Looking for the open player, the Wolverine offense was cooking with gas with a season-best 17 points produced by 6 assists in the first quarter of Wednesday’s home “Great Basin 10” girls’ basketball game against the Jerome Tigers.
Before sending the girls back on the floor, Wood River coach Amanda Crist told her players she wanted four quarters of consistent effort. The Wolverines responded for a 51-38 win over Jerome that pointedly avenged a 16-point road loss to the Tigers in November.
Wood River’ relentless defense held Jerome to just four field goals after halftime and the Wolverine free throw shooting was near-flawless (16-for-18). Senior Torie King was 8-for-8 on her charity throws in the decisive fourth, when Hailey outscored Jerome 15-5.
Playing at home for the first time in a month, Wood River (6-9, 3-5 league for 4 points) won for the third time in four games. Jerome (8-9, 5-5, 6 points), a young squad with just one senior and eight juniors, lost its third straight.
Wood River’s girls delivered big time in a milestone game for former head coach and current assistant J.C. Nemecek. “Nemo” was coaching his 1,002nd game over 47 seasons. He remains the longest-tenured Wolverine girls’ head coach, 10 seasons from 1990-2000.
For only the second time in two campaigns, Wood River put three players in double figures. All seniors, they were King (12 points, 3 rebounds, 2 assists), leading scorer Patrea Topp (14 points) and Haley Bjorkman (12 points, 7 boards).
Contributing to Wood River’s 28-19 rebounding ad-vantage were Audra Mary (6 points, 6 rebounds), Luci Cuellar (4 points, 2 steals, 5 assists), Payson Bennett (1 point, 5 rebounds, 2 assists) and Sayler Peavey (2 points). Sariah Nilsen had 4 boards and 1 block.
Wood River outscored Jerome 16-7 at the charity stripe.
Leading Jerome were juniors Mercedes Bell (11 points, 5 rebounds, 3 steals, 2 assists, 1 block), Vanessa Peiffer (12 points, 4 rebounds) and Abriana Hurtado (2 points, 3 re-bounds, 3 assists).
Wood River visits Canyon Ridge (1-14, 0-10) in Twin Falls today, Friday for a game worth 1 point in the league standings, then entertains league con-tender Minico (11-5, 7-2, 10 points) on Tuesday for a game worth 2 points in the league.
Minico was last year’s State 4A tourney consolation champ.