Idaho Falls High School
Conference: 4A District 5-6 Conference
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Head Coach: Howard Hart
Years as Head Coach: 3rd Season
Record Last Year: 9-11
State Titles: 31, 32, 37, 45, 51, 52, 53, 60, 61, 88
Sawyer Storms, senior
Cooper Peterson, senior
Cole Ybarguen, senior
Austin Staker, senior
Returning Players with Honors:
Sawyer Storms, All-Conference/Region and All-Area
Cole Ybarguen, Honorable Mention All-Conference
Key Players lost from last year:
Brenden Resendez, point guard
Written by: Matt Harris
Timing is key in the game of basketball.
For the Idaho Falls Tigers, timing for them is key on and off the court.
The Tigers drop down to the 4A classification for the forseeable future and also boast one of their better lineups in recent memory. The timing of the move could result in a trip to Boise in March, should everything come together for third-year head coach Howard Hart.
Back in the fold is third-year varsity player Sawyer Storms, a 6’6” combo guard/forward who can play practically any position on the court. Joining Storms are senior guards Cooper Peterson and Cole Ybarguen, who provide a great deal of hustle and energy to the squad. Senior forward Austin Staker brings his smooth shooting from the outside back to the table again this year. Hart said that he is excited at the potential of his team.
“These guys are competitive across the board,” he said.
The coach added that replacing the now-graduated Brenden Resendez could be a tough task.
“If we can replace some of the energy that Brenden gave us last year, we should be successful,” he said.
Offensively, look for the Tigers to not be solely reliant on just one player, but to spread the ball out.
“Our returning seniors had very good games last year and should be even more confident this year,” Hart said. “Our team play will be key.”
That theme of team play continues on the defensive end, where Hart said that their ability to play multiple defenses will be a strength this year, while adding that as a whole they will need to improve on individual, one-on-one defense.
While dropping down from 5A means that games against perennial favorites Madison, Highland, and others no longer count in the conference standings, it doesn’t mean that Idaho Falls’ new conference is significantly easier. Hart says that they will see plenty of quality teams in 4A.
“Every game is very intriguing this year,” he said. “Preston should be very good, Pocatello will be tough, Skyline has good shooters and quickness. Blackfoot has excellent post play and will be improved on the guard line, and Century will be improves as well. There is no weak team in the region this year.”
Hart added that his team will need to be ready to play each and every night against quality opponents.
“Each game we believe we can win if we play our game, but could also lose if we are not ready to play,” he said. “We will see quality basketball and quality teams coming into the Tiger Den.”