Photo By Emree Larson, photo by Kelly Magee
1ADI Snake River Conference Preview
Written by Meredith Spelbring
Players to Watch
Kaybree Christensen, Raft River
Karlee Christensen, Raft River
Kynlee Thornton, Lighthouse Christian
Lyzan Gillette, Oakley
Kylan Jones, Oakley
With a few new members, the Snake River Conference heads into the 2020 season with some new competition.
New to the conference this season is Lighthouse Christian and Murtaugh High School. With two new teams in the conference, Snake River lost Valley High School.
The Lighthouse Christian Lions come to 1AD1 Snake River from 1AD2 Sawtooth Conference. Before switching conferences, the Lions and head coach Tia Standlee finished near the top of the conference standings with eight wins in conference play and just two losses. While the Lions finished second overall in the conference, the program finished with the most overall wins in the conference with 21 total wins and just four losses.
The Murtaugh High School Devils also join Snake River from the Sawtooth Conference, led by head coach Todd Jensen. The Devils finished the season in the middle of the Sawtooth Conference pack, going 5-4 in conference play and 14-9 overall.
The Raft River Trojans have some new faces on the squad, but also bring back a strong duo to help boost the team. The Trojans lost Kamri Ottley, who was a 1AD1 District 4 Player of the Year, 2nd Team All-State pick, who was also a strong leader and overall athlete for the program, Powers said.
While the team lost a strong player, they also return senior guards the Christensen sisters — Kaybree and Karlee — two 1st Team All-Conference selections.
“It’ll be interesting to see how things shake out with the new teams joining the conference,” he said. “Our conference was tough before, where you had to be ready to play every night. It’s no different adding those two in. Our conference is going to be a battle.”
Raft River finished at the top of the conference in the 2019 season, with seven wins in conference play and just one loss, with an overall record of 15-10. After strong conference play, the Trojans moved through the tournament to face Prairie, losing 45-35.
The Oakley Hornets are hoping to build off last season, when the team went 4-3 in conference play and 9-13 overall.
“We look to pick up where we left off last year and continue to work hard and get better each practice,” head coach Matt Payton said. “We look to continue to stress defense and execution on the offensive end of the court.”
After putting a lot of weight on the seniors of the squad, Payton said he hopes to give more time and responsibility to the underclassmen of the team.
“We were plenty young last year, at times having three and four freshmen on the floor at once,” Payton said. “At times we struggled with playing physical (defense and boxing out) and playing hard all the time.”
Regardless of who is out on the floor, Payton said he expects the conferences new additions to add an extra level of competitiveness.
“Should be a highly competitive conference with Raft River, Lighthouse Christian and Murtaugh,” he said. “All are great rivalries.”
The Shoshone Chiefs, led by head coach Tim Chapman, look to improve after a season with just two wins throughout the season and no wins in conference play. The Chiefs opened the season with a 42-29 win over Hansen High School, but followed with three consecutive losses.
The Glenns Ferry High School Pilots move into the 2020 season after finishing 4-4 in conference play and 7-16 overall in the 2019 season.