1ADI Western Idaho Conference boys basketball preview
Written by Meredith Spelbring
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Parker from Notus
Jonathan Mendoza, Wilder
Diego Rodriguez, Wilder
Connor Gardner, Liberty Charter
Caleb Smith, Gem State
Conner Kelley, Gem State
Teams in the Western Idaho Conference are heading into the season with up and coming talent.
The Gem State Jaguars return to the conference after some time out and look forward to facing the stiff competition, said head coach Jeremy Perkins.
“We look forward to all of (games) them, we are happy to be back in the league,” Perkins said.
The team looks to fill the gaps left by graduated seniors but has several returning underclassmen Perkins hopes to make an impact.
The Liberty Charter Patriots finished near top of the pack last season, second only to 10-0 Ambrose High School. Now, the Patriots will look to build on that success and will prepare for all competition.
“We are looking forward to all our match ups,” he said. “This will be a difficult season and we hope to just have one. We are playing up into the 2A and have very talented conference schools with a lot of returning players.”
The Wilder High School Wildcats finished the 2018 season not far behind the Patriots in third, with a conference record of 8-2.
The Wildcats lost several top scorers and all-around team leaders to graduation, but have younger athletes coming in to help boost the team.
“Moises Perez, he dressed down for vatisty but never got any minutes unless the game was out of hand. He was more of a jv player but this year I expect him to make a big impact on our team,” head coach Eric Lopez said. “He is the guy that we can put on someone and will never get tired. He also has developed his shot. He hit some threes in jv so hopefully he could do the same at the varsity level.”
As many other programs look to fill the gaps left behind by graduated seniors, the North Star Charter Huskies come into the 2020 season in a situation unlike most others — they returned the entire 2019 roster.
The Huskies didn’t lose any players to graduation and come into this year and come in with a stacked roster, led by 2nd Team All-Conference pick Kaden Baxter and Honorable Mention Frank Gomez.
Many of the players are not new to the squad, but head coach Adam Rankin said the team on the sidelines is — the coaches.
“Trevan Baxter, he is the older brother of Kaden and son of our assistant coach,” Rankin said. “He played for us two years ago. He understands the culture and program and is providing us a lot of help.”
The Victory Charter Vipers come into the 2020 season looking to build off last year, where they finished with a conference record of 6-4 and 10-11 overall.
The Rimrock Vikings, led by head coach Arron Hall, finished just behind the Vipers with a record of 5-6 in conference and 6-13 throughout the year.
The Notus High School Pirates finished last season in the middle of the Western Idaho Conference pack, but have several key players that could make an impact on the season’s outcome.
Idaho City Wildcats and the Greenleaf Friends Grizzlies finished last season at the bottom of the ranks and will look to grow this season. The Wildcats, led by Jayce Bell, finished last with 0-9 conference record and 1-14 overall. The Grizzlies, led by Tyler Hoaglun, ended the year with a 1-7 conference record and 2-12 overall.
Centennial Baptist comes into this season led by head coach Kyle Stuck.