One team is ranked first in the most recent 4A Coaches Poll, while the other is inexperienced and has struggled so far during the 2020-21 high school girls basketball season.
It’s fair to say what transpired was no surprise.
Top-ranked Preston scored the first five points of the game, had a double-digit lead before the first quarter was over and coasted to a 50-26 road victory over Pocatello on Wednesday night.
“The game was about what we expected,” Preston head coach Ryan Harris said. “Poky is scrappy, but they’re really young. Our experience showed tonight. We came out and jumped on them early like I expected us to do.
“I’d like to learn to play more disciplined when we have a big lead. We didn’t come out in the third quarter with as much intensity as we need to. But we got the win. It’s always good to start conference play 1-0.”
Preston went on runs of 6-0 and 11-0 in the second quarter to terminate any slim chance of a Pocatello comeback. Hailey Meek returned from her injury and scored 14 of her game-high 16 points in the opening half. Meek scored seven straight points during Preston’s aforementioned 11-0 spurt.
The Gate City Indians (1-11) netted the first five points of the third quarter, but the Franklin County Indians (12-3) answered with six unanswered points. Preston, which took a 31-9 lead into the locker room, led by at least 20 points the rest of the way.
Preston, winners of four straight, was able to substitute freely in the second half and nine different players ended up scoring for the visitors.
Kylie Larsen netted 10 of her 11 points in the opening half for Preston, which got seven points from Addison Moser — all in the fourth quarter. Chloe Fullmer finished with seven of her team-high 12 points in the fourth quarter for Pocatello.
West Side was also in action Wednesday night and fell on the road to a good Aberdeen squad, 64-55. Both teams exploded for 22 points in the third quarter, but the Tigers (7-4, 2-0) outscored the Pirates (3-9, 1-2) 12-6 in the final quarter to pull away.
“It really was an amazing game,” WS head coach Bob Sorensen said. “The girls played hard and well. We just turned the ball over too many times down the stretch.”
Kajsia Fuller poured in eight of her team-high 21 points in the third quarter for West Side, which got 19 points from Sienna Fuller — at least three in every quarter. Jocie Phillips buried a pair of 3-pointers in the third quarter en route to eight points for the Pirates.
IDAHO BOYS RANKINGS
Preston is ranked fourth in the most recent 4A Coaches Poll, while West Side is fifth in the 2A Coaches Poll. All three teams in Preston’s district are ranked as Century is second and Pocatello fifth.
UTAH GIRLS RPI
Four Cache County teams are currently ranked in the top six in the RPI. Ridgeline is second, followed by Sky View (fourth), Green Canyon (fifth) and Logan (sixth). Rounding out the Region 11 teams are Bear River (10th) and Mountain Crest (11th).
Pine View currently holds down the top spot.
UTAH BOYS RPI
Region 9 programs are littered atop the standings as it has five of the top six spots, led by top-ranked Crimson Cliffs. Sky View is the top Region 11 team at the No. 7 position.
Following the Bobcats are Logan (eighth), Green Canyon (10th), Bear River (13th), Ridgeline (14th) and Mountain Crest (17th).