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Idaho Boys Basketball Top 25 (Jan. 12): Pocatello Surges Past Preston
The Thunder kept their undefeated record alive with a 19-6 fourth quarter barrage.
Published: 1/12/2023 3:19:17 PM
Brandon Baney
Managing Editor/Broadcaster


A year ago, basketball fans in southeast Idaho lamented the fact that despite Pocatello, Preston and Century were all ranked in the top eight of pretty much every metric (MaxPreps rating, Power Ranking, Eye Test, Common Sense), only one of them got to go to state.

Hopefully they like sequels.  For the second year in a row,  Class 4A's three-team District 5 features three teams all capable of defeating Idaho''s best on any given night.  It will make for an undeniably exciting District Tournament.

A year ago, Pocatello survived to earn the district's lone bid to state, and used that momentum to get all the way to the 4A championship game.  So far, the Thunder have picked up where they left off, defeating Century 73-53 last week, and earning a tight 65-60 victory over Preston Wednesday night.

The win over Preston leaves Pocatello at 2-0 in district play, 13-0 overall, and the distinction of being Idaho's top-ranked 4A team in our Idaho Boys Basketball Daily Top 25 rankings.  With the loss, Preston dropped to 0-1 in district, 11-4 overall, and the number five slot in the 4A rankings.

Last night's battle resembled a heavyweight fight.  The two sides traded blows through the first three quarters.  Preston held a 54-46 lead heading into the fourth, but Pocatello delivered the knockout blow, outscoring the Indians 19-6 to earn the come-from-behind win.

Junior Julian Bowie (a Boise State commit) led the way with 31 points, including 12 in the decisive fourth frame.  Gage Ontiveros, a 6-foot-10 transfer from Burley, added 18 points.

Tate Hess scored 27 for Preston in the loss.

Winning at their home venue (The Pit) is no problem for Pocatello.  The next time they see Preston, it will be on the road on February 3rd.  

Until then, both teams will continue non-conference play as they gear up for the high stakes sprint to the postseason.

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


1. Lewiston (9-2)


1. Pocatello (13-0)
2. Hillcrest (11-0)
3. Skyview (9-3)
4. Minico (7-2)
5. Preston (11-3)


1. Marsh Valley (9-2)
2. Teton (10-1)
3. Snake River (9-4)


1. Melba (10-0)
2. Wendell (8-1)
3. Orofino (6-1)
4. Nampa Christian (10-2)
5. Cole Valley Christian (9-2)
6. Aberdeen (7-3)
7. West Jefferson (6-4)
8. Ririe (9-1)
9. Bear Lake (10-2)


1. Lapwai (12-0)
2. Lighthouse Christian (9-1)
3. Valley (8-1)
4. Victory Charter (10-2)


1. Rockland (12-1)
2. Watersprings (11-2)
3. Richfield (10-0)

IN: Minico, Bear Lake
OUT: Wood River, Sugar-Salem


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