Timberlake High School
Conference: Intermountain Conference
Head Coach: Tony Hanna
Years as Head Coach: 4th season
Previous Experience: Head coach at Tekoa-Oakesdale 2002-04
Record Last Year: 10-12
Matt George, Cameron Knigge
Coming off their first trip to state in school history in 2013, the Tigers won the Intermountain League last season, but were knocked off in the 3A District 1 tournament and failed to return to state.
Timberlake lost three all-IML players from last year's 10-12 team -- Keegan Scott, the league's Player of the Year, as well as Austin Allen and Mason Cramer.
Back for the Tigers are Vance Kistler, a 6-foot senior wing; Dalton Jones, a 5-11 senior post; and Brayden Menti, a 6-0 sophomore guard.
Daniel Smith, a 6-2 junior post; and Ryan Somershoe, a 6-1 senior wing/post, are newcomers who could have an impact.
"This year's team is full of great young men with a good work ethic," said Tony Hanna, in his fourth season as Timberlake coach. "If we can bring it together as a team, we could contend."
On offense, working together as a team and playing unselfish basketball will be key, Hanna said.
"Our guys run well and work hard," he said. "We are going to need to execute and focus on good shot selection. We should have pretty good depth, which will allow us to rotate in a lot of fresh bodies."
Playing hard-nosed defense without fouling is a point of emphasis.
"Defense is going to be our main focus this season," Hanna said. "We are going to put pressure on the offense at all times."
Hanna said Kellogg, last year's district champion which finished fifth at state, is the IML favorite.
"However, hopefully we can keep up the success we have had over the past couple of seasons," he said. "Any time we play Kellogg these days, it seems to be a good battle."
This year's "X-factor" for Timberlake, Hanna said, "is going to be the amount of passion and desire the players bring. Also, offseason improvement will determine a lot."
Add Hanna to the long list of Idaho coaches who wish the state would add a shot clock.
"It doesn't have to be short; it could even be 45 seconds," he said. "The game should be exciting, and fun to play and watch. Also, having to foul at the end of a game just to get the ball back is ridiculous. A team should be rewarded for playing 45 seconds of good defense."
Hanna said he coaches high school basketball because it "is a great learning experience for those who participate. It teaches players many valuable aspects of life, like the value of hard work and teamwork. I believe that I am a good coach and role model for my players."
Asked what makes Timberlake the best place to coach for, Hanna said, "The people in the Timberlake community are incredible. We have great players, parents, students, coaches, teachers and administrators."