Back to Home Page

Local Links
Sun Valley Guide
Hemingway in Sun Valley
Real Estate

For the week of Feb. 16 through Feb. 22, 2000

Double overtime thriller opens SCIC tourney

Wood River falls 60-54 at Wendell

Talk to anyone about the 1999-2000 Wood River High School boys’ varsity basketball team and three words are mentioned most often:

They play hard.

First-year coach Jeff Larson wanted his Wolverines to be competitive each game. About halfway through the season, Wood River found a formula based on pressing, man-to-man defense and an attack revolving around the 3-pointer.

It’s been an exciting evolution, one that has reinvigorated Wood River boys’ basketball after several seasons of lopsided losses.

On three occasions in the last 10 games, at Glenns Ferry, against Declo and Monday at Wendell, the coaches on both teams have commented, "It was a great game." Unfortunately Wood River (7-14) has lost all three. They could be 10-11 now.

But Wood River basketball is coming back, chiefly due to a group of boys who refuse to quit despite being outmanned in the all-important paint.

Ask the hundreds of Wolverine fans who attended Friday’s home finale against the Declo Hornets.

Highly-regarded Declo (15-5) finally won 65-62, but Wood River led most of the way and played "three-and-a-half quarters of our best basketball," Larson said. "And that was after falling behind 9-0 in the first quarter."

The Wolverines out-rebounded taller Declo 24-18 led by senior Zack Hays (7 boards). James Cordes scored 19 points with 5 assists and 5 steals, and junior Sky Wolfe added 16 points and 8 assists.

Ask the #3-seeded Wendell Trojans, the hottest team entering this week’s six-team Sawtooth Central Idaho Conference tournament.

Wendell (11-10), winner of six of its last seven interrupted only by an OT loss to Declo, needed every ounce of energy to outlast Wood River 60-54 in a double overtime thriller Monday on the Trojan floor.

Indeed, Wood River held a 43-40 lead with 46 seconds left in regulation after senior point guard Cordes sank two charities. But Wendell guard Brett Lancaster made a sideways 3-point prayer with 28 seconds left to tie the game.

Playing without leading scorer Wolfe (11.8 ppg), who fouled out late in the fourth quarter, Wood River still managed to force a second OT before the Trojans finally pulled away. Wendell won the battle of the boards 38-25.

Cordes (8-for-10 free throws and 6 rebounds) ended with 13 of his 16 points after intermission. Senior Ryan Skinner (8 boards) led all scorers with 19 points including five 3-pointers and some huge rebounds.

"We know we can play with anyone in the league. Now we just need a win to get it going," said Larson. "It’s tough when you’re out-rebounded and other teams take 10 to 15 more free throws."

The Wolverines will try to keep their season alive Thursday, Feb. 17 with a 6 p.m. loser-out game at the College of Southern Idaho gym, Twin Falls. Their foe will be the winner of Tuesday’s tourney game between Buhl (5-16) and Gooding (2-19).

"The league is very tight," said Larson. "We could easily be two-and-out."

Or, if Wood River wins Thursday, they could get another shot at Wendell.

They’ll have to stay hot.

Skinner and Cordes have been big factors as Wood River has averaged 55.0 ppg in its last eight games—a stretch during which the Wolverines have made 55 3-pointers. Skinner (10.0 ppg) is averaging 12.8 in the last eight, and Cordes (11.5 ppg) has averaged 13.9 ppg over that stretch.

In other tourney games Monday, top-seeded Filer (12-9) beat Gooding 51-34 and #2-seeded Kimberly (10-11) won 55-46 over Buhl.

Last Thursday, Kimberly’s 31-17 rebounding advantage and a 21-9 second-quarter outburst were big factors in the Bulldogs’ 72-57 home win over Wood River. Wolfe scored 15 points with 6 assists, and Cordes added 10 points.


Back to Front Page
Copyright 2000 Express Publishing Inc. All Rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part in any form or medium without express written permission of Express Publishing Inc. is prohibited.