Time flies. Only a couple of years ago, Trevon Allen was a precocious sophomore riding the coattails of talented, disciplined, mature upperclassmen like Victor Sanders, B.J. Blake, Nate Sherwood, Perrion Callendret, Jordan Scott and Arkadiy Mkrtychyan on an Idaho Vandals team than finished 22-9 overall and 14-4 in the Big Sky Conference.
The concept of paired accomplishment is not unfamiliar to the University of Idaho’s women’s basketball team. This season, Lizzy Klinker, a senior wing, and her sister, Natalie, a junior post, bring to the Vandals a heavy-hitting ethic of fundamentally sound, power basketball honed in the crucible of Montana – Fairfield High School, to be specific – where that robust game is not only appreciated but expected.
Before the start of Ferris’ football season last fall, coach Tom Yearout got the kind of pleasant surprise coaches dream about. Tarynce Antolin, who won a state championship the previous year at Hawaii’s Waipahu High School, had moved with his family to Spokane and would play his senior season at Ferris.
In the best of circumstances, Southern Utah (12-7, 5-3 in the Big Sky Conference) is a tough matchup for Idaho. “They are a big, strong, mature team. We knew that coming in,” Vandals center Jack Wilson said. Circumstances could not have been much worse, as Idaho (5-14, 1-7) shot abysmally, 26.2 percent (16 of 61), in getting rolled by the Thunderbirds, 73-45.
The hand at the tiller that steered Idaho through those rough waters belongs to interim coach Zac Claus, who had been an assistant with the Vandals from 2015 until being named to head the team this year.
LeeAnne Wirth led all scorers with 16 points and 10 rebounds for Gonzaga. Jill Townsend backed her up with 14 points for the Bulldogs, hitting 3 of 4 3-point attempts. Jenn Wirth added 13 points and Jessie Loera 10.