ADVERTISEMENT
Advertise Here

SportsLink

Idaho: Boys state hoops

Click the tab below to see team-by-team capsules of each team at the state boys basketball tournaments.


5A
Borah Lions
Record: 15-9
Coach: Cary Cada, 15th season
Road to state: Beat Rocky Mountain 78-59 in District III Tournament play-in game, lost to Capital 70-62 in first round, beat Centennial 66-46 in elimination game, beat Boise 50-47 in state qualifying game.
Players to watch: Dennis Mikelonis, sr., guard/forward (16.8 ppg, 6.5 rpg); Craig Spjute, jr., guard/forward (16.1 ppg, 7.9 rpg); Kelly Kurtz, sr., guard/forward (4.6 apg, 2.3 steals).
Notes: The Lions, who have won nine state titles, failed to qualify for the tournament for the first time since 2002 last season. This is Borah’s ninth state tournament appearance under the guidance of Cada, who led the Lions to state championships in 2004 and 2005. Mikelonis transferred to Borah from rival Boise.

 

 

 

Capital Eagles
Record: 16-7
Coach: Kyle Dennis, third season
Road to state: Beat Timberline 76-68 in first round of District III Tournament, beat Boise 63-53 in semifinals, lost to Vallivue 63-55 in championship.
Players to watch: Dontese Tower, sr., wing/post (19.8 ppg, 10.0 rpg, 2.7 steals); Paul Egwuonwu, sr., wing/post (11.6 ppg, 8.6 rpg, 3.5 blocks, 2.3 apg); Nate Williams, sr., wing/guard (8.3 ppg).
Notes: This is Capital’s first trip to state since the Eagles finished runner-up to Twin Falls in 2006. It’s also their first appearance at state under Kyle Dennis, who replaced Ted Hettinga after the 2005-06 season. Capital, which has won five state titles, hasn’t won a championship since it claimed four in a row from 1975 to 1978. Tower led the Southern Idaho Conference in scoring and rebounding during the regular season.

 

 

 

Eagle Mustangs
Record: 18-5
Coach: Tom Seifert, fourth season
Road to state: Lost to Boise 64-56 in first round of District III Tournament, beat Timberline 73-57 in elimination game, beat Mountain View 56-52 in state qualifying game.
Players to watch: Ben VanLith, sr., guard (17.7 ppg, 6.3 rpg, 2.4 steals); Dallas Yorgason, sr., guard (9.8 ppg, 3.0 steals, 2.8 apg); Jordan Thompson, jr., guard (8.7 ppg).
Notes: Averaged 66.2 points per game during the regular season and allowed 50.8 per game en route to the Southern Idaho Conference title. The Mustangs won their first-round game at state last winter, but lost to Coeur d’Alene in the semifinals and fell to Highland in the third-place game. This is the fourth time in school history Eagle has advanced to state in consecutive seasons, also qualifying in 1996, 1997, 1998, 2004, 2005 and 2008. The Mustangs’ best finish was a runner-up showing in 2004 after they lost to Borah in the final.

 

 

 

Lewiston Bengals
Record: 19-4
Coach: Dave Cornelia, eighth season
Road to state: Beat Coeur d’Alene 65-40 in District I-II Tournament first round, lost to Post Falls 69-62 for championship, beat Coeur d’Alene 88-65 for second place. Beat Mountain View 69-49 in state play-in game.
Players to watch: Ryan Strong, sr., guard (10.1 ppg); Jared Heitzman, 6-3 sr., post (9.7 ppg, 5.2 rpg); Justin Podrabsky, 6-7 jr., post (9.6 ppg, 7 rpg); Peter Gregg, 6-8 sr., post (9.5 ppg, 5.4 rpg); Ryan Young, sr., guard (9.5 ppg, 4 rpg).
Notes: The Bengals were ranked No. 1 in the statewide media poll much of the season, but, after losing in the District I-II title game, had to win back-to-back elimination games to make it to state. This is Lewiston’s eighth consecutive appearance, all of which have come during Cornelia’s watch. As their statistics indicate, the Bengals are a balanced club. Gregg and Podrabsky love to block shots, Heitzman can score inside and out and the two Ryans, Strong and Young, are capable guards. Despite its yearly trips to state, Lewiston hasn’t played in the title game this decade (its best finish was third in 2006). The Bengals’ last state championship came in 1948. But most of the players on this senior-heavy club had prominent roles when Lewiston claimed fourth place last season.

 

 

 

Madison Bobcats
Record: 15-9
Coach: Bill Hawkins, 21st season
Road to state: Beat Idaho Falls 45-44 in District IV-V-VI Tournament first round, beat Twin Falls 60-48 in semifinals to qualify for state, lost to Twin Falls 61-53 and 52-46 for championship.
Players to watch: Josh Fuller, 6-6 jr., forward; Trevor Blanchard, 5-11 sr., guard.
Notes: Madison won the 5A title in 2007, its first year in 5A. Coach Bill Hawkins has won four state titles. Madison has qualified for the state tournament in five of the past six years. Fuller is the only consistent big scorer, but anyone is capable of scoring double digits in Hawkins’ trademark flex offense.

 

 

 

Post Falls Trojans
Record: 17-5
Coach: Mike McLean, second season
Road to state: Beat Lake City 62-50 in District I-II Tournament first round, beat Lewiston 69-62 for championship.
Players to watch: Shawn Reid, 6-4 jr., guard (13.5 ppg, 8.8 rpg); Justin Carter, 6-1 sr., wing (13 ppg, 4.2 apg); Connor Hill, 5-11 so., guard (9.5 ppg); Malcolm Colbert, 6-0 jr., guard (7.6 ppg, 2.3 apg), Marcus Colbert, 5-11 fr., guard (7.1 ppg, 2.1 apg).
Notes: Post Falls qualified for state for the first time since 2005, when the Trojans were in 4A. … The Trojans are young — only one of the top five scorers is a senior. … Malcolm Colbert has been on varsity since his freshman season; his freshman brother, Marcus, joined him in the starting lineup this season. … Carter, the lone senior starter, is a solid inside/outside player.

 

 

 

Twin Falls Bruins
Record: 18-8
Coach: Matt Harr, seventh season
Road to state: Beat Skyline 69-46 in District IV-V-VI Tournament first round, beat Highland 60-58 (OT) in second round, lost to Madison 60-48 in semifinals, beat Skyline 56-47 in elimination game to qualify for state, beat Madison 61-53 and 52-46 for championship.
Players to watch:
Notes: Players to watch: Jon Pulsifer, jr., forward (16.1 ppg, 8.4 rpg, 1.9 apg, 1.5 steals); Marcus Jardine, jr., guard-forward (8.2 ppg, 5 rpg, 1.9 apg); Russell Crane, sr., guard (8.5 ppg); Jake Hanchey, sr., guard (8.4 ppg, 3.6 rpg, 1.8 apg).
Notes: This season marks a complete turnaround for the program, which finished 6-16 overall and last in the region in 2007-08. Pulsifer is a key player on this team, at one time averaging a double-double.

 

 

 


Vallivue Falcons
(defending champion)
Record: 17-6
Coach: Mike Chatterton, 12th season
Road to state: Beat Borah 70-62 in first round of District III Tournament, beat Mountain View 59-57 in semifinals, beat Capital 63-55 for championship.
Players to watch: Bryden Benke, sr., wing (14.1 ppg, 7.4 rpg, 56.9 percent shooting); Zach Kelsh, jr., guard (13.1 ppg, 7.8 rpg); Devan Telken, jr., guard (10.6 ppg).
Notes: The Falcons had to replace four starters after winning the state championship last season, including Will Bogan, who was named 2008 All-Idaho Player of the Year. Bogan is playing college basketball for Mississippi. Vallivue started slow, but hit its stride midseason and went on an eight-game winning streak before losing its regular-season finale. The Falcons, who averaged a Southern Idaho Conference-best 38.6 rebounds per game, have won 11 of their past 12 games.

 

 

 

4A
Bishop Kelly Knights
Record: 11-12
Coach: Larry Crump, third season
Road to state: Beat Emmett 40-37 in District III Tournament quarterfinals, beat Middleton 73-53 in semifinals to qualify for state, lost to Skyview 70-51 for championship.
Players to watch: Jake Hardee, jr., post; Wyatt Murie, sr., wing; Austin DeSilvia, so, post.
Notes: The Knights return to the state tournament after a one year absence. Bishop Kelly started its season on a five-game losing streak, and entered the district championship game on a five game winning streak. … The Knights are 1-6 against teams playing in this year’s 4A state tournament. The Knight lost twice to Jerome, three times to Skyview and split with Mountain Home. … Bishop Kelly has won two state titles in boys basketball, both in the 3A classification in the 1990s.

 

 

 

Blackfoot Broncos
Record: 18-7
Coach: Gerald Humpherys, fourth season
Road to state: Beat Rigby 55-54 in District VI Tournament first round, lost to Hillcrest 79-67 in semifinals, beat Rigby 62-58 in elimination game, lost to Hillcrest 78-68 for championship. Beat Century 47-34 in state play-in game.
Player to watch: Jordan Bjornberg, sr., forward (19.7 ppg, 7.4 rpg), Nate Walker, jr., guard (8.6 ppg), Zac Packer, jr., point guard (9.2 ppg).
Notes: The Blackfoot offense clicks when Bjornberg gets his touches. The 6-foot-5 forward can hit a 3 one possession and drop-step dunk the next. Bjornberg is a match-up nightmare, and he finds open teammates when he sees the double-team coming. Blackfoot might be happy to be finished with its conference schedule. Five of the Broncos’ seven losses were courtesy of the High Country Conference, and Hillcrest beat them four times.

 

 

 

Hillcrest Knights
Record: 19-4
Coach: Don Baldwin, 11th season
Road to state: Beat Bonneville 62-60 in District VI Tournament first round, beat Blackfoot 79-67 in semifinals and 78-68 for championship.
Players to watch: Jordan Johnson, 6-0 jr., point guard (13.3 ppg, 5.1 rpg, 36.8 3-point percent, 4.3 apg, 2.5 spg); Justin Coffin, 5-11 sr., guard (11.3 ppg, 3 apg, 2 spg); Brantley Brooks, 6-1 jr., guard (8.9 ppg, 40.4 3-point percent).
Notes: Hillcrest has six players shooting better than 30 percent from the 3-point line, insulating it from a cold night from one of its shooters. It attempts 23 3-pointers a game, making 8.2. Hillcrest is back at state and is the District 6 champion after a 6-16 2007-08 season. Junior center Brookx Andrus, 6-foot-4, is the only Knight above 6-foot-2. Hillcrest is the only team with a winning record on its side of the bracket.

 

 

 

Jerome Tigers
Record: 22-2
Coach: Joe Messick, second season
Road to state: Beat Wood River 59-38 in first round of District IV Tournament, beat Minico 55-45 in semifinals and Burley 62-52 in championship to qualify for state. Beat Pocatello 60-50 for District IV-V championship.
Players to watch: Logan Parker, sr., guard, (16.5 ppg, 35 percent 3-pointers); Kameron Pearce, jr., guard, (14.8 ppg, 4.3 apg); Kevin Williams, sr., post (11.8 ppg, 9.0 rpg).
Notes: This is Jerome’s first state tournament appearance since 1998. … The Tigers have won 14 straight games, and have lost this season only to Century (in overtime) and Class 5A state qualifier Twin Falls, a defeat they avenged in the last game of the regular season to snap a 19-game losing streak to its cross-canyon rival. … Only three of the Tigers’ 22 victories have come by single-digit margins, and the average margin of all 22 wins is just better than 16 points. … This year marks the 20th anniversary of Messick winning a state championship as a freshman at Shoshone, then and still coached by his father Larry.

 

 

 

Mountain Home Tigers
Record: 11-12
Coach:

Tony Kerfoot
Road
to state: Lost to Kuna 70-53 in District III Tournament quarterfinals, beat Nampa 56-42 in elimination game, beat Middleton 58-48 in elimination game, beat Columbia 65-51 for third place.
Players to watch: Danny Snelgrow, sr., guard; Alex Campbell, sr., forward (13 ppg, 7 rpg); D.J. Elliott, sr., forward (13 ppg, 5 rpg).
Notes: Mountain Home is making its first appearance at state in 15 years. … Mountain Home enters the state tournament having won three straight do-or-die games to qualify. The Tigers started out their season with an 0-5 record. … Mountain Home is 1-5 against teams playing in this year’s 4A state tournament, having lost to each Skyview and Jerome twice and splitting with Bishop Kelly … The Tigers have never won a state championship in boys basketball.

 

 

 

Pocatello Indians
Record: 12-14
Coach:

Lee Ralphs
Road
to state: Beat Preston 37-34 in District V Tournament first round, lost to Century 48-45 in semifinals, beat Preston 48-44 in elimination game, beat Century 47-35 and 39-37 for championship to qualify for state. Lost to Jerome 60-50 for District IV-V championship.
Players to watch: Michael Decker, sr., guard-forward; Colter Morton, sr., forward; Shae Andrews, sr., forward.
Notes: This is the second straight season that Pocatello has unseated Century in the district tournament to win the championship after finishing second during the regular season. Pocatello is making its second straight trip to the state tournament.

 

 

 

Sandpoint Bulldogs
Record: 9-14
Coach: Tyler Haynes, first season (third stint as head coach)
Road to state: Beat Moscow 39-34 to win District I-II Tournament.
Players to watch: Stefan Buratto, 6-3 jr., guard (15 ppg); Spencer Swerin, 6-3 sr., wing-post (12 ppg, 6 rpg); Tanner French, 5-9 sr., point guard (5 apg).
Notes: The Bulldogs play in a combined 5A/4A conference, the Inland Empire League. They went 1-7 against the 5A teams, beating 5A state qualifier Post Falls 54-47 although PF was playing without three starters. French and Swerin were key players on Sandpoint’s state title soccer team. The team’s strength is defense. Perhaps no other 4A state qualifier played a schedule as difficult as Sandpoint.

 

 

 

Skyview Hawks
Record: 23-0
Coach: Sean Yeager, second season
Road to state: Beat Nampa 56-29 in District III Tournament quarterfinals, beat Kuna 65-59 in semifinals, beat Bishop Kelly 70-51 for championship.
Players to watch: Kyle Dranginis, so., guard (10.9 ppg, 4.39 rpg, 5.4 apg); Terrell Rowe, jr., guard (9.6 ppg, 3.87 rpg); Abraham Burns, sr., guard (9.2 ppg, 2.6 rpg).
Notes: Skyview went through the season without a loss, and only trailed in one conference game at halftime, on Jan. 15 against Bishop Kelly. … The Hawks’ District III championship was their fourth straight district title. … Seven players from last year’s semifinal team are on the roster again this year, including four returning starters. … The Hawks have wins over 5A state qualifiers, Borah and Twin Falls, this season … Skyview has won two state titles (2004 and 2005).

 

 

 

3A
Filer Wildcats
Record: 16-7
Coach: Alex Wells, first season
Road to state: Beat Gooding 57-46 in District IV Tournament first round, lost to Kimberly 69-58 in semifinals, beat Wendell 61-40 in elimination game, lost to Kimberly 75-56 in championship game. Beat Homedale 56-53 in state play-in game.
Players to watch: Bryce Beard, jr., guard; Nathan Hughes, sr., senior; Nathan Karel, sr., wing-forward.
Notes: Filer makes its first appearance at the state tournament since 2003, when it won the consolation trophy. … The Wildcats went just 3-15 last season and 5-49 in the last three years combined. … Wells, a 2002 graduate of Buhl, is a former assistant at Class 1A Division I Troy.

 

 

 

Fruitland Grizzlies
(defending champion)
Record: 20-2
Coach: Mike Fitch, 10th season
Road to state: Beat Weiser 55-44 in District III Tournament semifinals, beat Homedale 60-55 (OT) for championship.
Players to watch: Matt Stanger, sr., forward (15 ppg, 8 rpg); Devin Decroo, jr., guard (13 ppg, 5 apg); Ty Pena, sr., guard (14 ppg, 3 apg, 3 steals).
Notes: The Grizzlies return just three of the 13 players on the roster in last year’s state championship game. Stanger and Pena started in the title game, while Decroo was the first player off the bench. … The Grizzlies have won seven straight District III titles and are making their seventh consecutive trip to state. … Fruitland boasts a 12-game winning streak entering the state tournament. The Grizzlies two losses came in road games at Burley and Baker, Ore. … Fruitland has won two state championships, with the other coming in 1980.

 

 

 

Kimberly Bulldogs
Record: 16-5
Coach: Marvin Mumm, first season
Road to state: Beat Buhl 54-51 in District IV Tournament first round, beat Filer 69-58 in semifinals and 75-56 in championship game.
Players to watch: Duston Brown, 6-3 sr., guard-forward; Cody Wadsworth, 6-3 sr., forward, Jared Mumm, 6-4 sr., post.
Notes: Kimberly returns nine of its top 10 players from last year’s state runner-up, including starters Mumm, Brown and backcourt duo A.J. Schroeder and Eric Marvin. There is no single player to key on, but the Bulldogs are more frontcourt oriented than they were last season. Any one of eight or nine players can step up and be the man on a given night.

 

 

 

Priest River Spartans
Record: 18-1
Coach: Ryan Bodecker, second season
Road to state: Priest River defeated St. Maries 45-36 in the District I-II championship game. Players to watch: Jake Weimer, 6-4 jr., post (16.2 ppg, 9.1 rpg); Eric Holbrook, 5-11 so., point guard (15.4 ppg, 5.5 apg); Max Salesky, 5-11 so., wing (10.1 ppg).
Notes: Just one senior starts — Brian Nelson, a three-sport standout whose future is in baseball. The Spartans start two sophomores and two juniors. Their lone loss was a 68-52 decision at 5A Lake City, a defeat that snapped a 14-game winning streak. It was a game that wasn’t originally even on the schedule. Both teams lost games because of poor weather and agreed to play. Bodecker knew he had the makings of a good team, but has been pleasantly surprised by the development.

 

 

 

Shelley Russets
Record: 14-11
Coach: Dave Hadley, 11th season
Road to state: Beat Salmon 53-45 in District VI first round, beat Sugar-Salem 51-43 in semifinals, lost to Sugar-Salem 57-42 and 73-57 for championship. Beat Marsh Valley 57-49 in state play-in game.
Players to watch: Tanner Higham, sr., point guard (19.9 ppg, 5.5 apg, 41 percent 3-pointers), Mason Higham, sr., forward (11.9 ppg, 6.1 rpg), Tommy Higham, sr., guard (8.2 ppg, 33.3 percent 3-pointers).
Notes: Shelley advances to state for the eighth straight season. The Russets had won five straight district titles before Sugar-Salem won this year. Tanner Higham led the Mountain Rivers Conference in scoring. Mason Higham provides the muscle underneath, and Tommy Higham stretches the defense and punishes teams for double-teaming Tanner Higham from the 3-point line.

 

 

 

Snake River Panthers
Record: 14-8
Coach: Robert Coombs, 16th season
Road to state: Beat Bear Lake 59-49 in District V Tournament first round, beat Marsh Valley 50-38 for championship.
Players to watch: Randy Resendiz, sr., guard (team’s point guard and leader); Devin Cook, sr., forward (6-foot-5 player can extend the defense with his 3-point range); Jordan Watt, sr., guard (proficient at taking the ball to the basket and drawing contact).
Notes: For the fifth straight year, the Panthers are in the state tournament. Only two players on this year’s team were on the varsity roster at the beginning of the 2007-08 season. Snake River doesn’t shy away from shooting 3-pointers. Coombs said: “I can put five kids on the floor that can shoot it, and they’re not bashful.”

 

 

 

St. Maries Lumberjacks
Record: 17-4
Coach: Jeff Mercer, third season
Road to state: Beat Kellogg 56-38 in District I-II Tournament first round, lost to Priest River 45-36 for championship, beat Bonners Ferry 57-50 for second place.
Players to watch: Aaron Corsi, 6-6 sr., post (23 ppg, 10 rpg, 5 blocks per game); Zach Lehman, 6-3 so., wing (15 ppg, 5 rpg); Matt Corsi, 6-5 sr., point guard (8 ppg, 5 rpg).
Notes: St. Maries qualified for state for the first time since 1999. … Mercer was pleasantly surprised with the Corsi twins transferred to St. Maries from Colorado Springs prior to their junior seasons. … Aaron Corsi averages a double-double despite being routinely surrounded by opposing defenses. … The Lumberjacks nearly made it to state last year, but lost a 15-point second-half lead in the second-place game to state.

 

 

 

Sugar-Salem Diggers
Record: 22-3
Coach: Jay Miller, second season
Road to state: Beat Teton 64-28 in District VI Tournament first round, lost to Shelley 51-43 in semifinals, beat Salmon 57-49 in elimination game , beat Shelley 57-42 and 73-57 for championship.
Players to watch: Brennan Bean, sr., forward (14.3 ppg, 46 percent FG), Kevin Walker, sr., guard (6.6 ppg, 35 percent 3-pointers).
Notes: Bean is the only player to average over seven points, but 10 Diggers are capable of scoring double-figures any given night. The streaky Walker is always a perimeter threat. Sugar-Salem has a stable of five experienced and talented big men. The bench, which runs 11 deep, outscored the opponents’ reserves by an average of 23-10.

 

 

 

2A
Aberdeen Tigers
Record: 19-5
Coach: Quinn Aldous
Road to state: Beat Soda Springs 70-51 in opening round of District V Tournament; lost to West Side 47-45 for championship; beat Grace 68-57 in second-place game. Beat North Fremont 74-66 in state play-in game.
Players to watch: It’s impossible to narrow down the choices. At least six players have scored in double figures at some point during the season. “I have no idea who’s gonna be our leading scorer on any given night,” Aldous said.
Notes: The Tigers went 7-1 in league play, with their only loss coming in overtime to West Side. The Pirates handed Aberdeen another loss in the district championship game with a shot at the buzzer. Split its season series against two-time defending champion Firth, with each team winning in the other’s home gym. The Tigers have nine seniors on their roster.

 

 

 

Cole Valley Christian Chargers
Record: 12-12
Coach:

Matt Beglinger
Road
to state: Beat Marsing 74-46 in District III Tournament opening round, beat Nampa Christian 59-45 in semifinals, lost to Melba 64-51 for championship, beat New Plymouth 68-56 for second place.
Players to watch: Jordan Skyles, 6-0 sr., guard (14 ppg, 2.5 spg); Brandon Feil, 6-2 so., forward (10.6 ppg, 8.3 rpg); Aaron Ray, 6-0 so., guard (10.2 ppg); Avery Westendorf, 6-5 fr., forward (10.5 ppg, 7.4 rpg).
Notes: The Chargers have already played their opening round opponent — Glenns Ferry — twice this season. Cole Valley dropped both games, losing 64-61 at home on Dec. 5 and 53-47 at Glenns Ferry on Dec. 19. … The Chargers have just three seniors on the roster. Three of their top four scorers during the regular season are underclassmen — a freshman and two sophomores … Cole Valley Christian won 1A state titles in 2002 and 2004. This is the Chargers first trip to state since moving to the 2A classification.

 

 

 

Firth Cougars
(defending champion)
Record: 19-4
Coach: Scott Adams, fifth season
Road to state: Beat Ririe 73-41 in District VI Tournament first round, beat North Fremont 71-44 in semifinals and 51-31 for championship.
Players to watch: Colter Reeves, 6-3 sr., forward; Robert Goodwin, 5-9 sr., point guard; Kriff Jensen, 6-1 jr., guard.
Notes: Firth has won the past two 2A titles and returns 2A player of the year Colter Reeves. Firth has won 12 games in a row. The last game it lost was Jan. 10 to Aberdeen. That’s the only 2A game it has lost. It has lost to Sugar-Salem twice and split a two-game series with rival Shelley. During its 12-game winning streak, Firth has outscored opponents 64.67-38.25, or by 26.42-point margin per game.

 

 

 

Grangeville Bulldogs
Record: 15-7
Coach: Matt Elven, third season
Road to state: Beat Coeur d’Alene Charter 62-54 in District I-II Tournament first round, beat Kamiah 62-58 in championship.
Players to watch: Nels Solberg, 6-3 sr., post (13.3 ppg); Taylor Kunkel, 6-1 sr., guard (9.1 ppg); Logan Clark, 5-10 jr., guard (8.6 ppg); Jason Lorentz, 6-2 sr., forward (6.9 ppg).
Notes: This is the Bulldogs’ first appearance in the state tournament since 2006, and they come in hot. They’ve won seven of their last eight games. Grangeville’s only loss during that stretch, to Kamiah in the regular-season finale, was subsequently avenged in the district title game. The Bulldogs are led by Solberg, a powerhouse post who started as a freshman for the ’06 club that went to state.

 

 

 

Glenns Ferry Pilots
Record: 19-6
Coach:

Jeremiah Johnston
Road
to state: Beat Valley 68-48 in District IV Tournament first round, lost to Declo 51-47 in semifinals, beat Valley 57-44 in elimination game, beat Declo 50-46 and 76-61 for championship.
Players to watch: Mike Crane, jr., guard/forward (19.6 ppg, 14.7 rpg, 5.8 apg, 3.0 steals, 3.2 blocks); Ross Arellano, jr., guard (14.9 ppg, 5.4 rpg); Gabe Arevalo, jr., guard (9.4 ppg).
Notes: Crane is the ultimate stat-stuffer for Glenns Ferry, but he’s hardly a one-man show…even if he’s something of a one-man show. Arellano is a steady sidekick and Arevalo is good for a big game now and then. One of the most athletic teams at the 2A level is making a return state tournament appearance after missing out last season.

 

 

 

Kamiah Kubs
Record: 17-7
Coach: Ryan Ball, 10th season
Road to state: Beat Potlatch 62-54 in District I-II Tournament first round, lost to Grangeville 62-58 for championship, beat Potlatch 63-54 for second place. Beat New Plymouth 55-37 in state play-in game.
Players to watch: Darian Ball, 5-10 jr., guard (12.8 ppg); Jack Nygaard, 6-0 fr., guard (11.2 ppg); Adam Welch, 6-3 sr., post (6.5 ppg).
Notes: The Kubs have been up and down this season. They’ve beaten some talented opponents (and gave unbeaten Genesee its toughest test to date) yet have struggled against some subpar clubs. “I can usually tell in the first five minutes of the game how they’re approaching it and how active they’re going to be,” Ryan Ball said. This is Kamiah’s fourth trip to state in the last five years, the only miss being last season.

 

 

 

Melba Mustangs
Record: 15-7
Coach: Bob Lenz, 11th season
Road to state: Beat New Plymouth 69-39 in District III Tournament semifinals, beat Cole Valley Christian 64-51 for championship.
Players to watch: Dustyn Skogsberg, 6-1 sr., guard (13.9 ppg, 1.3 apg, 2.8 rpg); Sy Nebeker, 6-3 jr., forward (9.2 ppg, 2.3 apg, 4 rpg, 1.86 steals); Josh Silver, 6-3 jr., forward (6.7 ppg, 1.6 apg, 5.9 rpg, 1.27 steals).
Notes: The Mustangs enter the state tournament on an eight-game winning streak. All seven of Melba’s losses this season came against 3A opponents — including two against defending state 3A champion Fruitland. … The Mustangs are 5-0 this season against teams who will play in the 2A state tournament. Melba beat Glenns Ferry twice in December and won all three games against conference foe Cole Valley Christian, including a 13-point victory over the Chargers in the District III title game. … This is the Mustangs’ first trip to state since finishing third in 2003. Melba has never won a state title in boys basketball, but placed second in 1999.

 

 

 

West Side Pirates
Record: 11-10
Coach: Tyler Brown, fifth season
Road to state: Beat Malad 55-42 in opening round of District V Tournament, beat Grace 53-47 in semifinals, beat Aberdeen 47-45 for championship.
Players to watch: Drew Povey, sr. (13 ppg, scored at least 20 points in all three district tournament wins); Josh Roberts, sr. (11 ppg); Dallas Turnbow (10 ppg).
Notes: The past two seasons West Side advanced to the state title game before falling to Firth. Before a Jan. 31 game at 3A Marsh Valley, the team — which was 5-8 at the time — held a meeting to sort out its expectations and roles, and the Pirates have gone 6-2 since. According to Roberts, the team has no go-to player: “We all have a hard-working mentality. We don’t really have a superstar. We don’t rely on one person, so we expect everyone to come everyday and give 100 percent and work their butt off. It’s worked so far.”

 

 

 

1A Division I
Cascade Ramblers
Record: 16-7
Coach: Conor Kennedy, second season
Road to state: Beat Rimrock 63-19 in first round of District III Tournament, beat Liberty Charter 65-60 in semifinals, beat Wilder 52-47 for championship.
Players to watch: Chris Guarino, sr., guard (11.6 ppg, 2.9 rpg, 2.6 steals); Travis Goddard, sr., forward (7.5 ppg, 6.4 rpg); Alex Gonzalez, jr., guard (9.1 ppg, 3.1 rpg, 2.7 steals, 1.8 apg).
Notes: The Ramblers won the consolation trophy last season after losing to eventual runner-up Hagerman in the first round. This is Cascade’s eighth consecutive trip to the state tournament and the team placed third as recently as 2005 and 2006.

 

 

 

Castleford Wolves
Record: 12-12
Coach: Dan Winn, first season
Road to state: Beat Challis 53-43 in District IV-V-VI quarterfinals, beat Raft River 48-47 in semifinals, lost to Sho-Ban 42-40 in championship, lost to Hagerman 68-37 in second-place game. Beat Tri-Valley 51-40 in state play-in game.
Players to watch: Nick Howard, 5-9 jr., guard; Oscar Vargas, 6-0 jr, guard; Ethan Tverdy, 6-6 jr., post.
Notes: This is Castleford’s first trip to the state tournament since 2006. The Wolves won it all in 2003. … Castleford’s strength is team defense, as the Wolves held one of the state’s leading scorers (Magic Smith of Sho-Ban) to just 12 points in a 42-40 loss in the district title game and shut out Tri-Valley 13-0 in the first quarter of the state play-in game. … Winn was previously an assistant at Buhl, where the Indians earned state trophies in 2007 and 2008.

 

 

 

Genesee Bulldogs
Record: 22-0
Coach: Jayson Boyd, second season
Road to state: Beat Deary 55-28 in first round of District II tournament, beat Troy 38-33 in semifinals, beat Prairie 70-50 for championship.
Players to watch: Beau Dahmen, sr., guard (23 ppg, 6.8 rpg, 3.8 steals); Daniel Carlson, sr., forward (14.4 ppg, 5.1 rpg, 1.4 bpg); Jaymon Udy, sr., guard (4 apg).
Notes: The Bulldogs’ average margin of victory this season is nearly 22 points per game. They finished third at the state tournament last year and won the title in 2007.

 

 

 

Hagerman Pirates
Record: 21-4
Coach: Kevin Cato, ninth season
Road to state: Lost to Raft River 56-48 (OT) in Snake River Conference quarterfinal, beat Challis 73-36 in elimination game, beat Shoshone 62-34 in elimination game, beat Raft River 63-41 in last elimination game, beat Castleford 68-37 for second place.
Players to watch: Morgan Knight, 6-3 sr., guard; Tanner Owen, 6-6 sr., post; 6-1 Jake Emerson, sr., guard-wing.
Notes: Hagerman graduated just one player from last year’s state runner-up. … Since Knight returned from an ankle injury suffered before the season, the Pirates have won 15 of 16 games, including 11 in a row between losses to Raft River on Jan. 6 and Feb. 17. … Hagerman has qualified for state the hard way the last two seasons despite being top-seeded for its district tournament. The Pirates are making their fourth straight trip to state, placing fifth, seventh and second in the last three seasons.

 

 

 

Prairie Pirates
Record: 17-6
Coach: Teel Bruner, second season
Road to state: Beat Clearwater Valley 56-28 in first round of District II tournament, beat Kendrick 63-37 in semifinals, lost to Genesee 70-50 for championship.
Players to watch: David Sigler, 6-1 sr., guard (18.6 ppg in postseason); Tyler Forsmann 6-3 sr., forward (12.3 ppg in postseason); Branden Waller, 6-2 jr., forward (12 ppg in postseason).
Notes: The Pirates are making their first appearance in the state tournament since 1982. Many of the players on the team were also members of the football squad, which won the state title in November.

 

 

 

Sho-Ban Chiefs
Record: 18-4
Coach:

Merle Smith
Road
to state: Beat Hansen 62-39 in opening round of District IV-V-VI tournament, beat Shoshone 70-62 in semifinals, beat Castleford 42-40 for championship.
Players to watch: Magic Smith, sr., guard (36 ppg, 17 rpg, 6.8 steals, 5.4 apg); Alonzo Coby, so., guard (serves as the second scoring option behind Smith).
Notes: As the numbers indicate, the team revolves around Smith, but he’s more than willing to share the load and give his teammates chances to shine. Smith is being recruited by several Division I schools. The Chiefs are playing a much more defensive game than in year past, as evidenced by their 42-40 win over Castleford to lock up the trip to state. 

 

 

 

Wallace Miners
Record: 15-6
Coach:

Bruce Bailey
Road
to state: Beat Clearwater Valley 59-55 (OT) in state play-in game.
Players to watch: Jared Bilaski, 6-1 sr., wing (27.5 ppg, 12 rpg, 3 blocks, 3 apg); Nick Arthun, 6-1 sr., point guard (15 ppg, 7 rpg, 4 apg).
Notes: Wallace lost five of its first seven games. There’s a good reason: Bilaski and Arthun were out with football-related injuries the first six games. When they returned, things turned around in a hurry. The Miners placed fourth at state last year, but graduated three starters and their sixth man. The juniors on the team were untested, but have stepped up to fill key roles.

 

 

 

Wilder Wildcats
Record: 20-3
Coach: Jon Conner, third season
Road to state: Beat Horseshoe Bend 54-24 in District III Tournament quarterfinals, beat Council 49-34 in semifinals, lost to Cascade 52-47 for championship.
Players to watch: Miguel Rodriguez, 6-0 sr., guard (20.5 ppg, 8.7 rpg, 6.7 apg); Josh Rivera, 6-4 sr., forward (16 ppg, 10.5 rpg); Salvador Jimenez, sr., guard (8.5 ppg, 3 steals).
Notes: The Wildcats had won 11 straight games before losing to Cascade in the district championship game. … With a combined average of 36.5 points and 19.2 rebounds per game, Rodriguez and Rivera form one of the more potent 1A tandems in the state. Rodriguez is getting looks by some smaller colleges … This is Wilder’s first trip to state this decade.

 

 

1A Division II

 

Carey Panthers

 

Record: 19-5

 

Coach: Dick Simpson, seventh season

 

Road to state: Beat Camas County 50-31 in District IV Tournament first round, lost to Dietrich 47-45 in semifinals, beat Bliss 57-38 in elimination game, beat Murtaugh 64-41 for third place.

 

Players to watch: Brett Adamson, 5-10 jr., guard; Trevor Peck, 5-11 jr., guard; Heith Adamson, 5-11 sr., forward.

 

Notes: Carey returns just two players from the team that lost in the combined Class 1A consolation game last season. Peck and Brett Adamson are both streaky shooters from outside, but will score in a hurry if they get hot. All of the Panther players were on this year’s state championship football team.

 

 

Clark County Bobcats

 

Record: 10-10

 

Coach: Steve Hutchison, first season

 

Road to state: Lost to Rockland 48-32 in District V-VI Tournament first round, beat Leadore 55-35 in elimination game, beat Rockland 50-37 in elimination game, beat North Gem 42-33 for second place.

 

Players to watch: Bodie May, 5-8 jr., point guard; Heath Wagoner, 6-3 jr., forward; Mitch Hathaway, 6-5 sr., forward.

 

Notes: Clark County has allowed 45 points or fewer in six of its past seven games. …It had to win three elimination games to clinch its second straight state berth.

 

 

Dietrich Blue Devils

 

Record: 16-7

 

Coach: Wayne Dill, eighth season

 

Road to state: Beat the Community School 52-30 in District IV Tournament first round, beat Carey 47-45 in semifinals to qualify for state, lost to Richfield 53-44 for championship.

 

Players to watch: Jaren Stoddard, 6-1 sr.; Scott Perron, 5-10 sr.; Andrew Rocha, 6-2 jr.

 

Notes: This is Dietrich’s first state tournament appearance since 2002. … Five of Dietrich’s seven losses have come against state tournament qualifiers (three against Richfield, one against Carey and one against Division I qualifier Sho-Ban).

 

 

Garden Valley Wolverines

 

Record: 19-3

 

Coach: Paula Tucker-Boyd, fifth season

 

Road to state: Beat Meadows Valley 67-30 in District III Tournament semifinals, beat Salmon River 80-43 for championship.

 

Players to watch: J.C. Tucker, sr., guard (18.7 ppg, 6.3 rpg, 5.3 steals, 3.2 apg); Marshall Breish, sr., forward (10.7 ppg, 10.5 rpg, 2.2 steals); Justin Pedersen, jr., guard (17.0 ppg, 5.6 rpg, 3.5 steals)

 

Notes: No team from the Long Pin Conference has won a boys basketball state championship. Star J.C. Tucker’s mother is the team’s coach. Tucker was named All-Idaho Player of the Year in football. Last season’s appearance at state was Garden Valley’s first since 1999.

 

 

Richfield Tigers

 

Record: 19-3

 

Coach: Garr Ward, 14th season

 

Road to state: Beat Murtaugh 57-51 in Northside Conference semifinals to qualify for state, beat Dietrich 53-44 for championship.

 

Players to watch: Michael Lezamiz, jr., guard; Tel Clark, sr., guard; Brody Norman, sr., forward.

 

Notes: This is the sixth straight trip to state for Richfield, which has not lost to a Class 1A Division II opponent this season. Its three losses are to Division I Oakley and Class 2A state qualifier Glenns Ferry (twice). The Tigers like to mix it up on defense, playing tight half-court or full-court defense. Lezamiz can slash to the basket or hit the outside shot, while Clark is deadly from long range when heat is on.

 

 

Mackay Miners

 

Record: 15-6

 

Coach: Josh Pehrson

 

Road to state: Beat Leadore 52-35 in District V-VI Tournament first round; beat North Gem for championship.

 

Players to watch: Scott Smyer; Kole Krosch

 

Notes: Prior to last year’s absence, Mackay had qualified for the state tournament for four straight years.

 

 

Nezperce Indians

 

Record: 13-10

 

Coach: Dave Baldus, eighth season

 

Road to state: Beat Highland 95-33 in District II sub-tournament first round, beat Summit Academy 62-33 for championship. Beat Kootenai 68-43 in District I-II Tournament semifinals, beat Summit Academy 62-31 for championship.

 

Players to watch: Damon Leitch, 5-11 jr., guard (18.5 ppg); Mitchell Scott, 6-0 jr., guard (13 ppg); Gavin Zenner, 6-2 sr., forward.

 

Notes: Don’t be fooled by Nezperce’s record. The Indians started the season 0-7, but since the calendar changed to 2009, they’ve gone 13-3. Nezperce is led by Leitch, an outside bomber who can also drive to the basket, and Scott, a versatile scorer and smart passer. The Indians last went to state in 2005. They lost to Castleford in the 1A championship game in 2003.

 

 

Summit Academy Patriots

 

Record: 17-10

 

Coach: Don Schlader, second season

 

Road to state: Beat Culdesac 72-56 in District II sub-tournament first round, lost to Nezperce 62-33 in championship, beat Culdesac 54-43 in second-place game. Beat Clark Fork 54-29 in District I-II Tournament first round, lost to Nezperce 62-31 for championship, beat Kootenai 53-46 in second-place game. Beat Salmon River 58-42 in state play-in game.

 

Players to watch: Dylan Prigge, jr., forward (19.4 ppg); David Johnson, soph., post (12.4 ppg); Dustin Lustig, sr., guard (8.6 ppg).

 

Notes: In its first season of being eligible for the state tournament, Summit managed to crack the field. The Catholic school from Cottonwood has a high-school enrollment of 25 students, including 12 boys, 10 of whom are on the basketball team. The Patriots are centered around Prigge, a high-scoring forward who is the son of Pete Prigge, a former University of Idaho player who coaches Summit girls team.


Please keep it civil. Don't post comments that are obscene, defamatory, threatening, off-topic, an infringement of copyright or an invasion of privacy. Read our forum standards and community guidelines.

You must be logged in to post comments. Please log in here or click the comment box below for options.

comments powered by Disqus
« Back to SportsLink

Get blog updates by email

About this blog

SportsLink is your portal into sports news around the Inland Northwest and beyond. You'll find updates, notes and opinions, and plenty of reader feedback.

Filter










Latest comments »

Read all the posts from recent conversations on SportsLink.

Contributors

Jim Allen (@srjimallen) Sports reporter Jim Allen's primary coverage areas are Eastern Washington University football and men's basketball, and college and high school soccer. He also contributes to the SportsLink Blog.

Recent work by Jim

Chris Derrick Chris Derrick is a sports reporter. His primary coverage areas are the Spokane Chiefs, Spokane Indians, women's basketball and high school softball and volleyball. He also contributes to the SportsLink Blog.

Recent work by Chris

John Blanchette (@SRjblanchette) John Blanchette is a freelance writer who covers the University of Idaho football team and men's basketball team.

Recent work by John

Vince Grippi is the online producer for SportsLink, a product of The Spokesman-Review.

Search this blog
Subscribe to this blog
ADVERTISEMENT
Advertise Here