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Produced & Maintained by Idaho Mountain Express, Box 1013, Ketchum, ID 83340-1013 
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Copyright © 2002 Express Publishing Inc.
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For the week of Jan 29 - Feb 4, 2003


SCIC girls’ basketball is up for grabs

Wood River girls have a shot

You’re a genius or a fool if you claim to have any idea which team is going to win the upcoming Sawtooth Central Idaho Conference girls’ prep basketball tournament.

The SCIC title is up for grabs. Out of the six schools, it’s a total mystery which teams will earn the two automatic berths to the State 3A tournament Feb. 20 at Kuna High School.

It’s that close, and that’s the way it should be. Declo (14-5, 6-3) is the defending SCIC champion and Buhl (11-6, 6-3) was last year’s other state entrant. But Filer (11-6, 7-2) is the current leader and Wood River is knocking on the proverbial door.

But coach Brent Carnduff’s Wood River Wolverines know one thing. They’ve been on the outside looking in for the past three years, with kiss-your-sister finishes of third place in 2000, 2001 and 2002. And they want desperately to take the next huge step.

Wood River (14-5 overall, 6-3 league) finished its regular-season slate Tuesday night in Hailey needing only a "Senior Night" victory over the Kimberly Bulldogs (2-15, 0-9) to clinch a home game in the first round of the tournament Tuesday, Feb. 4.

But whether Wood River finishes first, second or third in the SCIC depended on several factors, like, the outcomes of Tuesday’s Buhl-Declo clash at Buhl, and Thursday’s finale between Filer and host Gooding.

Indeed, a coin flip could determine the final match-ups next Tuesday. What Wood River hoped to accomplish Tuesday against Kimberly was the certainty it would be playing next Tuesday on the Hailey floor.

Wood River came through big time in its two road games last week.

Playing through foul trouble and hitting from the perimeter, the Wolverines put themselves in the determine-your-own-fate position with a resounding 69-51 win at Buhl Thursday that avenged a nine-point home loss to the Tribe in Hailey Dec. 10.

Natalie Green (17.8 ppg) tallied a team-high 22 points with 8 boards including four of Wood River’s seven 3-pointers. Hailey shot 7-of-15 from behind the arc, pulled down 29 rebounds, had 21 assists, made 13 steals and committed only 16 turnovers.

Jessica King (7.3 ppg) was a huge factor with 9 points, 7 rebounds and 5-of-7 free throw shooting. Syringa Stark (6.2 ppg) added 9 points and 3 rebounds while Emily Smith (10.1 ppg) chipped in with 6 points, 4 boards, 5 assists and 6 steals. For Buhl, Sherry King tallied 23 points.

Rarely losing two in a row, Wood River has done a great job bouncing back from sub-par efforts over coach Carnduff’s three years at the helm. That was certainly the case last week.

Last Tuesday, Filer’s quickness posed a big problem for Wood River. The host Wildcats clogged the passing lanes on defense and owned the middle quarters 40-26 en route to the 58-46 SCIC victory that avenged a nine-point loss in Hailey Dec. 17.

Sophomore point guard Jennica Mecham scored 26 points for Filer. The Wildcats held Wood River (59.3 ppg) 13 points below its season average. The Wolverines committed 24 turnovers and were outscored 20-5 at the free throw line.

Filer game: Points—Green 12, King 11, Smith 7, Kelly Haisley 7, Stark 4, Liz Rippon 3, Dawn Bird 2. Rebounds—King 8. Steals—Smith 2, Rippon 2, Stark 2. Assists—Stark 2, King 2.

Buhl game: Points—Green 22, King 11, Stark 9, Smith 6, Rippon 6, Martina Clauss 5, Tiffany Wheeler 5, Haisley 5. Rebounds—Green 8, King 7, Smith 4. Steals—Smith 6, King 2. Assists—Smith 5, Wheeler 4, Haisley 3. Blocked shots—Green 2.

WOLVERINE NOTES—Remarkably, last Tuesday’s 58-46 loss at Filer was the first time all season that Wood River has trailed at halftime. They trailed by 13 to Filer….With a win over Kimberly Tuesday night, Wood River would have tied the school’s all-time wins record established by last year’s 15-8 squad...Victories in their last two home games would finalize Wood River’s home season at a school record 9-1.

The Green watch: Natalie Green has 662 points in three seasons and is on pace to break Laurel Williams’ school career record of 691 points set last year. Against Kimberly Tuesday, Green (338 points this year) was virtually a lock to break Tara Pyle’s single-season mark of 347 set in 1995….With seven 3-pointers at Buhl, Wood River improved to 58 3-pointers on the season cracked last year’s school record of 52 3-pointers. Green has 29. The single-season record is Laurel Williams, 42 last winter.


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