It’s the showdown a lot of local high school boys basketball fans were hoping for.
Preston and Sky View both took care of business Friday night and will square off in the championship game of Preston’s annual tournament on Saturday at 3 p.m. Sky View pulled away from Twin Falls (Idaho) in the fourth quarter and prevailed, 73-55, while Preston jumped out to an early lead and never really faltered in a 78-57 triumph over Mountain Crest.
The Bobcats (4-1) outscored the Bruins (3-3) 26-12 in the fourth quarter to win going away. Sky View big men Evan Hall and Jackson Schumann scored 16 points apiece, and Hall made at least two buckets in every quarter. Taydem Neal chipped in with 12 points for the Bobcats, who got eight points from Isaac Larsen.
“We started strong,” SV head coach Kirk Hillyard said. “Our bigs dominated in the first half and carried that into the second half. Our guards put a lot of pressure on them and turned them over a few times, and pushed the ball into some easy baskets. I liked our intensity tonight. Fun game. Look forward to playing a good Preston team tomorrow.”
Up next for the defending 4A state runner-ups is Preston, which has captured four of the last five 4A state championships in Idaho. The Indians, who only lost one game last season, increased their winning streak to 27 by rolling past the Mustangs (1-4).
Preston (5-0) led by seven points after the first quarter, by 15 at halftime and by 18 heading into the final quarter. Cole Harris poured in 15 of his 24 points in the opening half for the Indians, who got 17 points from Gabe Hammons and 15 from Braden Hess. Hammons netted 14 of his points in the second half, while Hess scored 11 of his during the first two quarters.
Harris, who buried a 3-pointer at the second-quarter buzzer, also chipped in with eight rebounds and eight assists.
“I thought we had some good moment,” PHS head coach Tyler Jones said.
“At times, we really moved the ball and were unselfish, and got easy baskets. And then at times we also got a little sloppy and forced things. Credit Mountain Crest. They’re a much-improved team this year. They can really shoot the ball and if they were open, they knocked them down.”
Preston Wiberg led the Mustangs with 11 points, followed by Joseph Hunsaker with nine and Miles Crowshaw and Nick LeFevre with eight each. Mountain Crest will play Twin Falls in Saturday’s third-place game.
Like Preston, West Side was able to keep its perfect record intact with a dominant performance against Pinedale (Wyoming). The Pirates exploded for 25 points in the first quarter en route to a 72-29 win.
Bryler Shurtliff scored at least four points in every quarter and finished with 21 for the Pirates, who got 16 points from Jackson Stewart, 12 from Blaize Brown and 11 from Ryan Lemmon. West Side (3-0) will now face off Thunder Basin (Wyoming) Saturday afternoon at 2:40.
“Pinedale is a very young team,” WS head coach Tyler Brown said. “We got to play a lot of players, so that was good.”
Green Canyon was also in action Friday, but got off to a slow start defensively against defending 4A champion Dixie, which rolled to a 88-56 victory. The Flyers (6-1) scored between 21-23 points in every quarter.
Cade DeBoard led the Wolves (3-2) with 15 points, while Jared Anderson contributed with 14 and Brady Smith with 12.
PREP GIRLS HOOPS
It was a good Friday evening for Sky View and Green Canyon, which both prevailed at home. The Bobcats used a big third quarter to beat Box Elder, 46-39, while the Wolves raced out to a 24-8 first-quarter led and never looked back in a 69-40 drubbing of American Heritage (3-3).
Sky View (7-1) outscored Box Elder (3-2) 16-8 in the third quarter to take the lead for good. Gracie Rigby paced the Bobcats, winners of six straight, with 15 points — 11 in the second half. Kaytlin Smart netted eight of her 10 points in the second half for Sky View, while Hannah Radford and Macy Hellstern chipped in with nine points each.
“Tonight was a tough, hard-fought game,” SV head coach Vanessa Hall said. “Box Elder is a great team. I was proud of the way that our girls played defense tonight. We were able to hit some timely shots in the second half to help us build the lead. We also had some key rebounds be Melanie Hiatt and Kaytlin Smart at the end of the game. It was a good team win.”
Meanwhile, the Wolves scored at least 21 points in each of the first two quarters to terminate any chance of an American Heritage comeback. Maren McKenna posted a double-double for Green Canyon as she tallied 10 points and 11 rebounds.
Jayden Beach added 12 points and nine rebounds for the Wolves (5-2), who got 13 points and six assists from McKenna Crane, 12 points from Madilyn Peterson and 10 points from Abby Blau.
“It was great to get back in the win column tonight,” GC head coach Alexis Bird said. “The girls worked as a team and shared the ball well. It was definitely a team win. It was good to get more players in and see what different combinations can do.”
A rough fourth quarter proved costly for West Side, which fell at home to Firth, 44-30. The Cougars (5-4), who swept the season series with the Pirates (1-7), won the quarter by a 19-5 tally.
Kajsia Fuller scored 10 points for West Side.
“Once again we struggled making shots,” WS head coach Bob Sorensen said.