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It was definitely a solid start to the 2020-21 high school girls basketball season for Preston.

Preston outscored a very good Burley team in every quarter except for the fourth en route to a 49-40 victory over the Bobcats last Saturday at home.

Burley captured the consolation title at the 4A state tournament a year ago after losing in the quarterfinals by one point. The Bobcats have arguably the best high school player in the Gem State in Amari Whiting, a sophomore who already has several Division I scholarship offers. Preston limited Whiting to 14 points.

“We were excited to get out and get playing, and it was great to get a win against a team like Burley,” Preston head coach Ryan Harris said. “We have a pretty difficult schedule this year, but we won’t play a team with a player like Whiting every night. She can give you a lot of problems because she is a really good basketball player, but I am really proud of our girls in the way we played her tonight. ... It was a complete team effort keeping her contained and they all did their part.”

The Indians were led offensively by Hailey Meek, who knocked down 6 of 10 shots from the field and scored a game-high 18 points. Kylie Larsen chipped in with 13 points, nine rebounds, three steals and two steals for Preston, which got nine points, eight boards and three assists from Riley Ward.

Preston returns a handful of impact performers from last season’s squad, which went 19-9 and qualified for the eight-team 4A state tourney.

EAGLES 57, PIRATES 40

West Side was outscored 21-8 in the first quarter and never fully recovered in its season opener on the road against 3A Marsh Valley last Friday. The Pirates did make the game interesting by winning the second quarter 17-11, but were outscored 25-15 in the second half.

Kajsia Fuller netted six of her team-best nine points in the fourth quarter for West Side. Timberly Dean, Sienna Fuller and Natalie Lemmon chipped in with eight points apiece for the Pirates.

West Side and Preston are both scheduled to play games this week. The Indians host Soda Springs on Wednesday, while the Pirates travel to American Falls.

Jason Turner is a sports reporter for The Herald Journal. He can be reached at jturner@hjnews.com or 435-792-7237.

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