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Idaho Boys Basketball Top 25 (Jan. 19): Lighthouse Conquers Valley On The Road
The Lions won a monumental Snake River Conference game on Wednesday night 55-52.
Published: 1/19/2023 2:10:29 PM
Brandon Baney
Managing Editor/Broadcaster


There was no shortage of fantastic matchups across the boys basketball landscape on Wednesday night.

There was Sugar-Salem's 70-58 win over Marsh Valley on  Or West Jefferson's 59-50 triumph on the road at Ririe.  Or dominating wins for Rockland, Garden Valley, Richfield, Firth and Snake River.

But the game that stood above the rest occurred at the 1AD1 level, as Valley hosted Lighthouse Christian in a battle of Snake River Conference unbeatens.

The Vikings led 13-9 at the end of one quarter, 27-23 at halftime, and 44-41 at the end of three.  But the fourth quarter belonged to the Lions.  Layups by Hayato Yamada and Micah Denny gave Lighthouse a 45-44 lead ninety seconds into the period, and Lighthouse would never trail again.

A free throw by Sam Rogers was followed by a steal from Yamada, a layup and an and-one opportunity.  Yamada made the free throw for a 49-45 lead.  Just like that, an 8-0 run by Lighthouse had turned a three-point deficit into a five-point lead.  By the time Valley's Daniel Juarez made two free throws with 5:30 to play, it was too late.  The momentum had been lost.

But the Vikings didn't give up.  Trailing 55-50 late, Juarez made a layup to cut the deficit to 55-52 with 49 seconds remaining.  On the ensuing possession, Nathan Christenson stole the ball and was fouled as he headed down the floor. 

With 22 seconds remaining, Christenson stepped to the line for a one-and-one situation. 

He missed the foul shot, and the rebound caromed off the rim, went through a sea of hands, and ultimately fell to the floor amongst a pile of bodies.  Jump ball, Lighthouse Christian basketball with 18 seconds to play.

Under heavy duress, Denny was whistled for a carrying violation, which gave Valley the ball back with 11 seconds remaining, still trailing 55-52.  

Veteran coach Brian Hardy called timeout with 4.7 seconds remaining to draw up a play for Valley.  Tex Godfrey's off-balance three point attempt as time expired missed long, and the Lions began celebrating the road win.

Denny finished with 30 points for Lighthouse (12-1 overall, 4-0 Snake River) in the win, while Yamada added 13.  Valley (10-2, 3-1) was paced by Nathan Christensen's 21 and Kyle Christensen's 10.

With such a hotly contested game, neither team moved at all in the Idaho Boys Basketball Top 25 Daily rankings.  Lighthouse is still 1AD1's 2nd ranked team, while Valley is 3rd.

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




1. Pocatello (15-0)
2. Hillcrest (13-0)
3. Skyview (11-3)


1. Teton (13-1)
2. Snake River (11-4)
3. Marsh Valley (10-4)


1. Melba (13-0)
2. Kellogg (10-3)
3. Cole Valley Christian (11-3)
4. Wendell (8-3)
5. Nampa Christian (11-3)
6. Bear Lake (12-2)
7. Aberdeen (9-4)
8. Firth (10-4)
9. Orofino (6-2)
10. West Jefferson (8-5)
11. Ririe (11-2)


1. Lapwai (13-0)
2. Lighthouse Christian (12-1)
3. Valley (10-2)


1. Rockland (15-1)
2. Richfield (12-0)
3. Watersprings (12-2)
4. Kendrick (9-1)
5. Garden Valley (11-5)

IN: West Jefferso, Kendrick
OUT: Minico, Council

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