Post-season boys’ high school basketball tournaments are ready to roll this week in the 4A Great Basin Conference and Northside Conference 1A Division 2 ranks. State tournament berths are on the line.
Great Basin bracket is set
The Wood River High School boys (4-16), coming off a 65-54 “Senior Night” win over Gooding (9-11) last Friday in Hailey, traveled to Rupert for a Great Basin first-round game against Minico on Tuesday.
Coach Andy Miles’ No. 5-seeded Wolverines from Hailey had split two meetings with No. 4 Minico (6-14)—Minico winning by 17 on its homecourt Dec. 18 and Wood River beating the Spartans for the first time since 2007, by 18 points in Hailey Jan. 29.
Minico and Wood River entered the six-school double elimination tourney having lost four of their last five games, but Hailey’s boys were coming off a home win. Minico fell last week 57-29 to Twin Falls and 72-34 at Preston.
Top GBC seed Twin Falls (16-4, 10-0) had its 14-game winning streak snapped 56-52 by Highland in Pocatello Friday. Twin Falls is the defending conference champ. Twin Falls has a first-round bye and then hosts the Minico-Wood River winner on Thursday, Feb. 21.
Last year’s GBC tournament runner-up Burley (16-4) also had a first-round bye. The Bobcats clinched the No. 2 seed last Wednesday with a 51-41 home win over No. 3 Jerome (11-9) and defeated Pocatello 57-44 at home Friday.
Jerome hosted No. 6 Canyon Ridge (2-17) in another first-round game Tuesday, that winner traveling to Burley Thursday for the next game.
If Wood River and Canyon Ridge lost their first-round games Tuesday, they will have a loser-out rematch Thursday, Feb. 21 at 7 p.m. in Hailey.
The top two teams from the Great Basin qualify for the Idaho High School Activities Association’s State 4A tournament Thursday, March 6 at Borah High School in Boise.
In Friday’s Wood River victory over Gooding, Hailey senior Eron Bates (8.4 ppg) had a huge double-double with a season-high 22 points and 11 rebounds. Team leader Bates shot 7-for-11 from the field and 8-for-14 from the line.
Connor Hayes (3 rebounds, 3 assists, 3 steals) and Alec Nordsieck (2 steals, 6-for-7 free throws) added 10 points apiece as the Wolverines (39% field goal shooting) shot a season-best 30-for-43 (70%) at the free throw line, and committed only 13 turnovers.
Other contributors were Cody Carter (9 points, 4 rebounds, 3 assists, 1 block), Arthur Brugger (6 points, 4 rebounds, 2 steals), Kevin Hernandez (4 points, 2 boards), Jon Scott (3 points) and Parker Bingham (1 point, 2 rebounds, 3 assists and 1 steal).
Wood River, holding the Senators to 30% field goal shooting, avenged a 63-62 overtime loss at Gooding with its 11-point “Senior Night” win.
Assistant coach J.C. Nemecek said, “Wood River made plays at critical times to expand its three-point halftime lead to an 11-point win. Particularly in the second half, the team moved the ball more quickly on the perimeter offensively—and clearly ran their fast break game the most cleanly of the season.”
Northside boys’ tournament
The defending Northside Conference champion Dietrich Blue Devils take the top seed into the 1A Division 2 boys’ tournament that starts today, Wednesday, on four courts.
Dietrich, last year’s State 1A Division 2 consolation champion with a 23-3 record, improved its current season mark to 17-3 with a 75-52 road victory at Carey Friday night.
Coach Wayne Dill’s Blue Devils, boasting seven seniors, finished with an unblemished 8-0 record in league games and are unbeaten in 19 league games over two seasons.
The Carey Panthers (11-9, 7-1 league) earned the No. 2 seed and will host the No. 7 Community School Cutthroats (5-11, 2-6 league) today at 7 p.m. on the Carey hardwoods. Carey defeated the Cutthroats 67-37 in Sun Valley Jan. 13.
Carey junior star Nate Adamson (17.0 ppg), having missed four games with sickness, returned to action Friday against Dietrich and played sparingly—two minutes per quarter—as coach Dick Simpson tried to work Adamson back into playing shape.
Adamson ended up scoring 13 points with five rebounds and four assists in eight minutes of playing time. Sophomore Joe Parke (16.0 ppg) scored 25 points on 12-for-17 shooting. Parke (6 rebounds, 4 assists, 4 steals) had a solid all-around game and committed only two fouls. Junior Matt Whitworth (9 points, 9 rebounds, 3 assists) also stepped up. Senior Jacob Dalton tallied 24 and junior Trey Dill added 19 for the Devils.
The difference was 3-point shooting (Dietrich 7-for-19, Carey 2-for-19), rebounds (Dietrich 45-34 edge) and free throw shooting (Dietrich 14-for-30, Carey 2-for-14). Carey also committed 24 turnovers.
Other first-round match-ups for the eight-team Northside tournament today include No. 3 Richfield (10-10, 6-2) hosting No. 6 Murtaugh (3-15, 2-6), and No. 4 Castleford (7-11, 5-3) entertaining No. 5 Lighthouse Christian Academy (12-8, 4-4).
Castleford earned the host designation and No. 4 seed with a 74-73 overtime victory over Lighthouse Christian at Jerome Middle School Friday.
Dietrich will also play Wednesday, hosting the winner of a Tuesday night play-in game between No. 8-seeded Camas County of Fairfield and No. 9 Bliss.
Following Wednesday’s first-round games, the single elimination consolation bracket tournament will take a break for this weekend’s state girls’ basketball tournaments and will pick up again on Tuesday, Feb. 25.
If the Community School loses at Carey on Wednesday, coach Mike Payne’s Cutthroats will travel for a loser bracket game next Tuesday. They would play the loser of the Richfield-Murtaugh contest.
If Carey wins over the Cutthroats Wednesday, the Panthers will host a second-round game Tuesday, Feb. 25 at 7 p.m. against the winner of Richfield-Murtaugh.
The Cutthroat boys traveled to Fairfield for a non-conference game against Camas County last Friday and came up on the short end of a 51-46 score. Doug DuFur scored 15 points and Reed Roudabush added 11 for the Cutthroats. Erick Peterson had 14 for the Mushers.