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Idaho: State girls basketball

Click the tab below to see team-by-team capsules of each team in the Idaho high school state girls basketball tournaments.

Katie Baker of Lake City is pictured above.


Class 5A

Boise Braves

Record: 19-4

Road to state: Beat Borah 53-34 in first round of District III Tournament, lost to Vallivue 58-49 in semifinals, beat Capital 56-46 in state qualifying game.

Players to watch: Jordin Juker, jr., guard/forward (10.1 points, 6.7 rebounds, 2.6 steals); Kimberly Smith, sr., guard (9.0 points, 4.0 rebounds, 2.9 steals); Aleah Lowber, soph., guard (7.1 points, 2.2 assists, 1.9 steals); Jacqueline Luna-Castro, soph., post (5.6 points, 4.4 rebounds, 1.9 blocks).

Notes: Before missing out on a trip to state last season, the Braves had advanced to the tournament in eight consecutive seasons, winning the championship under current Eagle coach Harry Angelos in 2002 and 2005. Juker, who has started since her freshman season, is shooting 42.5 percent (17-of-40) from 3-point range, and Lowber is shooting 42.9 percent (27-of-63) from long range. … Kim Brydges, who debuted as head coach in the 2005-06 season, was Big Sky Conference freshman of the year in 1995 with Boise State.

 

Centennial Patriots

Record: 23-0

Road to state: Beat Timberline 50-27 in first round of District III Tournament, beat Mountain View 53-36 in semifinals, beat Vallivue 60-56 in championship.

Players to watch: Heather Adams, sr., guard (11.9 points, 3.1 assists, 2.9 steals); Jade McNorton, sr., post (11.6 points, 6.3 rebounds); Taylor Hagood, jr., forward (6.6 points, 3.1 steals, 2.5 assists); Nicole Kissinger, sr., forward (6.0 points, 6.0 rebounds).

Notes: The Patriots have completed two consecutive regular seasons with 20-0 records, but this year, Centennial made it to state unbeaten after losing in last year’s District III championship game. … Last year’s perfect regular season was the school’s first, according to coach Emery Roy. … The 2006 state title was Centennial’s fifth. … Roy has led Meridian and Centennial to a combined nine state titles and a record of 662-151. … McNorton was an All-Idaho first-team selection last season.

 

Coeur d’Alene Vikings (defending champion)

Record: 22-0

Road to state: Beat Lake City 62-36 and Post Falls 61-46 in the Region I final.

Players to watch: Kama Griffitts, 6-0, senior, guard/wing, Class 5A player of the year in 2007-08, averages a team-high 15.6 points, 5.8 rebounds, 2.8 assists and 2.2 steals; recently broke the school scoring record. As a four-year starter she has 1,237 points (old record 1,160). She has given an oral commitment to Snow College; Carli Rosenthal, 6-3, sophomore, post, 10.2 ppg, 5.8 rpg, 2 blocks per game.

Notes: The Vikings have played in the state title game the last three years. CdA returned four of five starters from a year ago. They’ve won 26 in a row dating back to a state-qualifying win over Post Falls. Eight players average 5 points or more. CdA very well could be the best team in the Pacific Northwest. The Viks defeated Oregon City (Ore.), arguably the top team in the Northwest the past two decades, in the Diamond States Classic title game in Wilmington, Del. (63-52) in late December.

Another quality win was over Moses Lake (Wash.), at Moses Lake (64-53). Moses Lake lost to Lewis and Clark of Spokane in Washington’s 4A final last year. … CdA played 14 of 20 regular-season games on the road.

 

Eagle Mustangs

Record: 13-11

Road to state: Beat Rocky Mountain 66-31 in District III Tournament play-in game, lost to Vallivue 59-43 in first round, beat Borah 49-38 in elimination game, beat Mountain View 41-38 in state qualifying game.

Players to watch: Lauren Lenhardt, sr., post (17.6 points, 9.0 rebounds, 5.6 blocks, 2.7 assists); JoJo Stevens, fr., post (7.5 points in district tournament); Hallie Koeppen, jr., wing (4.8 points in district tournament).

Notes: Lenhardt, who missed the bulk of her junior year with a knee injury, has signed a national letter of intent to play college basketball at Boise State. … This is Eagle’s third state berth in four years under Harry Angelos, who led Boise High to state titles in 2002 and 2005.

 

Lake City Timberwolves

Record: 15-8

Road to state: Lost to Coeur d’Alene 62-36, defeated Lewiston 53-49 at Lewiston (loser out), Post Falls 59-30 at Post Falls (loser out) and Capital 59-42 at Grangeville in play-in game.

Players to watch: Katie Baker, 6-1, senior, post, two-time Gatorade player of the year and the Statesman’s All-Idaho 5A player of the year in 2006-07 after she led LC to state title in win over rival Coeur d’Alene. Baker, who is headed to the University of Montana, averages 21.5 ppg, 11.5 rpg and 3 blocks per game. She shoots 77 percent from the free-throw line and 58 percent from the field; Sydney Butler, 5-7, sophomore, guard, averages 15.5 ppg, 4.5 assists and 3 steals. She shoots 41 percent from 3-point range.

Notes: Baker is the obvious leader of a team that features six sophomores and one freshman. … Seven of LC’s losses were to Coeur d’Alene (four), Post Falls (twice) and Lewiston (once). The other loss was to Walla Walla (Wash.), a team in the hunt for a 4A state berth. … LC played its best game of the season in the loser-out win over Post Falls after losing both leagues games to PF. In the loser-out game at Lewiston, Baker injured her shooting wrist, but it didn’t slow her down. For LC to have a chance, the offense must flow through Baker.

 

Highland Rams

Record: 23-0

Road to state: Beat Twin Falls 49-33 in the first round, beat Madison 57-45 in the semifinals, and again beat Madison 57-28 in the championship.

Players to watch: Emma Filiaga, sr., post (11.2 points); Breanna Van Every, sr., post (9.5 points); Kylie Hardison, sr., guard (7.2 points).

Notes: Coach Scott Hansen has said it means nothing to be perfect to this point if the team busts out in the first round in state. It seems that anything less that a state title would be deemed a failure to the players on this team. The Rams are one of the most complete teams in their district when playing at the top of their game with a strong defense that feeds their offense. During the regular season, Hardison has stepped up on a number of occassions when the team’s go-to players, Filiaga and Van Every, have been held to single digits. Hardison has posted games of 19, 15, 12 and 10 points.

 

Madison Bobcats

Record: 13-11

Road to state: Beat Skyline 76-68; lost to Highland 57-45; beat Skyline 58-49; lost to Highland 57-28 in championship.

Players to watch: Chari Hawkins, jr., G; Brin Neff, jr., G; Sarah Erickson, jr., F.

Notes: A year after a 4-14 rebuilding season, the Bobcats remain young. Forward Erica George is the only senior on the roster. Madison lost only two games to teams other than Highland and Bonneville. Geroge and Erickson are steady scorers and rebounders in the post, and Hawkins and Neff provide ball handling and sharp-shooting on the perimeter.

 

Vallivue Falcons

Record: 19-4

Road to state: Beat Eagle 59-43 in first round of District III Tournament, beat Boise 58-49 in semifinals, lost to Centennial 60-56 in championship.

Players to watch: Devyn Christensen, sr., guard (15.1 points, 3.3 steals, 2.5 assists); Katelin Shannon, sr. guard (10.4 points, 3.6 assists, 2.8 steals); Devan Matkin, sr., guard (8.3 points); Shanee McBride, soph., wing (7.3 points, 6.1 rebounds).

Notes: Christensen, a 2008 All-Idaho first-team selection who has signed a national letter of intent with Utah State, scored a season-high 36 points in the District III Tournament championship loss to Centennial and made 6-of-12 3-pointers in that game. … In the 2008 state tournament, Christensen made 11 3-pointers in three games to set a 5A record. … Matkin transferred to Vallivue from Twin Falls after earning a spot on the All-Idaho second team last season. … Shannon, who been a contributor since her freshman season, was an All-Idaho second-team selection last season after she helped guide the Falcons to a runner-up finish at state.

 

Class 4A

Bonneville Bees

Record: 21-2

Road to state: Beat Blackfoot 55-42; beat Rigby 64-48; beat Rigby 42-31 in championship.

Players to watch: Mailie Garner, jr., forward (15 ppg, 8 reb, 1.7 blocks, 3 steals, 55 percent from field); Bryndy Anderson, sr., C (10 ppg, 7 reb., 53 percent from field Makayla Keck, jr., G (10 ppg, 36 3-point percentage).

Notes: Bonneville beat first-round opponent Century twice by an average of 17 points. It went undefeated except for two losses to undefeated and 3A No. 1-ranked Sugar-Salem by a combined six points. Anderson, the only senior who plays regular minutes, will be a game-time decision after suffering a concussion in a car accident. Bonneville has been to state the last seven seasons. The Bees took home the consolation trophy last year and the championship in 2005.

 

Century Diamondbacks

Record: 8-16

Road to state: Beat Pocatello 54-33 in first round of District V tournament; beat Preston 52-50 in the semifinals and 53-52 in the final; lost to Jerome 64-32 in Great Basin Conference title game.

Players to watch: Tasi Kelemete, jr., post (5-11, averages 11.7 points per game), Brook Ferro, sr., guard/post (5-11, averages 6.65 points per game with a high of 17, can hit from beyond 3-point line), Lynnsie Togiai, soph., guard (averages only 4.35 points per game for the season but averaged 12.3 points per game in District V tournament).

Notes: First state tournament appearance since 2005. Three starters are 5-foot-11 (Brooke Dial, Ferro and Kelemete). After losing to District V champion Preston by 20 points in each of the teams’ two regular-season meetings, the Diamondbacks beat the Indians by a combined three points in two district tournament games. “We played as a team, and we hadn’t done that all season,” Dial said of the tournament run. Assistant coach Kaylynn Bues played in the 2007 NCAA tournament with Idaho State.

 

Jerome Tigers

Record: 20-4

Road to state: Beat Minico 63-26 in first round of District IV tournament, beat Burley 46-27 in semifinals and 62-33 in championship, beat Century 64-32 in inter-district crossover seeding game.

Players to watch: Aubree Callen, jr., guard; Carrie Thibault, so., guard; Baylie Smith, jr.; forward

Notes: Jerome has won 10 of its past 11 games. The average margin of the Tigers’ 20 wins is just less than 21 points — ranging from 1 against Middleton to 37 against Minico — and their margin of victory in the postseason is 29.3 points. Three of Jerome’s four losses came in consecutive games on either side of the Christmas break.

 

Lakeland Hawks

Record: 15-7

Road to state: Won the Region I title, beating Moscow 47-34 in the if-necessary title game after losing to the Bears 38-34 in the first title game.

Players to watch: Camille Reynolds, senior 5-5, point guard; 16.2 points per game, 3.9 steals, 3.3 assists; Ali Whitted, senior, 5-11, post, 7.2 ppg, 6.3 rpg; Katie Imthurn, senior, 5-7, wing, 5.7 ppg; Kristyn App, senior, 6-0, post, 6.6 rpg; Emily Stecker, junior, 5-4, guard, 4.1 ppg, 3.0 steals.

Notes: Lakeland is making its 10th straight trip to state, the last five after winning the 4A Region 1 title. Prior to that, the Hawks won five straight 3A district titles. … Citing concerns over playing too many games against larger 5A schools, Lakeland dropped out of the Inland Empire League after the 2007-08 school year. IEL officials voted to seed Lakeland third (last) for regional tournament play. So the Hawks had to play all their regional tournament games on the road, even though they had defeated both Sandpoint and Moscow twice in two meetings during the regular season. The Hawks played an independent schedule this year, but still played 5A schools Lewiston, Lake City and Post Falls once each in nonleague play. … Reynolds has scored 1,010 career points, and is just the second Hawk to eclipse the 1,000-point mark under 14th-year coach Steve Seymour.

 

Middleton Vikings (defending champion)

Record 16-6

Road to state: Beat Kuna 55-20 in first round of District III tournament, beat Skyview 38-33 in semifinals, beat Nampa 40-34 in championship game.

Players to watch: Erica Hancock, sr., forward (7.2 points), Emily Hammond, jr., guard (7.8 points), Ariah Gonzales, jr., center (6.1 rebounds)

Notes: Middleton returns to the tournament after having to replace all five starters from last season’s team. 4A SIC schools finished 1-2-3 in last season’s tournament, but the Vikings are the only one of those three back this year. Middleton enters the tournament on a seven-game winning streak.

 

Mountain Home Tigers

Record: 12-11

Road to state: Lost to Nampa 43-34 in first round of District III Tournament, beat Columbia 69-27 in consolation bracket, beat Skyview 33-31 in consolation semifinal, beat Emmett 36-21 in consolation final Players to watch: Francesca Hale, sr., wing (12.9 points, 4.7 rebounds, 63.7 percent free throws), Shelby Posey, jr., post (8.6 rebounds, 42.3 3-point percent, 2 blocks), Dakota Barre, so., wing 2.3 assists, 2 steals, 4.5 rebounds)

Notes: This is the first trip to the state tournament for Mountain Home since 2002. Their current three-game winning streak is tied for the longest winning streak on the year for the Tigers. Mountain View has averaged 44.1 rebounds per game as a team, with 44.5 percent of them coming on the offensive side on the court.

 

Nampa Bulldogs

Record: 14-8

Road to state: Beat Mountain Home 43-34 in first round of District III tournament, beat Bishop Kellly 45-44 in semifinals, lost to Middleton 40-34 in championship game.

Players to watch: Carla Rosas, sr., guard, (9.3 points, 3.2 steals, 72.1 percent free throw) Amy Keonig, jr., post (3.7 blocks, 3.2 rebounds) Amanda Farias, sr., guard 6.5 points, 3.7 rebounds, 2.3 assists)

Notes: Nampa is making its first trip in seven years to the state tournament. Bulldogs have gone 9-2 since the winter break after starting the season 5-6. Beat then No. 1 ranked team in the state Skyview 37-35 on Jan. 10 and beat Bishop Kelly in the district semifinals when the Knights were ranked No. 2.

 

Rigby Trojans

Record: 15-9

Road to state: beat Hillcrest 55-54 in overtime in the first round of the District VI tournament; lost to Bonneville 64-48; beat Hillcrest 62-50; lost to Bonneville 42-31 in championship; beat Preston 50-45 in play-in game.

Players to watch: Emily Jones, sr., F; Chayla Jones, sr., F/G.

Notes: Rigby is making its first trip to the state tournament since 2002. It is lead by 5-foot-11 Emily Jones, who has a full-ride to play volleyball at Weber State. She uses that athleticism to out jump her opponents or hang in the air and contort her body to get off an array of shots. Fellow 5-foot-11 senior Chayla Jones, no relation, is a bear of a matchup, playing inside or outside or running the point.

 

Class 3A

Bonners Ferry Badgers

Record: 15-5

Road to state: Captured the District I-II title, defeating Priest River (46-44) and Timberlake (38-35).

Players to watch: Erin Hiatt, junior, 5-8, wing, 9.6 ppg; Ashley Winkelseth, senior, 5-10, post, 9.4 ppg, 7 rpg; Alicia Hedrick, senior, 5-7, wing/post, 8.9 ppg.

Notes: The Badgers are making their third trip in six years to state under coach Travis Hinthorn. … This is easily the most offensively challenged team Hinthorn has had. They try to counter it with solid defense and rebounding. … It may be a curse, but it could prove to be something opponents can’t key on BF doesn’t have a go-to player per se. … The Badgers shared the Intermountain League championship with Timberlake, which is making its first trip to state.

 

Fruitland Grizzlies

Record: 18-4

Players to watch: Hailey Felgenhauer, jr. post (12 points, 10 rebounds), Ashley Holt, sr., forward (4 points, 3 assists), Sarah McGinley, jr., guard (2 steals, 5 points, 2 assists) Road to State: Beat Payette 48-23 in District III semifinals, beat Homedale 54-28 in championship game.

Notes: Fruitland had a rough start to the season losing three of its first four games before winning 17 of its last 18 games. The Grizzlies are returning to the state tournament for the fourth time in the last five years and enter as district champions for the third year in a row. Fruitland has four junior starters and four more sophomore players who come off the bench and play a role.

 

Kimberly Bulldogs

Record: 18-3

Road to state: Beat Buhl 51-42 in District IV first-round, beat Wendell 52-44 in semifinal and 39-32 in championship.

Players to watch: Alex Pfefferle, jr., guard/forward; Megan Crist, sr., forward

Notes: Kimberly lost its first game of the year after going the previous two regular seasons undefeated. Since then the Bulldogs have gone 18-2, the two losses coming to Class 4A power Jerome. Pfefferle is an 81.3 percent free-throw shooter and is averaging 16.5 points and 6.1 rebounds per game, leading the team in all three categories. Crist leads the team from the field with 40.3 percent shooting. Kimberly as a team shoots 32.1 percent from the floor and 64.8 from the foul line.

 

Snake River Panthers

Record: 16-6

Road to state: Beat American Falls 63-34 in first round of District V tournament; beat Bear Lake 48-33 in the championship game.

Players to watch: Saige Goff, jr., guard (11.5 points per game, third season on varsity), Erica Christensen, jr., guard (10.5 points per game throughout the season but led the team with 12.9 points per game in district play), Eden Van Orden, soph., post (8.7 points per game, 6-feet tall).

Notes: The Panthers have only one senior, 5-foot-9 guard Lindsay Van Orden. Before coming to Snake River, coach Steven Morton served as an assistant coach for two seasons at Snow College, a junior college in Ephraim, Utah. Snake River finished only 6-15 in 2007-08.

 

Sugar-Salem Diggers

Record: 23-0

Road to state: Beat South Fremont 45-16 in the District VI tournament opener; beat Shelley 70-40 in semifinals; beat Teton 55-49 in championship.

Players to watch: Sofia Hepworth, jr., PG (13.4 ppg, 5 steals, 2.3 apg); Brooke Hansen, sr., F (9.9 ppg, 3.9 steals, 2 apg).

Notes: Sugar-Salem has been the epitome of perfection. Last year’s third-place finisher went wire-to-wire as the state’s No. 1-ranked team. On top of that, it was the unanimous No. 1 in every poll except the preseason’s. And for good reason … Sugar-Salem has massacred every opponent in its way, beating its opponents by an average of 25.7 points per game, outscoring them 58.1 to 32.4 … Leading the charge for Sugar-Salem has been a sneakily quiet Sofia Hepworth. The junior point guard made the all-state last year as a sophomore averaging 25 points a game at last year’s state tournament. She hasn’t made that kind of splash so far, deferring to teammates and running the offense. But everyone knows it’s in her and is just waiting for her to take over.

 

Teton Redskins

Record: 15-10

Road to state: Beat Salmon 42-36, lost to Shelley 33-31, beat Salmon 48-33, beat Shelley 45-43, lost to Sugar-Salem 55-49 in championship, beat Marsh Valley 51-49 in play-in game.

Players to watch: Laurel Kearsley, sr., F (17.5 ppg, 12.5 reb, 5.2 blocks); Sarah Smith, sr., F (8 ppg, 4.5 reb)

Notes: Kearsley makes the Teton offense go. She brings the ball up against pressure defenses, can hit the 3, drive, operate out of the high post or post up on the low block. Teton beat Marsh Valley in the state play-in game when Kearsley stole a pass and hit a runner at the buzzer. Teton hasn’t been to state since 1995.

 

Timberlake Tigers

Record: 16-6

Road to state: Finished second in Region I tournament, losing 38-35 to Bonners Ferry in title game, then beating Priest River 46-42 for region’s second berth to state.

Players to watch: Cassie Thompson, sophomore, 6-0, post, 16.0 points, 10.4 rebounds, 2.9 blocks, 3.3 steals per game; Caitlyn Nichols, sophomore, 5-9 wing, 7.0 ppg, 5.2 rpg, 2.9 spg; Kara Wenstrom, freshman, 5-4 point guard, 5.0 ppg, 2.8 assists, 2.4 steals.

Notes: Timberlake is making its first trip to state since the school opened in 1998. … The Tigers tied Bonners Ferry for the Intermountain League title with an 8-2 record. In its first 10 seasons, Timberlake was 7-84 in league play. This is Timberlake’s first winning season in program history. … Matt Miller, who was voted the IML coach of the year, has given the Tigers program some stability. Prior to his arrival, Timberlake had four coaches in seven seasons.

 

Wendell Trojans

Record: 18-7

Road to state: Beat Filer 43-34 in District IV quarterfinal, lost to Kimberly 52-44 in semifinals, beat Buhl 44-32 in elimination game, lost to Kimberly 39-32 in championship. Beat Weiser 53-41 in state play-in game.

Players to watch: Jaci Lancaster, sr., guard (9.5 ppg, 4.0 apg); Jori Fleming, sr., forward (7.8 ppg. 9.2 rpg); Kristen Brandsma, jr., forward (11.1 ppg, 6.2 rpg, 0.9 blocks).

Notes: The Trojans are making their first Class 3A state tournament appearance after moving up last season from the 2A ranks — they won the last two District IV championships at that level. Laurie Andrus is a true point guard, averaging 2.3 points, 4.1 assists and 4.3 rebounds. A trouble spot could be the foul line for Wendell. The Trojans shoot just 53.8 percent on the season but were 29-for-41 (70.7 percent) in the play-in win over Weiser.

 

Class 2A

Grangeville Bulldogs (defending champion)

Record: 18-1

Road to state: Defeated Kamiah 56-41 in District II title game.

Players to watch: Kylie Brown, soph., guard (14.7 points); Shiann Dreadfulwater, sr., guard (11.5 points).

Notes: The Bulldogs have won three of the last five Class 2A titles, but their roster is somewhat different this season. Grangeville is quicker, smaller and perhaps a bit more defensive-minded this year. The Bulldogs’ shooting touch is occasionally spotty, but their extended-court defense always has bite. Lapwai, the Class 1A Division I favorite, snapped Grangeville’s 31-game winning streak in late January, but the Bulldogs responded with four consecutive wins by an average margin of 26.5 points.

 

Kamiah Kubs

Record: 17-7

Road to state: Defeated Potlatch 62-33 in District II tournament; lost to Grangeville 56-41 in District II title game; defeated Potlatch 56-25 in District II second-place game; defeated New Plymouth 50-36 in play-in game.

Players to watch: Shelby Cash, sr. (12.9 points); Tiffany Lytle, sr. (12.1 points); Blake Jacobs, sr. (8.9 points).

Notes: This is the Kubs’ first appearance in the state tournament since 1985. Tina Ulmer, Kamiah’s coach, was the leading scorer on that ‘85 club, which took fifth. The Kubs don’t have much height, but they are balanced. Three of their losses came against league foe Grangeville, the defending 2A champion.

 

Melba Mustangs

Record: 18-7

Road to state: Beat Marsing 42-17 in District III opening round, lost to Parma 45-43 in semifinals, beat Cole Valley 45-27 in consolation bracket, beat Nampa Christian 51-47 in consolation semifinal, beat New Plymouth 66-55 in consolation final.

Players to watch: Katie Brinkerhoff, sr., guard (16 points, 4.5 steals, 75 percent free throws), Michelle Kirkness, sr., guard (10 points, 2.2 assists, 3.2 steals), Logan Stirm, sr., post (7.8 points, 6.9 rebounds, 1.7 steals).

Notes: This is Melba’s fourth trip to state in the last six years, but the first time they have been in back-to-back years in coach Larry Lincoln’s 15 years coaching at the school. The Mustangs finished its conference home schedule undefeated. Melba is scoring 10 more points per game and giving up 10 fewer points per game than last year’s squad.

 

North Fremont Huskies

Record: 19-5

Road to state: Beat Ririe 70-24 in first round of the District VI tournament; lost to West Jefferson 55-37; beat Butte County 58-55; beat West Jefferson 43-38; beat West Jefferson in championship 44-27.

Players to watch: Allisa Harrigfeld, jr., G (17.8 ppg, 8 reb, 2.5 ass, 4.5 stls); Jessica Lee, sr., PG (10.9 ppg, 4.5 stls); Emily Trosen, fr., forward.

Notes: This is North Fremont’s first trip to state in school history. There is a rumor the boys made it to state in 1928, but as far as anyone in Ashton is concerned, this is North Fremont’s first trip to state in boys or girls basketball. The offense runs through Harrigfeld, who at 17.8 points per game, leads eastern Idaho in scoring.

 

Parma Panthers

Record: 19-2

Road to state: Beat Melba 57-44 in District III semifinals, beat New Plymouth 45-43 in championship game.

Players to watch: Kali Roche, jr., Alli Nielsen, jr., Becca Leavitt, sr., guard.

Notes: Parma avenged both of its two losses in the district tournament, defeating Melba and New Plymouth. Started season with a 12-game winning streak and has won its last seven heading into states. The Panthers were the 2A state champions in volleyball this season.

 

Soda Springs Cardinals

Record: 22-0

Road to state: Beat Malad 57-25 in the first round and Grace 42-28 in the championship game of the 2A District V tournament

Players to watch: Madie Kimball, jr., post (Soda Springs’ top scorer), Rachel Bowman, sr., guard (starting point guard who triggers the Cardinals’ fast-break offense).

Notes: Soda Springs was the Class 2A state runner-up last season and three seasons ago. The Cardinals finished third two seasons ago. Every one of Soda Springs’ athletics teams qualified for the state tournament last year.

 

Valley Vikings

Record: 19-3

Road to state: Beat Declo 60-45 in District IV semifinals and 56-49 in championship.

Players to watch: Katie Hall, sr., forward; Camelle Sizemore, sr., guard

Notes: Valley is making its first state tournament appearance since 2006. The Vikings were the top seed in the three-team District IV tournament the past two seasons, only to lose out to Wendell in the district tournament. Hall leads the team with about 13 points and 10 rebounds per game, and shoots 52.3 percent from the field.

 

West Jefferson Panthers

Record: 15-8

Road to State: Beat Firth 52-38 in first round of the District VI tournament; beat Butte County 55-46; beat North Fremont 55-37; lost to North Fremont 43-38; lost to North Fremont 44-27 in championship; beat Grace 52-35 in play-in game.

Players to watch: Tiffany McDonald, so., forward; Bradee Linger, sr., guard; Oakley Burtenshaw, sr., guard.

Notes: This is West Jefferson’s first trip to state since 2004. None of the current players have been to state before.

 

Class 1A Division I

Challis Vikings

Record: 22-1

Road to state: Beat Hansen 85-21 in first round of Region III tournament, beat Sho-Ban 64-48 in semifinals, beat Raft River 59-46 in championship.

Players to watch: Kristen Garlie, sr., F (14.8 ppg, 8.2 reb, 2.2 blocks); Ashley McGowan, sr., G (9.3 ppg, 5.4 ass, 3.0 stls); Lauren Garlie, soph., F (10.4 ppg, 6.8 reb, 1.6 blocks).

Notes: After a fourth-place finish in last year’s 2A state tournament, Challis is primed for a run at a bigger trophy. It has the team to do it. With 6-foot-1 senior forward Kristen Garlie and 6-foot sophomore forward Lauren Garlie, Kristen’s sister, Challis will dominate the paint of every team it plays in the tournament. The question is how it will handle the smaller, quicker presses of first-round opponent Tri-Valley and its likely second-round opponent, Lapwai. That puts the weight on senior guard Ashley McGowan to fend off the pressure and find her dominant posts.

 

Clearwater Valley Rams

Record: 16-6

Road to state: Beat Troy 46-30 in first round of District II tournament; beat Genesee 62-51 in semifinals; lost to Lapwai 52-49 in championship.

Players to watch: Janae Palmer, sr., guard (14.3 points in postseason); Alexis Pickering, sr., forward (14.6 points in postseason); Jade Gutzman, frosh, guard (6 points in postseason).

Notes: The Rams are making their first State appearance since 1996, when they won the Class A-3 consolation title. The Kooskia club boasts just two seniors and its starting lineup includes a freshman and a sophomore. The Rams don’t have a ton of size (the tallest player is Pickering, a 5-foot-10 forward) but they are quick and will employ full-court pressure.

 

Kendrick Tigers

Record: 15-8

Road to state: Beat Prairie 49-37 in first round of District II tournament; lost to Lapwai 68-50 in semifinals; beat Lewis County 36-35 in consolation play; beat Prairie 63-39 in third-place game; beat Lakeside 71-47 in state play-in game.

Players to watch: Morgan Jo Wolff, sr., guard (18.8 points in postseason); Hannah Smith, soph., guard/forward (9.6 points in postseason); Myriah Deeds, sr., forward (16 points in postseason).

Notes: The Tigers are making their 13th trip to the state tournament. Eight of those appearances have come in the last nine years. They placed third last season. The Tigers have been streaky this season, but they’re tough to contain when they’re clicking. Wolff and Smith can play just about any position on the floor while Deeds, a 6-foot-3 forward, is a force in the paint.

 

Lapwai Wildcats

Record: 19-3

Road to state: Beat Timberline 61-46 in first round of District II tournament; beat Kendrick 68-50 in semifinals; beat Clearwater Valley 52-49 in championship.

Players to watch: Annie Kane, sr., guard (18 points in postseason); Chelsey Leighton, sr., forward (9.3 points in postseason); Latisha Phillips, frosh, forward (8 points in postseason).

Notes: The Wildcats are making their ninth consecutive trip to the state tournament. Their last championship came in 2002, as a 2A school, and they won the consolation title last season. The Wildcats will push tempo and press relentlessly. The unquestioned leader of the team is Kane, who is already committed to Lewis-Clark State College.

 

Raft River Trojans

Record: 17-6

Road to state: Beat Oakley 46-44 in Region III tournament opening round, beat Hagerman 57-29 in semifinals, lost to Challis 59-46 in championship, beat Sho-Ban 64-48 in second-place game.

Players to watch: Sally Hansen, sr., guard; Whitney Holtman, jr.; forward; Chelzee Nye, sr., forward.

Notes: Raft River is last year’s runner-up in the Class 1A ranks, and returns most of its roster. A key loss was point guard Nicole Harper, who now plays at the College of Southern Idaho. Hansen scores for fun a lot of times, and surpassed the 1,000-point barrier for her career in a district playoff game against Hagerman. Nye and Holtman are growing as post presences but the Trojans still will look to Hansen to spearhead their desired run back to the title game.

 

Rimrock Raiders

Record: 17-5

Road to state: Beat Cascade 50-42 in semifinals of District III Tournament semifinals, beat Tri-Valley 31-26 in championship.

Players to watch: Kaile Murray, sr., guard (7.0 points, 5.0 rebounds, 4.2 assists, 4.5 steals); Anna Cantrell, jr., post (11.6 points, 11.3 rebounds, 2.0 blocks); Shoni Gennett, jr., post (8.7 points, 8.3 rebounds); Jakie Thurman, jr., post/guard (10.3 points, 7.7 rebounds 2.9 assists).

Notes: The Raiders saw their run of 11 consecutive state tournament appearances end last winter, but they bounced back and look to rediscover the form that led to state titles in 2003 and 2004. … Rimrock opened the season 14-2 before losing three consecutive games against Notus and 1A Division II state qualifiers Greenleaf and Dietrich late in the regular season. … The Raiders entered the district tournament having lost three of their last four games, but emerged with the championship and enter state on a three-game winning streak.

 

Sho-Ban Chiefs

 

Tri-Valley Titans

Record: 16-6

Road to state: Beat Wilder 68-6 in first round of District III tournament, beat Notus 44-28 in semifinals, lost to Rimrock 31-26 in championship game

Players to watch: Megan Woodman, sr., guard; Ariel Southwick, sr., guard; Kelsey Doggett, soph., post; Molly Woodman, soph., post, Kyanne Hemenway, soph.

Notes: Tri-Valley is a cooperative between Cambridge and Midvale high schools, and it is just the second time the Titans have advanced to the state tournament. At last year’s state tournament, Tri-Valley lost both of its games. The Titans tallest player is 5-foot-7, and the team has only two seniors on the roster.

 

Class 1A Division II

Carey Panthers

Record: 13-9

Road to state: Beat Magic Valley Christian 53-22 in District IV quarterfinals, beat Dietrich 48-36 in semifinals, lost to Richfield 50-45 in championship, lost to Dietrich 61-57 in second-place game.

Players to watch: Jessica Parke, jr., guard; Kayla Bailey, sr., forward; Kelsey Green, sr.; guard.

Notes: The Panthers return to the state tournament after narrowly missing out on a trophy chance in the Class 1A proceedings last season. A young squad returned most of its talent from last season’s team, and the Panthers were the only Class 1A Division II team to give Richfield much of a contest all season long. Bailey works well with Amy Ellsworth inside, while Parke and Green provide balance on the floor.

 

Dietrich Blue Devils

Record: 18-6

Road to state: Lost to Carey 48-36 in District IV semifinals, beat Bliss 77-29 in elimination game, beat Camas County 81-30 in elimination game, beat Carey 61-57 in second-place game.

Players to watch: Jesse Dill, sr., forward; Moriah Dill, fr.; guard/forward.

Notes: Last season it was Jesse Dill that carried a young Dietrich team to the cusp of a berth in the Class 1A consolation game. This season won’t be much different but the supporting cast has had a year to grow and is better in experience and overall talent than last season’s squad. If Jesse Dill and Halie Stoddard can shake off lingering injuries and rise to the fore, the Blue Devils could be in pretty good shape for a trophy.

 

Garden Valley Wolverines

Record: 18-2

Road to state: Beat Cascade 41-16 in District III Tournament semifinals, beat Greenleaf 44-33 in championship.

Players to watch: Lacey Jones, sr., guard/forward (22.9 points, 12.5 rebounds, 6.3 steals, 2.5 assists, 2.3 blocks); Jackie Fry, sr., guard (10.4 points, 2.6 assists); Allie Hileman, sr., guard (6.4 points, 7.6 rebounds); Chancey Jones, soph., guard/forward (4.1 points, 6.1 rebounds).

Notes: The Wolverines won the first state title in school history in 2006, placed second in 2007 and lost the third-place game last year. … Jones, a four-year starter, was an All-Idaho first-team selection last season and has improved her scoring average by more than eight points. … Many of the same athletes led Garden Valley to a state volleyball championship in October.

 

Greenleaf Friends Grizzlies

Record: 19-4

Road to state: Lost to Garden Valley 44-33 in District III Tournament semifinals, beat Meadows Valley 57-37 in second-place game, beat Clark Fork 64-41 in state play-in game.

Players to watch: Katie Morse, sr., wing (16.4 points, 8.0 rebounds, 3.4 steals, 2.6 assists); Taylor Myers, sr., guard (12.3 points, 4.1 steals, 4.1 assists, 4.0 rebounds); Kamiah Stephens, sr., guard (8.2 points, 5.6 steals, 4.8 rebounds).

Notes: The Grizzlies are making their fifth consecutive appearance in the state tournament despite bidding farewell to four-year starter Michelle Gooding, who graduated last year. … The Grizzlies have seven seniors on their roster. … In its four previous trips to state, Greenleaf has just one victory — a 46-43 consolation win against Oakley in 2006.

 

Mackay Miners

Record: 10-8

Road to state: Beat Leadore 60-28, beat North Gem 44-40 in championship.

Players to watch: Taylor Donnot, soph., F; Kayla Mulick, jr., F; Kourtney Krosch, sr., F.

Notes: The Miners return to state for the second straight year. Mackay lost two straight after winning its state opener against Wallace last year.

 

North Gem Cowgirls

Record: 16-8

Road to state: Beat Rockland 59-36 in second-place District tournament game.

Players to watch: Bailey Simmons (11.5 points); Natalie Simons (11 points); Chynna Holbrook; Tiffany Holbrook

Notes: North Gem is making its first trip to the 1A state championship tournament in four years under first-year coach Corry Hatch … The Cowboys almost went into state as district champions, but lost a close tournament championship game to Mackay because they missed too many late free throws … North Gem is one of the youngest teams in the state. Its roster has only two seniors, one junior and seven sophomores.

 

Richfield Tigers

Record: 22-0

Road to state: Beat Camas County 55-24 in District IV semifinals, beat Carey 50-45 in championship.

Players to watch: Michelle Kent, sr., forward (12.8 ppg, 7.1 rpg, 3.9 steals); Teenie Kent, jr., guard (17.1 ppg, 4.5 steals); Lea Piper, sr.; forward (9.0 ppg, 8.0 rpg).

Notes: Richfield would be a threat to take the Class 1A Division I title, let alone Division II. Only three times have the Tigers failed to win by at least 10 points this season (twice to Carey), and their average margin of victory in the 20 games they have played (Bliss forfeited both conference games to Richfield) is just better than 29 points. One of the few things that could slow Richfield down is the grind of a three-day playoff, as the Tigers sat their starters at or before halftime in most of its games this season. Teenie Kent has connected on nearly 40 percent of her 3-point attempts and shoots nearly 72 percent from the foul line.

 

Summit Academy Patriots

Record: 18-4

Road to State: Beat Mullan 49-24 in first round of Region I tournament; beat Clark Fork 37-24 in championship.

Players to watch: Savanah Prigge, frosh., forward (10 points, 11.5 rebounds in postseason); Rachel Wemhoff, soph., guard (13.5 points in postseason); Jamie Chmelik, soph., guard (7.5 points in postseason)

Notes: The Cottonwood school, which has only had a girls’ basketball program for six years, is making its first appearance in the state tournament. The Patriots are a green squad, with only two seniors and eight players who are sophomores or freshmen.


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