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Idaho Boys Basketball Top 25 (Jan. 20): Camas County Evens Series With Richfield
The Sawtooth Conference rivals split their season series; only one will advance to state.
Published: 1/20/2023 12:54:15 PM
Brandon Baney
Managing Editor/Broadcaster


When the boys basketball season was just ramping up, in mid-November when things like preseason polls mean more than they should, I noticed right away that several districts would be under-represented at state.  State tournament bids are awarded based upon how many teams comprise a specific district; unfortunately, some smaller leagues in Idaho feature several quality teams that will otherwise be left home, strictly because they play in a small district.

For example: Pocatello and Preston are universally considered top five squads in Class 4A.  But because they play in a three-team league, only one team gets to advance to state.

Similarly, Teton, Sugar-Salem, Snake River and Marsh Valley are currently the top four teams in Class 3A according to the Power Rankings.  Those four teams play in separate three-team districts, so only two are guaranteed a spot at state.  A third team could qualify but it would have to win two play-in games (including a game against the fourth team from the East) just to get there.

It's also occurring at Idaho's smallest level.  In the 1AD2 Sawtooth Conference, Richfield and Camas County are a combined 21-4.  But in a four-team league, only one will move on to state.

Richfield is 12-1 overall, 3-1 in league play, and ranked 2nd in our 1AD2 rankings.  Camas County is 9-3 overall, 3-1 in league, and ranked 7th in our 1AD2 rankings.

The two sides have split their regular season series, with each team winning on the road.  Richfield won 57-52 on January 10th.  Camas County exacted revenge on Thursday night with a 44-39 triumph.

The Tigers held a slim 23-21 lead at halftime.  But the Mushers exploded in the third period, ultimately winning the game by outscoring Richfield 10-2 and building up a 31-25 lead going into the fourth.  Richfield rallied late, but Camas County was excellent from the free-throw line down the stretch.

Troy Smith finished with 12 points for Camas County, while Tristen Smith added 11.  Richfield was led by Kobyn Benzeval's double-double of ten points and ten rebounds.

When the starting lineups for each team face each other, it's like looking into a mirror:

The Mushers boast guards Tristen Smith, Troy Smith and Trevor Tews.  Kaidin Baxter and Emmett Palan each stand 6-foot-2 and give Camas County coach Jamon Frostenson good size underneath.

Richfield is paced by guards Clay Kent, Jamen Fuchs and Kobyn Benzeval.  Luke Dalton and Hudsun Lucero anchor the interior for coach Chris Taber.

The two won't meet again until the District 4 Tournament in February.  As a tuneup, both have scheduled 1AD2's top-ranked Rockland Bulldogs in a non-conference matchup.  Richfield travels to Rockland January 25th, while the Mushers head to Rockland on February 10th.

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




1. Pocatello (15-0)
2. Hillcrest (13-1)
3. Minico (9-3)


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 (9-3)
5. West Jefferson (9-5)
6. Nampa Christian (11-3)
7. Bear Lake (12-2)
8. Aberdeen (9-4)
9. Firth (10-4)


1. Lapwai (14-0)
2. Lighthouse Christian (12-1)
3. Valley (10-2)


1. Rockland (15-1)
2. Richfield (12-1)
3. Watersprings (12-2)
4. Kendrick (10-1)
5. Garden Valley (11-5)
6. Council (10-4)
7. Camas County (9-3)

IN: Minico, Council, Camas County
OUT: Skyview, Orofino, Ririe

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