys' singles, Grossbaum-Grabow breezed in straight sets, Cal McCarthy-Quentin Dowdle won 7-6, 3-6, 7-5 in boys' doubles, and Eagan-Baybutt coasted 6-0, 6-4.
Other Wolverines competing last week were Lily Richards, Alex Taylor, Lex Shapiro and Stone Sutton.
Baseball team sweeps Buhl 13-5 and 11-7
They had a rough start to the 2011 prep baseball season with five losses in five games, but Wood River High School baseball players put that behind them and swept reigning State 3A baseball king Buhl Tribe 13-5 and 11-7 Thursday at Buhl.
Righthander Jake Freeman went five innings and picked up the win, with relief help from Braxton Parish and Collin Dean, in the opening 13-5 win. The Wolverines built a 13-1 lead behind two hits apiece by Alex Padilla (2 doubles), Zach Israel and Kevin Jensen (RBI double).
Collin Dean, the hard-throwing righty who closed out Game One from the bullpen, started Game Two and threw six straight frames with nine whiffs. Tazmin Lyons earned the save. Padilla ripped an RBI double and added a bases-clearing triple to cap Wood River's seven-run fifth inning.
Wood River assistant coach Jesse Neet filled in for head coach Matt Nelson, who was in Boise late last week with his family where Matt's uncle James Nelson was fighting for his life in a hospital. Longtime Wood River sports enthusiast and baseball supporter James Nelson, 42, ultimately lost that battle Saturday afternoon.
In its first games of the season, Wood River dropped road doubleheaders at Mountain Home 9-0 and 6-3 March 11, and in Boise to defending State 4A champion Bishop Kelly 13-3 and 11-0 March 12. Host Kimberly nipped Wood River 12-10 in a single game March 15.
Wood River (2-5) resumes action March 31-April with a Great Basin Conference three-game series against Jerome. Nelson said that all three games will most likely be played at Jerome because of the continuing snow cover here.
Jerome is the team that eliminated Wood River (7-18) from last year's GBC tournament. In last year's regular season, Wood River won two of three games from Jerome. Twin Falls was last year's league champion over Minico.
Simpson saluted as top Northside cage coach
Carey High School coach Dick Simpson has been named "Coach of the Year" for the All-Northside/Southside Conference boys' basketball team revealed March 8.
Simpson coached the Panthers to the school's first-ever State 1A Division 2 tourney title this year.
Carey's leading season scorer Blair Peck, a senior, and junior Baley Barg made the All-League first team. On Sunday, March 27, the Idaho Statesman unveils its All-State teams and the state champion Panthers are expected to be represented.
Here are All-Northside selections:
First team: Blair Peck and Baley Barg (Carey senior, junior); Tyler Hansen and Kale Weekes (Castleford seniors); and Humberto Pacheco (Murtaugh junior).
Second team: Shane Bingham (Carey senior); Jacob Howard and Gray Weber (Dietrich juniors); Mitch Howard (Castleford junior); and Austin Stanger (Murtaugh junior).
Honorable mention: Jacy Baird and Caleb Cenarrusa (Carey seniors); Clayton Kline (Castleford senior); Andru Howard (Dietrich junior); Ben Robles (Richfield junior); Andrew Simon and Carlos Robles (Camas County junior, senior); Jose Gonzales (Murtaugh senior); and Eli Berndt (Lighthouse Christian sophomore).