Mountain Home High School
Conference: 4A Southern Idaho Conference
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Head Coach: Brion Bethel
Years as Head Coach: 1st Season
Record Last Year: 12-11
Brion Bethel Jr, Guard, 12
Chris Wright, Guard, 12
Marcus Egusquiza, Wing, 12
AJ Woodruff, Guard, 12
Jordan Klein-Walden, Wing, 12
Abram Martin, Wing, 12
Tyriq Perry, Post, 11
Returning Players with Honors:
Marcus Egusquiza Honorable Mention All-Conference
Written by: Lucas Gebhart
With six returning seniors, Mountain Home is loaded with experience and look as if they can contend for one of the eight spots in the state tournament for the third season in a row.
Last year, it looked like Mountain Home was destined for a trip back to the state tournament. The Tigers were 12-6 on Feb. 5. Then, the Tigers went cold at the worst possible time and lost their final five games of the season and missed the state tournament.
Mountain Home returns seven players from last year’s squad, including senior Marcus Egusquiza, who was an All-Conference Honorable Mention last season.
“We have great team chemistry and lots of experience,” said head coach Brion Bethel. Although the Tigers will be without their point guard from last season, Jermain Smith, who ran an offense that averaged 48.3 points per game.
Six seniors, including Egusquiza return to the Tigers, three of which are on track to win a letter for the fourth season in a row.
Seniors, Brion Bethel Jr, Chris Wright, and AJ Woodruff return to the backcourt, seniors, Jordan Klein-Walden, Abram Martin and Egusquiza return to the wings while junior Tyriq Perry returns to the post.
“Our offensive strength is the playing experience this group of seniors has,” Bethel said. “We shoot the ball really well and have good basketball IQ.”
With an offense that was young, the Tigers were plagued with turnovers last season. This year, Bethel hopes that will not be the case with his experienced group.
“We need to improve at reducing turnovers,” Bethel said. “We need to improve our transition offense and finishing around the rim.”
The defense surrendered 45 points per game last season.
With Perry’s shot blocking ability, Wright’s, Klein-Walden’s, Cothran’s to defend, and the unique ability to mix up defenses, that number is expected to go down as long as the Tigers can crash the boards, something they didn’t do last year.
“Last year we gave up too many offensive rebounds,” Bethel said. “We have the ability to play multiple defenses very well.”
Mountain Home doesn’t have the same reputation as most other District III schools. The team is still without a state title and winning seasons come in runs.
“Make’em Believe,” Bethel said. “The team with them most depth and can stay healthy will win the conference.”