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For the week of Jan 30 - Feb 5, 2002


Hailey girls open tourney with 49-45 win

Wolverines (14-6) tie win record

Keeping its January hot streak alive, the Wood River High School girls’ varsity basketball team defeated upset-minded Kimberly 49-45 Monday in the first round of the 2002 Sawtooth Central Idaho Conference tourney in Hailey.

Third-seeded Wood River got 19 points from senior Laurel Williams (4 rebounds, 3 assists) and 16 points from soph Natalie Green (9 rebounds, 3 blocks). But Wood River needed big plays down the stretch to beat the hot-shooting ‘Dogs (7-14).

Kimberly, having trailed by 8 points in the third quarter, battled back on 7-for-11 fourth-quarter free throw shooting and took a 40-39 lead with three minutes left. Holley Denney (11 points) and Sara Plew (9) led by the Bulldog comeback.

"We knew Kimberly would be fired up. They shot well," said Wood River coach Brent Carnduff, whose team out-rebounded the Bulldogs 34-18.

That’s when Wood River junior guard Kelly Haisley (3 points, 2 assists) found soph Emily Smith (4 big fourth-quarter points) alone underneath the basket on a pretty hook-up for a 41-40 Wolverine lead.

Williams, ice cold (0-for-6) from the perimeter in the first half, drained two huge 3-pointers on passes from Smith and Haisley in the final two minutes. Jessica King (8 rebounds) tied up the ‘Dogs for two critical jump balls that went Hailey’s way.

Seniors Tara Rushton (2 points, 5 boards) and Amanda Engel (4 boards) and soph Liz Rippon (4 points) contributed to the winning effort.

The Wolverines improved their January mark to 6-2 and finalized their home record at 7-2. They’ve lost only to highly-regarded Valley (18-1) and Declo (20-1) in 2002.

But it’s going to be very tough for the Wolverines to take the next step and qualify for the SCIC tournament championship game Tuesday at Kimberly. They’ve lost 6-1 senior post Kristine Hilt, dismissed last Thursday for disciplinary reasons.

Standing in the way are reigning SCIC champ Declo and #2-seeded Buhl (14-7). Carnduff said his team’s unity could be the winning edge.

In other SCIC tourney games Monday, top-seeded Declo trounced #6-seeded Gooding (3-18) by a score of 53-24 and Buhl outscored #5-seeded Filer (3-18) by a 42-28 count.

The results set up a rematch between Wood River and Buhl today, Wednesday at 6 p.m. at Kimberly High School. In today’s other game, Kimberly faces the winner of Tuesday’s Gooding-Filer contest in a loser-out affair at 7:30 p.m.

Buhl and Wood River have split a pair of one-point games. The winner of their rubber match will meet Declo Thursday, Jan. 31 at 7:30 p.m. The loser will have to survive an elimination game Thursday at 6 p.m. in Kimberly.

The top two teams in the six-team tournament qualify for the State 3A tournament Feb. 14 in Boise. Wood River is shooting for the first state berth in the 27 seasons the school has played girls’ hoops.

Wood River (14-6), winner of five of its last six, tied the school record of 14 wins Monday. It’s certain the Wolverines will break the school scoring mark of 989 points (41.2 ppg) set in their 14-10 season of 2000. Wood River has 970 (48.5 ppg).


Williams is all-time top scorer

Senior Laurel Williams became Wood River’s all-time leading scorer Thursday when the Wolverine girls wrapped up their 2001-02 regular season with a 42-34 win at Kimberly.

Four-year varsity player Williams scored a game-high 19 points and increased her career total to 651 points. She cracked the school career standard of 639 points established by Tara Pyle in 1995.

This season is the third in which Williams has led Wood River in scoring. She has a chance to become her school’s first athlete to earn three varsity letters four straight years.

Williams (12.1 ppg) finished the season with a shooting frenzy, hitting 14 3-pointers in the final four games. She broke her own single-season 3-point record, ending the regular year with 34 3s and 68 career.

At Kimberly Thursday, Natalie Green added 13 points, Tara Rushton 5, Kelly Haisley 2, Liz Rippon 2 and Jessica King 1.


The Idaho Mountain Express is distributed free to residents and guests throughout the Sun Valley, Idaho resort area community. Subscribers to the Idaho Mountain Express will read these stories and others in this week's issue.