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  Idaho Girls Basketball Early Season Eye-Openers

Some impressive performances from under the radar teams deserve to be recognized. We take a look at a few of them.

By: Sven Alskog
Published: 12/13/2018 11:47:09 AM
 

ORDER GAME PHOTOS

After not receiving major accolades in the preseason, some of Idaho’s under the radar teams deserve to be recognized. We take a look at who has opened eyes so far in the early season. 

*This week we take a look at girls teams in each classification that have jumped out to starts that have exceeded the expectations of many, with the boys’ teams on our radar for next week.  

5A: Timberline (5-3 as of Dec. 13) 
First year head coach Andy Jones has the Wolves sitting at 5-3 with an impressive 60-56 win over Boise and a close 55-50 loss to #1 Mountain View. In a win over Borah on Tuesday, Ava Ranson had 18 points and Elena McHargue chipped in 14. Sophie Glancy approached a double-double as well with 9 points and 9 rebounds. Expect the Wolves to keep hanging around the pack in the 5A SIC, with the talent in place to pull off some upsets in district tournament play. As has already been proven in the conference this season, any team has the potential to knock off any other team seemingly, so keep your eyes on Jones' team. The former Middleton head coach won five state titles in 16 years on the sideline for the Vikings. As one of the most successful coaches in the state, he has aspirations of similar achievements at his new stop. 

4A: Mountain Home (9-1 as of Dec. 13)
After a 12-11 campaign last year, the Tigers might very well hit that win total prior to the new year this time around. Despite losing talented post Kylie Meadows to graduation, a strong guard line led by Adrie Blanksma, Jazzi Cristobal, Emalee Pippen and Abby Acarregui has Brent Keener’s team right towards the top of the Great Basin Ten Conference standings. Matchups at #1 Century on Jan. 4 and at home against Jerome on Jan. 17 are the lone contests against teams with records at or above .500 the rest of the way. Three berths to state are up for grabs out of the conference, with Mountain Home one of the favorites to secure a spot. 

3A: Teton (6-4 as of Dec. 13)
The Redskins are riding the wave of a three-game winning streak after defeating the defending state runner-up Snake River Panthers 43-42 on Tuesday. Coach Shon Kunz lost just one senior from the roster last year and that experience is showing well early in the season with home and away sweeps against both North Fremont and West Jefferson and a victory against 4A Idaho Falls as well. After going 2-18 last season, it looks like Teton now will make a run at a state berth in a loaded Mountain Rivers Conference which features South Fremont and defending state champion Sugar-Salem. Waklee Kunz led the way for the Redskins in the win earlier this week over Snake River with 21 points. Annalea Brown scored 11 in her own right.

2A: New Plymouth (8-1 as of Dec. 13)
For the Lady ‘Grims, the most impressive aspect of their hot start to the season has been how the team has dealt with injuries to key pieces like post Alyssa Christensen and ball-handling guard Kennedy Farden, who is now out for the season. Christensen recently returned to the floor after being expected to be out the remainder of the year with nagging knee soreness, putting 16 points up against Ontario and then one-upping herself with 23 in a 55-40 win over Homedale. Harmony Hite had 9 points, Nicole Binggeli had 8 points and Denisse Pelayo 6 points against the Trojans, as the team continues to get multiple players involved on the offensive end. New Plymouth’s lone loss this year came to Homedale on Nov. 29 by just three points. Three major conference battles in a row are on tap in the coming week for the Pilgrims against Cole Valley Christian, Melba and Nampa Christian. 

1AD1: Genesee (6-1 as of Dec. 13)
Prior to a big White Pine League battle with Lapwai on Friday, first year head coach Greg Hardie has his team sitting in sole possession of second place behind Prairie in the early league standings. In a 65-16 win over Kamiah last Saturday, Genesee was led by 17 points from Bailey Leseman and a double-double of 16 points and 12 rebounds from Kelsey Jensen. Regan Zenner, Molly Hanson, Kaylee Flodin, Mikacia Bartosz, Kendra Murray, Brooklyn Mayer, Taylor Mayer and Lucie Ranisate all played in that win for the Bulldogs, who appear to have good depth this season. After losing First Team All-League performers Courtney Burt and Anna Druffel to graduation, the quick start is an impressive feat for a team that is now ranked number five in the most recent media poll. 

1AD2: Hagerman (8-1 as of Dec. 13)
The Pirates were picked third in the preseason coaches poll in the 1AD2 Sawtooth Conference, but appear to be ready to give Carey and Dietrich a run for their money behind the talents of Alana Floyd, Elly Yore and Marina Acuna. Last week Hagerman took the floor as part of the Preston JV Tournament, with wins against Ririe and Marsh Valley’s JV teams and a close loss by a final of 44-40 to the Bountiful (UT) JV. Yore was selected as the Times-News Girls Athlete of the Week after putting up three double-doubles during the week. She will head to Casper College after this season to play volleyball. Coach Derrick Lyons’ squad has also defeated 2A Wendell, a 6-2 Horseshoe Bend team and an always tough Lighthouse Christian squad. 

 
 


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