It was an afternoon non-conference game in which Wood River High School boys’ varsity basketball players picked up their defensive intensity, challenged everything and played very hard.
Yet coach Andy Miles’ Wolverine boys came up short in the final margin 36-32 to the Filer Wildcats at the Hailey gym Saturday. That four-point margin was the biggest lead of a cat-and-mouse clash with seven ties and 13 lead changes over 32 tight minutes.
Wood River, a 17-point loser at Filer Dec. 6, kept the score close with a relentless zone defense and a patient offense trying to penetrate the Wildcat zone. The Wolverines might have opened up a halftime lead instead of trailing 16-14 if not for 15 turnovers before half.
The Wolverines shot 42% from the field and Filer 19%.
Leading scorer Cody Carter (10.5 ppg) drilled a season-best three 3-pointers and topped all scorers with 17 points plus six rebounds and a blocked shot. Wood River had a 14-7 advantage in field goals, but Filer was 17-for-22 at the free throw line—and Wood River 1-for-4.
Hailey sophomore guard Alec Nordsieck (6 rebounds, 2 steals, 7 assists) found Carter open for several of his seven field goals. Scoring eight of Wood River’s 18 points in the second half was senior Eron Bates (7 rebounds, 2 assists).
Contributors for Wood River (45.9 ppg offense season, 35.5 last 6 games) included Arthur Brugger (3 points, 2 steals), Connor Hayes (2 points, 2 boards) and Jon Scott (2 points).
Leading Filer (7-5), a 53-49 home winner over the Minico Spartans (4-7, 2-1) on Friday night, was senior Logan Beard (9 points, 5 steals).
On Thursday, Great Basin Conference leader Twin Falls (9-3, 3-0) carried home a 58-34 victory over Wood River from Hailey. Kevin Hernandez (8 points), Bates (6), Scott (6), Brugger (4) and Santiago Gomez (4) topped Hailey.
Wood River assistant coach J.C. Nemecek said, “It was a rough game against a very good Twin Falls team, but the boys never backed down and played hard for the entire 32 minutes.”
Today, Wednesday, Wood River (1-10, 0-3) visits league foe Jerome (6-6, 2-1), winner of three straight including Saturday’s 51-44 home triumph over Mountain Home.
The Wolverines travel to Canyon Ridge (1-11, 0-3) on Friday, Jan. 24. Canyon Ridge’s nine-game losing streak includes a 55-42 home loss to Buhl Saturday. Wood River and Canyon Ridge have each defeated Kimberly.
Wood River’s junior varsity (6-5) posted a 57-48 triumph over Filer on Saturday as freshman Cade Schott heated up with four 3-pointers in the fourth quarter.
The JV Wolverines led 31-20 at halftime, but Filer cut its deficit to 33-31 entering the fourth. Schott (18 points) sparked the 24-point Wolverine final period.
Other scorers for coach Steve Scott’s Wood River JV (15-for-19 free throws) were Nic Tidwell 11 points (three 3-pointers), Nelson Cantrell 9, Jordan Bjorkman 8, Travis Swanson 7, Drew Kaminski 2 and Austin Shetler 2.
Home finales for WRHS girls
The Wood River High girls’ varsity will wind up its home campaign in the next week with GBC games against Jerome on Thursday, Jan. 23 and the Canyon Ridge Riverhawks on Tuesday, Jan. 28.
Wood River (5-9, 0-7) fell 50-28 at Burley Friday despite 10 points by Ciceley Peavey, 9 by Rory Cole and 9 by Blair Radford. Burley (10-7, 4-3) was coming off a 60-34 loss at Twin Falls (14-2, 7-0) Wednesday.
Twin Falls won a 45-40 battle at Jerome (13-3, 5-2) on Friday, while the Minico Spartans (7-10, 4-3) captured a 56-43 decision over Canyon Ridge (2-12, 1-5), also on Friday.
When it plays Canyon Ridge in the 2014 home finale Tuesday, Wood River will seek to avenge a 10-point loss to the Riverhawks in Twin Falls back on Jan. 7.