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Copyright © 2003 Express Publishing Inc.
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For the week of December 17 - 23, 2003


Resilient Wood River routs Buhl 55-27

SCIC league victory in Hailey

Express Staff Writer

They put the Declo debacle behind them in big way Tuesday night in Hailey.

The Wood River High School boys’ varsity basketball team won its first-ever home game on the new high school court 55-27 over Sawtooth Central Idaho Conference rival Buhl.

Hailey’s big horses topped the scoring charts—6-7 senior Jason Hofman with 14 points, 6-4 senior Jeremy Selcho 8 points and 6-5 senior Kory Ott with 10 points and 4 boards—but it was a complete team performance.

"It was a pretty awesome effort," said first-year Wood River coach Fred Trenkle.

"It was solid effort from start to finish. We had some unbelievable defensive stretches—classic overplaying, back picks, going for loose balls and taking charges. Our defense was just exceptionally good."

Wood River (2-2 overall, 1-1 SCIC) used a suffocating man-to-man defense to limit Buhl (1-3, 0-1) to just three field goals in the first three quarters—all the field goals made by promising 6-1 Tribe freshman Will Chivers. For the entire game, Buhl (44.8 ppg) scored just six field goals.

On offense, the Wolverines had 21 field goals and got scoring from eight players. The season-high offensive output for Wood River was quite a contrast from last Saturday’s tentative attack in a 33-point home loss to defending State 3A champion Declo.

"We had contributions from everybody—in every aspect of the game," said Trenkle. "We came back from getting our tails whipped against Declo. The kids just responded.

"We’re not as bad as we looked against Declo, and Declo isn’t as good as they looked. We just weren’t thinking when we played Declo. But we had a good game plan against Buhl."

Trenkle’s offensive game plan against Buhl, as it’s been all season, was to take the ball inside and use its height to the greatest advantage.

He said, "That’s where the money is with us. They’re our horses, and that’s our strength. But we’ve got lots of options," Trenkle said.

The coach added, "Matt (Pruett) and Joe (Paisley) are real defensive minded, and Scott (Bohrer) and (Brian) Ward are more offensive minded. We hit big shots from the outside when Buhl went to its zone."

Buhl, which started Tuesday’s game with a zone defense and no press, didn’t stay in the zone very long.

Ott started the scoring on a strong post move, after a Pruett pass, then Ott took an inbounds pass from Paisley and scored for a 4-0 game. Hofman shoved his way along the baseline to the hoop, taking a pass from Brady Femling, and suddenly it was 6-0.

Buhl called time and went back to a man-to-man defense.

As the first quarter ticked away, Bohrer drilled a 17-footer, Selcho popped a 14-footer after a Bohrer pass and Ward swished a 3-pointer, from Femling, for a 13-5 lead at the break.

Although Hofman sat out the final 10-and-a-half minutes of the first half with two personals, Wood River stretched its lead to 12 points, on two occasions, and took its first halftime lead of the season to the locker room at 23-14. Ott finished with 8 of his 10 points in the first half and there were some beautiful set-ups for baskets.

After Chivers tallied Buhl’s first field goal of the game—nearly 11 minutes into the contest—Ott made an excellent pass from the high post to Selcho in the low post for a 17-7 lead.

Paisley got open on the free throw line and went up for the jumper, but his shot turned into a line drive pass that Selcho caught and put home for a 19-7 cushion. Femling stole the ball and, at the other end of the floor, canned a pull-up jumper from the baseline. Then Bohrer penetrated and made a pretty wrap-around pass to Ott for a 23-12 lead near the end.

Six different Wolverines scored in the third quarter as Hailey’s strong defense limited Buhl to just one Chivers field goal in the third.

Wood River’s free throw shooting improved in the fourth quarter as Hofman made 8-of-9 charities and Femling succeeded on 3-of-4. The Wolverines finished the contest with 11-of-18 free throw success, compared to Buhl’s 13-of-18.

Here are statistics:

Scoring: Hofman 14 points, Ott 10, Selcho 8, Ward 8 including two 3-pointers, Femling 7, Bohrer 4, Pruett 2 and Riley Neff 2.

Rebounds (25-19 edge over Buhl): Neff 6, Ott 4, Paisley 4, Ward 3, Hofman 2, Femling 2, Selcho 2 Bohrer 2. Steals (12): Femling 4, Hofman 2, Paisley 2. Assists (17): Femling 4, Paisley 4, Bohrer 3, Pruett 2, Selcho 2.

Chivers led Buhl with 9 points and 3 boards, while 6-3 senior Nick Popplewell had 7 points and 6-5 senior Michael Welch added 3 points and 4 rebounds.

Wood River faces a huge challenge this weekend as the 3A Wolverines travel to Idaho Falls for back-to-back games against 4A powers Hillcrest and Bonneville. "We have nothing to lose," said Trenkle.

Defending State 4A champion Bonneville, Wood River’s opponent Saturday night, is 5-0 and currently ranked #1 in the Idahosports.com poll. Bonneville beat Hillcrest, at Hillcrest, by a 68-58 score Tuesday night.

Among Bonneville’s five victories are a 51-point season-opening blowout over Kuna and a 16-point win at Idaho Falls. Bonneville averages 71.6 ppg while #6-ranked Hillcrest (3-2), losers of two straight, averages 63.6 ppg.

In contrast, Wood River is averaging 41.3 ppg on offense. So, apparently, the Wolverines will have to shorten the game to be competitive.

"We’ll try to control the tempo by spreading the floor, and we’ll probably play zone a little more," said Trenkle.

"Bonneville is the defending state champ and they have everyone back. Hillcrest has a super guard and they’re quick up and down the floor. But they haven’t seen us yet, so they won’t be able to exploit our weaknesses."

Among Hillcrest’s weapons is Josh Curtis, who poured in 21 points with 14 rebounds in a 24-point Knights’ home triumph over 4A Kuna.

Bonneville had two All-State first team players last winter—6-4 forward Eric Bullen (10.5 ppg, 7.6 rebounds), now a senior, and 6-1 junior guard Jordan Keck, now a junior.

Beck buried six 3-pointers as Bonneville (17-8) won its first state championship in 50 years last March by a 66-60 score, in overtime, over two-time state champion Madison of Rexburg at the Idaho Center in Nampa.

It was Bonneville’s first win over Madison in five tries last season and it came in the biggest game.

After this weekend, Wood River takes the Christmas holiday off and resumes play Saturday, Jan. 3 at home against Mountain Home.



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