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Produced & Maintained by Idaho Mountain Express, Box 1013, Ketchum, ID 83340-1013 
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Copyright © 2003 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. 

For the week of December 3 - 9, 2003


looking tough in
boys’ basketball

Northside challengers for 2003-04

The Community School boys’ varsity basketball team has been knocking at the door in the tough Northside Conference over the past six years.

And this could be the season that the Cutthroats walk right through the Northside door. Many favor The Community School for the league title. It won’t be a surprise if they win.

Coach Mike Wade’s Cutthroats have made the Northside tournament championship game twice since 1998 and earned the school’s only state tournament berth in 1998.

Setting a school record for scoring last winter, they were extremely close to making state again. But four-point and three-point Northside tournament losses to Carey and Shoshone ended their 2002-03 campaign.

"We were so close again last year," said Wade. "This year, we’ve said we want to be one of the top two Northside teams and qualify for state outright. After that, it’s all gravy."

Coach Wade (62-105 in 10 varsity campaigns) has coached the Cutthroats for 21 years including the decade from 1988-1997 when the school fielded only a junior varsity.

He is known for his disciplined offensive approach of taking the ball inside through motion and back-door cuts.

Although the Cutthroats have yet to win the Northside title, Wade’s last three teams have been remarkably consistent—averaging 53.8, 53.9 and, last winter, a school-record 57.5 ppg on the offensive end.

That has translated into Cutthroat victories (32-33 over three years) including last winter’s 13-9 squad that won 12 of its final 16 games, played remarkably well away from home and was tough on the boards and at the free throw line.

The Cutthroats have the most players returning off of last March’s Northside All-Conference team.

They are first-teamer John Hayes and second-teamers Jim Fairchild and Dylan McIlhenny. They were also the top three scorers on last year’s Community School squad.

Hayes (15.1 ppg) scored 316 points and led the way with 38 of the team’s 78 three-pointers. Fairchild (11.7 ppg) was a powerful presence inside and McIlhenny (10.9 ppg) was strong all over the court, playing in his first Cutthroat campaign.

Fairchild, a 6-4, 216-pound post, is one of seven seniors on the 2003-04 Cutthroat squad. The team captain is Hayes, a 6-0, 155-pound wing. McIlhenny is a 6-1, 190-pound wing.

Other seniors are 6-0 wing Luc McCann, 5-11 post John Goldberg, 5-11 wing Logan Koffler and 5-6 wing Finn Brown.

Wade likes his seven seniors.

He said, "Our greatest strength is our senior leadership. The guys are so motivated to have a great season. They’ve paid a price during the off-season. Now, they’re so positive and working very hard.

"The second big thing for us is this team has the best overall speed we’ve had in years. Because of our quickness, we hope to be more aggressive and pick up the pace to get turnovers to kick-start our offense.

"We’re a decent free throw shooting team. One of our goals is to shoot more free throws than our opponents."

Depth is another asset for the Cutthroats. "An 11-man varsity roster is large for us," said Wade. "Our four juniors have no varsity experience but they’ve been working hard. I feel we’re pretty deep. We can go out and burn some calories."

The juniors on varsity have good height and plenty of winning experience playing on last winter’s outstanding Cutthroat junior varsity team. "It was one of the strongest JV teams we’ve ever had," said coach Wade.

They are 6-1 wing A.J. Beesley, 6-3 post Andrew Durtschi, 6-2 post Hunter Smith and 5-11 wing Connor Wade.

"Our height is okay with Durtschi and Smith, but they haven’t played one varsity minute. If they come along, they will be good, solid back-ups for Jimmy (Fairchild) on the boards," said coach Wade.

Wade said his biggest concern, "the same as it is every year," is shooting the ball. "Our field goal percentage always seems to be a notch behind the other teams in the Northside," he said.

The Community School opened its season at Saturday’s jamboree in Gooding. The Cutthroats played one half against Wood River High’s varsity (winning 36-32) and one half against Gooding (losing 35-31 to the hot-shooting Senators).

Jim Carkonen returns as second-year coach of the junior varsity squad. Last year’s JV was 20-2 and earned the top seed in the Northside JV tourney, but lost to Camas County in the JV championship game.

Besides Hunter Smith and Finn Brown, who will swing between JV and varsity, the junior varsity players are J.P. McNeal, Tyler Jackson, Quade Koffler, Brendon Nelson, Bobby Pidgeon, Alden Remington and Caleb Sonneland.



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