NAMPA In the final minutes of a 4A Southern Idaho Conference first-place showdown in boys basketball, instinct and experience took over for the Skyview Hawks.
It was experience that helped senior guard Lane Robbins go 4-for-4 from the free-throw line down the stretch, and it was instinct that prompted senior guard JC Kennedy to jump in front of an Emmett pass for a steal and game-securing three-point play.
The result was a 63-60 home victory Friday night for the Hawks, who pushed their winning streak to 11 games and stayed unbeaten in conference play. The loss put an end to Emmetts nine-game winning streak.
Thats probably the most intense game weve played all season, Skyview coach Aaron Sanders said. They jumped all over us early. That kind of caught us off guard. We were down 7-0 in about 45 seconds.
With the return of all five starters from last year, Skyviews strong start to the season hasnt been a surprise. The Hawks (11-1, 8-0) are the top-ranked 4A team in the Idaho state media poll. Theyre coming off a 2012 District Three championship and an eighth straight appearance in the state tournament.
Upstart Emmett (9-3, 6-2) certainly did its best Friday to upend the conference leaders.
Although inexperienced the Huskies have just two seniors on their roster and start four juniors and a sophomore Emmett proved its nine-game winning streak wasnt a fluke.
The Huskies trailed 50-49 heading into the fourth quarter of a game that featured 13 ties and nine lead changes.
Emmett took control of the game midway through the fourth quarter with an 8-0 run for a 57-53 lead with 4 minutes, 15 seconds remaining in the game.
That prompted Sanders to call a Skyview timeout. The fourth-year coach told his team to buckle down on defense, and the Hawks responded by holding the Huskies without a field goal until their final possession of the game.
Playing a great caliber team like this on the road, its tough to leave with a loss, but the upside is its a great learning experience for us, Emmett coach John Gustin said. Well take advantage of it and improve and get better and come back down the road and see what we can do.
Skyview had three players score in double figures, led by senior point guard Daniel Slemmer, who had 19 points, including five 3-pointers. Toby Anderson added 17 points and Kennedy had 12.
Emmett sophomore forward Porter Gustin led all scorers with 22 points and 10 rebounds, and also hit a 3-pointer in the closing seconds.
Rachel Roberts: 377-6422