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Bear Lake Blows Up Melba's Perfect Season In 2A Championship Win
The Bear Lake Bears have now won three state titles in the past seven years
Published: 3/4/2023 6:53:08 PM
Brandon Baney
Managing Editor/Broadcaster


Saturday's Class 2A boys basketball state championship provided a good reminder that with a state as large and spread out as Idaho, any declaration of one team being an overwhelming championship favorite is mostly a fool's errand.

Case in point: most everyone (this writer included) thought Melba's undefeated record and gaudy statistics would correlate to a championship win.

The problem with that logic is the fact that Melba only played two teams from eastern Idaho this year.  Who's to say that Bear Lake's 25-2 record against mostly eastern Idaho competition wasn't more impressive than Melba's undefeated mark against mostly Treasure Valley teams?

That's what makes state tournament time so fun.  Second-seeded Bear Lake used a scintillating shooting percentage in the second half to pull away from top-seeded Melba in a 55-44 triumph, further fueling the statewide discussion of which region of the state produces the best basketball teams.

The Bears shot 11-of-15 from the floor in the second half (73.3%) and made 3-of-4 three-point tries (75%).  Conversely, Melba suffered through one of their longest droughts of the year.  The Mustangs shot 5-of-24 (20.8%) in the second half, and were 0-of-9 from three.

Bear Lake was led by Player of the Game Bryson Crane, who finished with 14 points and seven rebounds.  Brady Shaul led all scorers with 17 points, and Tayson Neal chipped in eight.

Melba was paced by Cache Beus' double-double of 12 points and ten rebounds.

BEAR LAKE (25-2) - Brady Shaul 17, Bryson Crane 14, Tayson Neal 8, Keaton Carlsen 6, Tyler Beresford 5, Ridge Wallentine 5, Rhett Lloyd 0, Jordon Garbett 0, Taylor Roberts 0, Christian Bush 0, Kasen Warner 0, Manuel Creis 0, Toby Flake 0

MELBA (25-1) - Cache Beus 12, Cutter Beus 8, Braden Volkers 7, Noah West-Baranco 7, Tucker Lowber 4, Gabe Shaffer 4, Kaden Dayley 2

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