Sparked by double-doubles from its two top scorers, the Wood River High School boys’ basketball team threw a scare into the two-time defending Great Basin Conference champion Burley Bobcats Tuesday night in Hailey’s gym.
Wood River, flummoxed into 12 middle-period turnovers by Burley’s pressure defense, make some hay out of its own ferocious press late in the second half. The Wolverines cut a 20-point deficit to five points before falling 48-41 to Burley.
The “Great Basin 10” conference win was worth two points for a young Burley team (6-8, 3-4 league, 6 points) in the tightly-packed Upper Division of the 10-team league currently led by Minico (11-1, 5-0, 8 points). Wood River is 2-8, 0-5.
Junior Johnny Radford (10 rebounds, 3 steals, 2 assists) stoked the rally by scoring 14 of his game-high 22 points in the fourth quarter including 5-for-5 free throws. He is averaging 19.6 ppg for Hailey.
Senior Brayden Olson (11 points, 10 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 block) pulled down a board and drilled a 3-pointer with 44 seconds left in the fourth bringing Wood River within five, 44-39. Radford swished two charities making the score 46-41.
Free throws by Burley junior Jace Whiting (13 points, 7 rebounds, 5 steals) and junior Ethan Gibbons (16 points, 5 rebounds, 2 steals) closed out the win for Burley, which led 34-14 late in the third period.
Other Wolverines were Walter Kriesien (4 points, 7 rebounds), Kade Heitzman (1 point, 3 rebounds) and Christian Bothwell (3 points, 2 rebounds). Burley contributors included Hunter Hansen (2 points, 11 rebounds) and Ridge Garrard (8 points, 2 rebounds).
Wood River visited Twin Falls (9-2, 4-2 league, 5 points)) Thursday and goes to Gooding (0-9) Saturday. Mountain Home (4-7, 1-5) visits Hailey Wednesday for another league test.