The Indians were busy over the Christmas break with two games in the Boise area Dec. 29-30, before returning home to host Logan High on Jan 2. They host Blackfoot on Thursday Jan. 7, at 7:30 p.m. and Twin Falls on Saturday, Jan. 9, at 5:30 p.m. before traveling to Mountain Crest on Tuesday, Jan. 12 for a 7:30 p.m. contest.
Preston started the game against Logan with five fouls and four lead changes in the first quarter but the Indians led 17-12 at the end of the first frame. The second quarter was a whole different ballgame where Preston limited Logan to six points and took a 33-18 lead to the locker room after Gabe Hammons dropped three-pointer at the buzzer.
Their success in the second quarter continued the rest of the game as the Indians built their lead to 61-34 and went on to win 77-45.
“I thought against Logan we played one of the most complete games we have played all season,” said Coach Tyler Jones. “Everyone contributed and we made the extra pass and played unselfishly. Defensively we talked and were active and found their shooters and did a much better job than we had been doing on that end of the court. Now we just need to keep working and be more consistent.”
Braden Hess led the scoring with 22 points, despite picking up two quick fouls in the first quarter. Hammons was right behind with 18 and Treyger Shumway added 11. Steven Roberts chipped in six points while Cole Harris, Brecker Knapp and Tyler Lindhardt added five each, Rhett Larsen three and Taite Priestley two.
In Boise the Indians did not fare as well. They lost to Vallivue 66-63 in overtime on Dec 29. and Middleton 61-52 on Dec. 30.
“Against Vallivue we didn't do a very good job of communicating defensively and we got lost and didn't find their shooters,” Jones said. “We were in foul trouble and we have to have certain players be smarter and stay out of trouble and stay on the court. Vallivue out-played us and played harder than we did. When you go on the road you have to be solid and and battle for four quarters to be able to win, and we didn't do that.”
Jones felt better about the game with Middleton who are the favorites for a title this season.
“I thought we did some good things,” he said. “They are the #1 ranked team in 4A and return the majority of their team from last season and I felt like we battled and competed and went toe to toe with them for the majority of the game. I felt like we got better that game and we aren't far off from being a really good team. We need to get better in a few areas for sure, but we are getting there. The biggest thing for us is we have to play together and become one unit.”