Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Slow start hampers WRHS girls at home

Filer Wildcats prevail 47-39

Wood River 6-0 freshman post Rory Cole showed promise of things to come with 5 rebounds and 2 assists plus a blocked shot in the Filer game. Cole came off the bench when Cheyenne Swanson got into foul trouble and had quality minutes. Photo by David N. Seelig

Wood River High School girls' basketball fans grew accustomed to seeing their team win at home last season. The State 4A tournament runner-up Wolverines boasted a 12-0 home record led by highly-regarded point guard Kaitana Martinez.

It's a new season, and senior Martinez is sidelined until January with a knee injury. Having an excellent point guard who can handle the ball, penetrate and pass to the open player is something that Martinez ably provided for the Wolverines last season.

Those skills, along with Martinez's scoring ability and leadership, are seldom seen and hard to replace. So it's no surprise that Wood River has struggled with turnovers (56 in 2 games) and getting its offense into gear during its first two games of the 2011-12 campaign.

Last Thursday, the visiting Filer Wildcats (2-3) jumped out to an 11-0 lead on the turnover-plagued Wolverines (0-2) and made it stand up for a 47-39 non-conference win on the Hailey hardwoods. Wood River piled up 26 turnovers to Filer's 16. The two teams played evenly the last three periods.

Senior 6-1 post Haylee Thompson (a game-high 16 points, 6 rebounds, 2 steals, 2 assists, 2 blocked shots) was a tower of strength and senior Haillie Taylor (11 points including two 3-pointers) did her part. Aggressive on defense and with its offensive rebounding, Filer was more balanced with nine players scoring points.

Wood River assistant coach J.C. Nemecek said, "The girls faced a very sound Filer team last night. The girls' effort was good throughout the game, but their execution of their offense and defense is something that they will be working on.

"We have a two-week break in our schedule (next game is Thursday, Dec. 1 at home against Twin Falls) so we'll be adjusting the things we do. We won't be overhauling the engine, but will be taking a serious look at the drive-line."

After its slow start in the first quarter last Thursday, Wood River's defense improved and some of the less experienced players picked it up a notch in the fourth quarter when the Wolverines out-scored Filer 16-13.

Other Wolverines with points were Cheyenne Swanson (4 points, 3 rebounds, 2 steals), Hannah Belloli (4 points, 3 steals), Emmalie Dion (3 points, 2 rebounds) and Rory Cole (1 point, 5 boards, 2 assists, 1 block).

Filer junior post Cassidy Ferrell (8 points, 6 rebounds, 5 steals) tallied three buckets in the first quarter for the 'Cats. Junior Sierra Koyle (13 points, 3 rebounds, 2 steals) was the other Wildcat in double figures.

At Hailey, the Wildcats won for the first time after losses to Jerome 58-46, to Burley 60-41 and to Twin Falls 59-44. Filer has also beaten Canyon Ridge at home by a 53-40 count. Wood River visits Filer Jan. 3.

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