Wednesday, January 4, 2012

WRHS, Cutthroats meet for first time in hoops

Boys clash tonight at Fish Tank

Carey senior Dillon Cenarrusa lifts a shot over the Glenns Ferry defense featuring Alberto Nunez (left) and Darren Pattison (right) during the 62-50 Pilot win over host Panthers Nov. 29 in Carey. The Panthers visit Glenns Ferry on Monday. Photo by David N. Seelig

It's going to be a watershed moment today, Wednesday when boys' varsity basketball teams from Wood River High School and the Community School clash for the first time ever, on the Sun Valley court.

The 1A Division 2 Cutthroats have played interscholastic boys' basketball for 29 seasons, 10 as a junior varsity program and 19 varsity, and they've never taken the court in a varsity game against the 4A Wood River Wolverines.

That changes today when the Blaine County teams meet in non-conference junior varsity (6 p.m.) and varsity (7:30 p.m.) games at The Fish Tank.

It should be a good match-ups, since coach Erik Olson's Cutthroats (4-1, 1-0 Northside Conference) carried a two-game winning streak into Tuesday night's home league game against the tough Dietrich Blue Devils (6-1)—and Wood River (1-5, 0-1) is bouncing back from a couple of challenging seasons.

Looking back, the two schools separated by only 16 miles have played only seven times in boys' basketball—but only when the Wolverine junior varsity or freshmen teams have played the Cutthroats. And they've never played at The Fish Tank, the Community School's home floor.

Coach Rick Bradshaw's Wolverines will use today's Blaine County clash to get back in shape for their Great Basin Conference showdown with Idaho's top-ranked 4A team—the Jerome Tigers. Wood River visits Jerome (8-1, 1-0) on Friday and goes to Canyon Ridge (2-6, 0-1) on Tuesday, Jan. 10.

Winner of four straight, Jerome won back-to-back road contests Thursday and Friday against previously unbeaten Middleton 44-33 and 55-42 over Mountain Home. Winner of seven straight, Twin Falls (7-1, 1-0) duplicated Jerome's feat with 68-47 and 47-24 road wins over Middleton and Mountain Home last weekend.

Meanwhile, two more Great Basin teams take the floor Thursday, Jan. 5 when Burley (5-2, 1-0) hosts Minico (1-6, 0-1).

And the Cutthroats visit Camas County in Fairfield Thursday, Jan. 5 for their third game in three nights, this one a Northside Conference affair.

Pivotal week for Carey boys

Coach Dick Simpson's Carey Panther boys, the reigning State 1A Division 2 champions, are turning the page on 2012 with four rematches against bigger schools this week.

The Panthers (2-4, 0-0 league) visited the 2A Valley Vikings (4-1) on Tuesday night, looking to avenge a 58-50 home loss to Valley earlier this season. On Friday, Jan. 6, Carey hosts the top-ranked 2A Butte County Pirates (7-1). Butte County whipped Carey 75-62 before the holiday, then lost its first game at Soda Springs 75-48 Dec. 29.

Carey entertains the 1A Division 2 Challis Vikings (2-4) on Saturday, Jan. 7 at 6 p.m. Then, the stretch of four games in six nights wraps up Monday, Jan. 9 with a visit to the No. 2-ranked 1A Division 2 team, the Glenns Ferry Pilots (6-2). The Pilots won 62-50 over Carey in the season opener in December.

After these four games, Carey sets sail on its eight-game Northside Conference slate—playing eight of its final 10 games against Northside foes beginning Thursday, Jan. 12 against the Community School on the Fish Tank floor.

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