Friday, March 2, 2012

Young Wolverine cagers take conference crown

In 7th-grade basketball

They needed to win their final game of the season to win the Magic Valley Athletic Conference boys' basketball championship. So the Wood River Middle School seventh-grade basketball team stepped it up.

On Wednesday evening, Wood River won the seven-team league title with a 39-29 triumph over West Minico of Paul in front of a full house of excited spectators at the middle school gym in Hailey.

The Wolverines of coaches Jim King, Craig Eastop and Craig Kaminski built a 16-13 halftime lead and extended it to the 10-point winning margin with a 23-16 advantage after half. Wood River shot 12-for-20 at the free-throw line and outscored West Minico there 12-6.

Leading the way for Wood River in the title contest was Cade Schott with 18 points including three 3-pointers and 5-of-6 success at the stripe. Other Wood River point producers were Owen Gifford (8 points, 4-for-6 free throws), Travis Swanson (8 points), Roland Solis (3) and Brock Mary (2).

Wood River (11-3 overall, 9-3 league) finished its season with a 10-game winning streak including Monday's 38-28 home win over O'Leary Junior High School of Twin Falls. Schott (17 points, 8-for-10), Swanson (9) and Mary (5) led the way in that one as the Wolverines outscored O'Leary 17-2 at the line.

Coach King said, "It was a good group of athletes. They played hard. When you put them on the floor, they always came to play and nobody missed any practices. That meant the coaches could open the playbook more than we normally could. Our team had a lot of arrows in its quiver.

"We had 40 kids show up for basketball at the beginning of the year. A good group of kids."

Other players included Zach Nelson, Alex Leon, Kyle Nelson, Keaton Wall, Joe Hurtado, Jeron Peavey, Miles Jones, Fabian Contreras, Brendan Bingham, Christian Hovey, Alex Chavez and Jens Blackman.

Coach Fred Trenkle's Wood River eighth-grade team also finished its season with a win Wednesday night, 38-31 over West Minico. More details about that game in Wednesday's Mountain Express.

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