Grangeville High School
Conference: 2A Central Idaho League
Head Coach: Skip Hall
Years as Head Coach: 9th season
Previous Experience: Head Girls Coach 9 years, Boys Assist. Coach 4 years, Head Baseball coach 25 years
Record Last Year: 21-5
State Titles: 1974, 2013
Michael Wilson, forward, Sr. 6’2”;
Garrett Kennedy, forward, Sr., 6’2”;
Max Cawley, guard, Sr., 6’0”; L
ayton Harris, guard, Jr., 5’10”;
Austin Parks, guard, Jr., 5’10”; J
ake Stokes, guard, Sr., 6’1”;
Dylan Canaday, forward, Jr., 6’2”.
Returning Players with Honors:
Michael Wilson, all-conference 1st team, All-state 1st team; Austin Parks, all-conference 1st team
Photo By: Brandy Brown - #20 Michael Wilson
Written by: Will Hoenike
Often times, in 2A basketball in Idaho, having a first-team all-state performer help your team to the state semifinals – and, ultimately, a 3rd-place finish – means the following year could mean the dreaded “R” word:
However, for veteran head coach Skip Hall, the Grangeville Bulldogs boys basketball team was not a one-trick pony.
While it’s true that Josh Dame is gone, the Bulldogs’ lineup was graced with a second all-stater – Michael Wilson. Wilson (Jr., 6’2”) averaged 14 points per game as a junior and leads a cast of seven returning players off of Grangeville’s 21-5 team of a season ago.
“We are very balanced offensively,” Hall noted. “With most of our lineups, we will have five players capable of scoring.”
All-CIL guard Austin Parks (Jr. 5’10”) and back-court running mate Jake Stokes (Sr., 6’1”) also highlight the class of returning talent that has Grangeville thinking big. The program, along with finishing 3rd last season, won the 2A state title in 2013. Could a state semifinal appearance – or better – be in the works for the Bulldogs?
“At times we were undisciplined,” Hall said of last season’s squad. “And that is one thing we really need (discipline).”
Another year of experience will help. Garrett Kennedy (Sr., 6’2”), Max Cauley (Sr., 6’0”), Layton Harris (Jr. 5’10”) and Dylan Canaday (Jr., 6’2”) all return to the varsity team. The number of players who have two years’ experience in the program has those around the team excited.
One thing Grangeville lacks is size. While Wilson, Kennedy and Canaday are each 6’2”, the Bulldogs don’t have that big tree in the middle to deter opponents from attacking the lane. That will put a premium on good team defense.
“As a team, we have improved a lot over the last four years,” Hall said. “Our team defense needs to be exceptional because we are small inside.”
The Bulldogs start with five of seven games in their home gym, which creates an opportunity for a fast start. Geographically, the Bulldogs are used to lengthy road trips, so bus rides to visit Parma and McCall from District III shouldn’t faze the veteran group. Nor should a trip to Couer d’Alene on January 3 to take on the 5A Vikings or an appearance at the Clarkston (WA) Christmas Tournament on December 29-30.
The busy road schedule leads to a favorable home stretch to close the regular season, where Grangeville will host CIL rivals Coeur d’Alene Charter, St. Maries and Orofino at home over the final 17 days of the regular season.