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Idaho High School Girls Basketball Bracketology: Feb. 10
In the final Bracketology update of the season, we predict every single play-in game taking place today
Published: 1/30/2024 10:09:23 AM
Brandon Baney
Managing Editor/Broadcaster
brandon@idahosports.com
 

ORDER GAME PHOTOS

District Tournament Brackets Here

Congrats are in order to Bishop Kelly, Jerome, Deary, Salmon River,  and Dietrich.  All of them officially qualified for their respective state tournaments after picking up crucial wins on Friday, February 9th.

But for today, our final Bracketology Update of the girls basketball season, we're looking ahead.  Eight State Play-In Games, and four District win-and-in games means the final twelve spots available at state are on the line today.

I'll go through each game, in chronological order, and give my official prediction on how the game will shake out.

CLASS 5A STATE PLAY-IN GAME

Madison (17-8) vs. Eagle (16-9), 1:00 PM (MT), Burley High School

Eagle is aiming for a repeat trip to state, but they've had to navigate a slew of injuries and absences to get to this point.  Senior guard Paige Cofer, a Division 1 commit to Utah Tech, has not played in any of the Mustangs' district tournament games.  In her absence, 6-foot-1 junior Porter Wood, 5-foot-5 senior point guard Molly Johnson, and 5-foot-8 freshman Berkley Jones have all elevated their games.  Eagle has impressive size, with three posts standing 6-foot-1 or taller.

Madison is a bit of mystery team, as the Bobcats elected to play elite 4A teams in non-conference play, rather than fellow 5A schools.  The Bobcats are also incredibly young, with just one senior, Roxy Backstein, on the roster.  Backstein is joined in the starting lineup by juniors Nora Waddoups Maggie Anderson, and sophomores Torey Parker and Mia Walsh.  If the 5-foot-9 Waddops and the 5-foot-8 Backstein can find success against Eagle's tall front line, the Bobcats will have a chance.

PREDICTION: Eagle 53, Madison 42


CLASS 2A STATE PLAY-IN GAME

Ambrose (8-14) vs. Kellogg (14-9), 1:00 PM (MT), McCall-Donnelly High School


It's been quite a run for coach Kelly Barbour's Ambrose Archers.  Entering the District 3 Tournament as the number five seed overall, the Archers iced three-seed New Plymouth and four-seed Nampa Christian in back-to-back games to advance to today's Play-In Game.  Despite their sub-.500 record, there's no denying that Ambrose is battle tested, having played 2A State qualifiers Cole Valley Christian, Melba and Declo a combined six times in the regular season.  Seniors Cate Perrigo and Inara Ries lead the way for a veteran-laden team that features six seniors in total.

Kellogg prides itself on tough, physical defense, and an imposing presence underneath.  Senior Dani Schillereff (5-foot-11) sets the tone, and fellow senior Macy Jerome (5-foot-9) is another quality athlete.  Keep an eye on freshman guard Jordyn Stutzke, who hit four three-pointers and scored 16 points in the Wildcats' 39-31 win over Priest River in the District 1-2 third place game.

PREDICTION: Ambrose 42, Kellogg 40


CLASS 2A STATE PLAY-IN GAME

West Jefferson (12-13) vs. Soda Springs (12-13), 1:00 PM (MT), Blackfoot High School

West Jefferson is the ultimate team of destiny.  They have ripped through the District 6 tournament as the number four seed, knocking out two-seed Firth and three-seed Ririe to earn their spot here.  The Panthers feature a pair of tall Haileys (6-foot-2 senior Hailey Moss and 6-foot junior Haliey Perkins), and junior guard Maggie Barrientos is a great ballhandler out front.

Although these teams have identical records, Soda Springs' 12-13 is different from West J's 12-13.  The Cardinals challenged themselves with a rigorous schedule, saw a midseason coaching change from Josh Zentner to Mat Gronning, and are now a game away from returning to the 2A State Tournament.  The Cardinals are the reigning state runners-up, and are led by dynamic guard Jinettie Garbett.

PREDICTION: Soda Springs 55, West Jefferson 40


CLASS 3A STATE PLAY-IN GAME

Kimberly (13-12) vs. McCall-Donnelly (14-7), 1:00 PM (MT), Mountain Home High School


This is one of the most difficult games to gauge.  Both teams are dripping with talent, and it's a shame that one of these teams has to stay home.  Kimberly nearly toppled Filer for the District 4 championship, but a pair of narrow defeats has relegated the Bulldogs to this Play-In Game.  Freshman Taya Plew has burst on to the scene in a big way, and junior Tarissa Plew and senior Macy Dille have been steady contributors all year long.  Kimberly has the advantage of playing close to home, and the Bulldogs defeated Parma earlier this season.  Parma defeated McCall-Donnelly last Saturday in the District 3 semifinals.

The Vandals had to sweat out an overtime win over Weiser in the District 3 third place game just to get to this point.  They have to travel significantly further than their opponent, and yet, they're used to it.  McCall is so far away from the rest of their District 3 counterparts, they've become road warriors with a 7-3 record away from home this year.  Senior guard Gabi Green is a walking bucket, capable of scoring 30 points in the blink of an eye.  Can her supporting cast rise to the occasion?  Only three players scored in their six-point loss to Parma in the district semis.

PREDICTION: McCall-Donnelly 52, Kimberly 47


CLASS 5A STATE PLAY-IN GAME

Timberline (14-10) vs. Lake City (22-2), 1:00 PM (PT), Grangeville High School


Lake City is aiming to avoid a repeat of 2023, when the higher ranked Timberwolves fell to Eagle in a State Play-In Game, ending their season in heartbreaking fashion.  First-year coach David Pratt has steered Lake City to a 22-2 record; their only losses are to Rocky Mountain in November and Coeur d'Alene in last week's district championship game.  6-foot-3 senior Avery Waddington is a handful inside, and 5-foot-10 senior KaLiah Frazey is a perfect compliment in the paint.  Guards Macy Murphey and Kamryn Pickford went cold in the loss to Coeur d'Alene.  They'll have to shoot better today if Lake City is to advance.

Timberline is coached by Andy Jones, who is one of Idaho's most accomplished coaches.  He's won multiple state titles at multiple schools, and always gets the absolute most out of his girls.  Timberline thought they had secured a win and a state bid over Owyhee earlier this week when sophomore post Emmi Swille hit a turnaround jumper with ten seconds to play, but Owyhee's Mikale Roy hit a three at the buzzer to give the Storm the 58-57 win.  Swillie is 6-foot-2 and senior Grace Mertes is 6-feet even, so like Lake City, Timberline's guards could decide this game.

PREDICTION: Lake City 52, Timberline 47


CLASS 4A DISTRICT 3 THIRD PLACE GAME

Ridgevue (15-8) vs. Columbia (12-12), 2:00 PM (MT), Vallivue High School

This game is a rematch of the district semifinals, which the third-seeded Wildcats won 49-37.  It marked a significant breakthrough for coach Neal Robertson's team, as Ridgevue swept the 'Cats in the regular season.  5-foot-8 senior guard Ellie Robertson is one of the best players in the district, and can score from any spot on the floor.  fellow guards Jada Myers and Violet Soto are also capable of explosive playmaking, and 6-foot-2 junior Addy Bayne anchors the inside game.

Since Ridgevue High opened its doors in 2016, there hasn't been much success to celebrate in girls basketball.  This year's team is a special one, though, with three seniors and nine juniors all complementing each other well.  5-foot-6 senior Jacotah Thomas is an excellent defender, while 5-foot-8 junior McKenna Durrant keys the offense.  Can Ridgevue overcome the mental hurdle of trusting themselves after losing to Columbia earlier this week?  That's the biggest question facing the Warhawks.

PREDICTION: Ridgevue 48, Columbia 44


CLASS 3A STATE PLAY-IN GAME
South Fremont (15-8) vs. American Falls (10-14), 3:00 PM (MT), Blackfoot High School

Each of these teams enter this play-in game with different feelings.  American Falls feels emboldened after pushing defending 3A champion Snake River twice at the District 5 tournament, falling 51-48 and 45-34 to the Panthers. The Beavers feature 5-foot-10 seniors Jade Smith and Shelby Smith inside, and they're complement by guards Addison Jensen (junior), Aliana Cruces (sophomore) and Eden Jensen (freshman).  At times, though, American Falls has trouble putting the ball into the basket, averaging only 37.8 points per game this season.

South Fremont, meanwhile, was riding the wave of momentum after knocking out bitter rival Sugar-Salem by a single point in the District 6 third place game.  The Cougars were down by 17 points, lost two starters to foul-outs, and still made the comeback to win.  Then South Fremont fell with a thud in the district championship against Teton, falling by 25 points, 60-45.  coach Brooke Bailey's team has had enough time to regroup and prepare, though, and their trio of Brianne Bailey, Lily Christensen and Kenzley Neville will be tough to stop.

PREDICTION: South Fremont 58, American Falls 44


CLASS 1AD2 STATE PLAY-IN GAME
Rockland (13-10) vs. Clark Fork (7-10), 3:00 PM (MT), McCall-Donnelly High School

This is a rematch from volleyball season, when these same two teams met in a State Play-In Match.  Rockland won that matchup, and a lot of the same athletes will feature prominently in today's basketball matchup.  It's been a season of transition for the Bulldogs, as longtime coach Vern Nelson retired in the offseason.  His top assistant, Jordan Black, assumed the reigns.  This Rockland team isn't as tall as some of the more recent state tourney qualifiers, as 5-foot-9 junior Alexa Permann is the tallest player on the team.  Fellow junior Calyn Permann is a fantastic two-way player.

Clark Fork also lacks height, with the exception of 5-foot-11 senior Amari Printz-Hay.  The Wampus Cats feature a one-two tandem of seniors Lilly Reuter and Eloise Shelton.  Each has won the North Star League MVP over the past two seasons (Shelton in 2023, Reuter in 2024).  Sophomore Amie Matteson came off the bench to lead Clark Fork with 15 points in their district championship win over Mullan earlier this week.

PREDICTION: Rockland 47, Clark Fork 35


CLASS 1AD1 STATE PLAY-IN GAME
Valley (14-9) vs. Lakeside (9-9), 3:00 PM (PT), Grangeville High School

Valley is the third place finisher from District 4, which featured heavyweights like Oakley, Murtaugh and Raft River this season,  In fact, the Vikings eliminated the defending 1AD1 state champs from Raft River in the District 4 fourth-place game, thanks to some key shooting from junior Joanie Lewis, and a game-ending steal by junior Lexi Huettig.  The Vikings are led by first-year coach Derek Malone, and essentially start five guards.  No player stands taller than 5-foot-5 on this year's roster, which makes the matchup with Lakeside (who also has no height) a great one.

The Knights are short on size but long on athletes.  Lakeside coach Chris Dohrmann had been saving a full-court press all season long, and finally unleashed it during the District 1 championship game against Wallace.  The Miners were shell-shocked, as Lakeside pressured their way to an 18-6 lead after one quarter of play and never looked back.  Senior point guard Martina Rivera is what makes the Knights go, and sophomore Kimberly Pluff is a deadeye shooter.  Destiny Lowley stands at 5-foot-8, which might as well be 6-foot-8 in this matchup, but she has to stay out of foul trouble.

PREDICTION: Lakeside 50, Valley 46


CLASS 4A DISTRICT 6 THIRD PLACE GAME
Skyline (16-7) vs. Blackfoot (15-9), 7:00 PM (MT), Blackfoot High School

The last three games of the night (all district tournament games) are actually the most intriguing.  The Broncos and Grizzlies have had their fair share of battle over the years, but the atmosphere Saturday night in Blackfoot will be intense.  The Broncos lost twice to Skyline in the regular season, but won the game that counted, a 72-66 triumph in the District 6 semifinals.  Coach Raimee Odum also seems to push the right buttons in the postseason, and 6-foot senior Marlee Pieper has been on a tear lately.  Senior point guard Kendi Anderson has also elevated her play recently.

Skyline missed out on state a year ago, and many of those same players have returned in 2024 with one singular goal: get back to the sport's biggest stage.  5-foot-10 junior Shay Shippen is a double-double machine, and her sister, senior guard Kysa Shippen, has a lot of wins under her belt.  Can fellow guards Taya Tews and Alexa Haacke make the plays needed to push Skyline across the finish line?  And how will the one-on-one battle between Pieper and Shay Shippen transpire?

PREDICTION: Blackfoot 72, Skyline 69 (OT)


CLASS 4A DISTRICT 1-2 CHAMPIONSHIP
Sandpoint (19-4) vs. Lakeland (12-9), 7:00 PM (PT), Lakeland High School

It's been a strange year for Sandpoint, the defending 4A state champs.  Despite their 19-4 record, the Bulldogs have started slow on several occasions this year, only to pull one out of the fire late.  The first time they played Lakeland this year, only a 9-0 run in the final two minutes prevented a loss.  Sandpoint won that game 53-50, and then took the rematch 49-41.  Then, in the first game of the best-of-three district championship series, the Bulldogs needed overtime to put the pesky Hawks away, 48-39.  Then, it finally happened: Lakeland won Game Two last night 47-43 to set up the winner-take-all Game Three finale.

To add insult to injury, with the Game Two win, Lakeland inherited home-court advantage for the most important game of the season.  Landree Simon led the Hawks last night with 20 points, while Lila Kiefer aded 16.  Sandpoint was paced by Karlie Banks' 18 points.  There's no denying that Sandpoint is not the same team without injured point guard Aliyah Strock, so the question remains, can Sandpoint pull one more rabbit out the hat tonight?

PREDICTION: Sandpoint 53, Lakeland 51


CLASS 1AD1 DISTRICT 2 THIRD-PLACE GAME
Kamiah (17-7) vs. Prairie (16-7), 7:00 PM (PT), Lewiston High School

Prairie nearly toppled top-seeded Lapwai in the District 2 championship game on Thursday night, falling 39-27.  There's no time to reflect, though, because the Kamiah Kubs await in a win-and-in, do-or-die showdown Saturday night in Lewiston.  The Pirates and Kubs played a very even series throughout the year.  Kamiah actually won the first game between the two this year, 49-43, but Prairie has gotten the last two: 43-36 in the regular season, and 45-39 in the district semifinals.  Junior guard Lexi Schumacher is the key piston to the Pirates' engine, while silky smooth Laney Landmark is the same for Kamiah.

PREDICTION: Prairie 44, Kamiah 40


BRACKETOLOGY PROJECTIONS

As a reminder, these bracketology projections are my own opinions, until teams start officially clinching bids.  As that happens, I'll put teams that have qualified for state in bold font.


CLASS 5A

District Champions

Coeur d'Alene (17-5)
Boise (22-1)
Rigby (22-2)


Auto Bids

Rocky Mountain (17-6)

Middleton (20-4)
Owyhee (16-8)


Play-In Games

Eagle (16-9) over Madison (17-8)
Lake City (22-2) over Timberline (14-10)


CLASS 4A

District Champions

Sandpoint (19-4)
Bishop Kelly (18-4)
Minico (15-6)
Pocatello (17-5)
Shelley (22-0)


Auto Bids

Ridgevue (15-8)
Jerome (19-5)
Blackfoot (15-8)

Play-In Games

None

CLASS 3A

District Champions

Timberlake (16-6)

Parma (18-6)
Filer (14-10)
Snake River (17-6)
Teton (22-1)


Auto Bids 

Fruitland (12-9)


Play-In Games

McCall-Donnelly (14-7) over Kimberly (12-12)
South Fremont (15-8) over American Falls (10-14)


CLASS 2A

District Champions

Grangeville (21-2)
Cole Valley Christian (17-6)
Declo (17-5)
Bear Lake (20-3)

North Fremont (18-6)

Auto Bids

Melba (16-6)

Play-In Games

Ambrose (8-14) over Kellogg (13-10)
Soda Springs (12-13) over West Jefferson (12-13)


CLASS 1AD1

District Champions

Lapwai (17-5)
Rimrock (14-7)
Oakley (17-5)
Grace (18-3)

Auto Bids

Prairie (15-7)
Liberty Charter (12-5)
Murtaugh (18-4)

Play-In Games

Lakeside (9-9) over Valley (14-9)


CLASS 1AD2

District Champions

Kendrick (20-3)

Council (11-5)
Dietrich (18-3)
Mackay (16-6)

Auto Bids

Deary (13-7)

Salmon River (17-6)
Leadore (17-4)

Play-In Games

Rockland (13-10) over Clark Fork (7-10)





Fan Comments
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rhcurry
1/30/2024 2:32:07 PM
District 1AD1 Whitepine League
Why is Prairie listed as District Champion when Lapwai has won regular District Championship? And has top seed in upcoming District Tournament. Lapwai listed as Auto Bid. Please explain.
paulnatr
2/1/2024 10:55:31 AM
Whitepine
It states in the article: "As a reminder, these bracketology projections are my own opinions, until teams start officially clinching bids. As that happens, I'll put teams that have qualified for state in bold font."
Rhcurry
2/1/2024 12:45:32 PM
Scoring King article.
Thank u for fast response. I have been informed. Have a favor: Please inform Jason that Kase Wynott has two State Championships. He is not responding to my message. Thank you so much. Big fan of you guys..
Bludevl40
2/2/2024 12:54:24 PM
MaxPreps
Good article. MaxPreps is a joke: zero transparency, zero accountability, zero information on metrics used. Using them because they paid the state, get them out of here.
Bludevl40
2/2/2024 1:01:30 PM
MaxPreps
Good article. MaxPreps is a joke: zero transparency, zero accountability, zero information on metrics used. Using them because they paid the state, get them out of here.
Bludevl40
2/2/2024 1:05:40 PM
MaxPreps
Good article. MaxPreps is a joke: zero transparency, zero accountability, zero information on metrics used. Using them because they paid the state, get them out of here.
doublerjones
2/6/2024 11:37:50 AM
5A D3 Girls
By nature of making the District Championship, Boise and Rocky Mountain have both qualified for State. Just information.








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