Attacking the basket and shooting well from the stripe, Wood River High School girls’ basketball players fueled up their offense Thursday night with a 64-55 non-conference home win over the Gooding Senators on the Hailey floor.
Wood River (2-1), getting points from nine players, shot 43% from two-point range and 67% from the free throw line—amassing the highest single-game point total for a Wolverine varsity team in 10 seasons and 227 games dating way back to the 2010-11 season.
It was nip-and-tuck for three quarters in the high-scoring clash, before Wood River benefited from scoring from five players in the fourth period and pulled away down the homestretch with an 18-9 edge.
Wolverine senior point guard Payson Bennett had a double-double and a career-best 19 points with 10 rebounds including 6-for-6 at the free throw line in the first period. She added three steals and four assists in an aggressive game.
In foul trouble during the first half, Hailey junior Sayler Peavey tallied 14 of her 15 points during Wood River’s 40-point second half explosion. Peavey (2 rebounds, 3 steals, 1 assist) drilled three of the four Wolverine 3-pointers.
Secret weapon for Wood River was 5-10 sophomore Olivia Adams. She entered the game in the fourth period and scored her first-ever varsity points—six of them including two buckets on passes from senior Grace Parke. An Adams put-back with three minutes left put Hailey ahead 58-51.
Gooding (1-1) shot very well from the field but struggled at the free throw line (8-for-24) as its rotation of seven players showed some fatigue in the run-and-gun second half. The two teams scored 42 points in the third quarter when there were seven 3-pointers, three ties and 13 lead changes.
Peavey’s 3-point bank broke a 49-49 tie. Adams scored her second bucket close to the hoop on a pass from Parke (2 points, 4 rebounds, 3 assists). Adams alertly swatted a loose ball to Peavey, who delivered a pass to Natalee Morse (6 points, 6 boards) for a 56-49 lead.
Back-to-back baskets by Bennett, on a determined drive down the lane, and by Peavey after a Sammi Brunker pass, boosted the Hailey lead to 62-53 in the final two minutes.
Other Wood River contributors were Brunker (6 points, 3 boards, 2 assists), Sariah Nilsen (5 points, 4 rebounds, 3 assists, 1 block), Paige Madsen (3 points, 5 boards, 2 blocks) and Amy Aranda (2 points, 3 rebounds, 1 steal, 1 assist).
Gooding had four players in double figures led by Mallory Brown (13 points, 6 rebounds, 2 steals, 3 assists, two 3-pointers), Joanna Hammett (12 points, 3 rebounds, 2 steals), Lainey Owen (12 points, 7 rebounds, 1 block) and Alx Roe (10 points, 10 boards).
Gracie Faulkner (2 points, 5 boards, 2 steals, 2 assists) and Kiera Patterson (3 points, 6 boards, 2 assists) helped the Senator cause in Hailey.
Wood River’s final point total was a school best dating back to a 66-39 home win over Canyon Ridge of Twin Falls Dec. 2, 2010. Kaitana Martinez scored 27 points and Haylee Thompson added 11 in that victory, part of a 21-3 campaign that ended with the first of two straight Great Basin Conference tournament titles.
Tonight, Wood River faces a tough task when it travels to Pocatello for a Great Basin Conference game against the reigning State 4A champion Century Diamondbacks (2-0).
Century started its season with 47-26 and 74-27 home wins over Highland of Pocatello and Canyon Ridge. Last February, Century (27-0) captured its third state championship in five years 41-46 over Caldwell.
Wood River entertains Burley on Tuesday, Nov. 26, with the junior varsity game at 6 p.m. followed by the varsity contest. Burley (2-1, 1-1 GBC) opened its campaign with 60-24 and 55-46 wins over Kimberly and Mountain Home, then fell 43-39 at home to Twin Falls.