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Idaho Girls Basketball Top 25 (Jan. 11): Despite Improvements, Melba Still Ahead of Cole Valley
The Cole Valley Christian girls have gotten stronger as the season has gone along. Can they improve enough to catch Melba?
Published: 1/11/2023 10:16:22 AM
Brandon Baney
Managing Editor/Broadcaster


Over the past two seasons, the girls basketball teams from Melba and Cole Valley Christian have met up six different times.  That may seem like a lot, and that's because it is.  In the 2021-22 season alone, the district rivals met four times (twice in the regular season, for the District 3 championship, and in the 2A state semifinals.)

And wouldn't you know it?  Over those last six matchups, the two sides have split their games evenly.  Cole Valley Christian won both regular season contests a year ago before Melba got revenge in the District Championship.  The Chargers returned the favor a week later at state, dispatching Melba in the 2A state semifinals on their way to a championship win over Aberdeen.

This year, though, Melba has won both regular season matchups, including Tuesday night's 46-33 victory.

Take a look at the final scores from the past six meetings between these two:

Nov. 30, 2021 - Cole Valley Christian 53, Melba 42
Jan. 8, 2022 - Cole Valley Christian 48, Melba 30
Feb. 10, 2022 - Melba 46, Cole Valley Christian 34 (District Championship)
Feb. 18, 2022 - Cole Valley Christian 41, Melba 30 (State Semifinal)
Nov. 30, 2022 - Melba 65, Cole Valley Christian 41
Jan. 10, 2023 - Melba 46, Cole Valley Christian 33

What jumps out to me is that after one side loses, they generally make the adjustments necessary to be more competitive or even win the next matchup.  Melba's Dave Lenz and Cole Valley's Matt Beglinger are two of the brightest basketball minds around, and it's fun to watch those two continue to out-scheme and out-maneuver one another.

Even though Cole Valley Christian lost on Tuesday night, it was only a 13-point setback.  Compare that to the first meeting (when the Chargers lost by 24), and you'll see a team that's improved.

Can they continue to improve enough to actually topple the 17-0 Mustangs?  Melba is so good that they're not only the top 2A team in our Girls Basketball Daily Top 25 rankings, but they have the best Power Ranking number in the entire state, and it's not particularly close.

Based on recent history between these teams, though, a Cole Valley win at districts wouldn't stun me.  Heck, we could be headed to a repeat of last year, where Melba and Cole Valley not only play for the district championship, but meet up at state as well.

Despite the two losses to Melba, Cole Valley Christian remains ranked second in the 2A classification as of Wednesday morning.  Strength of schedule plays a big factor there.

Here's the rest of the Top 25 Daily Girls Basketball Rankings:


1. Boise (14-1)
2. Thunder Ridge (15-0)
3. Timberline (15-2)
4. Rigby (14-2)
5. Lake City (13-2)
6. Post Falls (16-0)


1. Shelley (13-1)
2. Bishop Kelly (12-3)
3. Mountain Home (12-3)


1. Parma (14-2)
2. Weiser (15-1)
3. Snake River (12-3)
4. Kimberly (11-5)


1. Melba (17-0)
2. Cole Valley Christian (13-4)
3. North Fremont (11-2)
4. Soda Springs (11-3)
5. Ambrose (11-6)
6. West Side (10-4)
7. St. Maries (6-6)


1. Lapwai (13-1)


1. Mackay (14-1)
2. Rockland (13-3)
3. Deary (9-0)
4. Dietrich (11-3) 

IN: Mountain Home, Kimberly, Dietrich
OUT: Owyhee, Raft River, Leadore


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