MERIDIAN After battling like mortal enemies for 32 minutes of high school basketball, guards Isaiah Wright and John Sherle returned to being friends immediately afterward.
The two shook hands, exchanged some laughs and headed home. Neither of their faces expressed the emotions that must have been reeling inside.
Just minutes earlier, Sherle and Rocky Mountain pulled off the biggest upset of the 5A Southern Idaho Conference season, beating Wright and Borah 46-44 on Friday night to put an end to the Lions 40-game winning streak dating to the start of the 2011-12 season.
It just feels great to get that win and kind of be able to talk back and forth (with Isaiah) about it, said Sherle, who finished with a team-best 16 points and six assists. It feels great. Its a great win for our team.
The victory also aids the Grizzlies in the 5A SIC standings. With three games remaining in the regular season, Rocky (15-3, 13-3) is tied for second with Mountain View (15-3, 13-3). The two teams meet for the second time this season Thursday at Mountain View High. The winner of that game likely locks up the No. 2 spot.
Despite the loss, the defending state champion Lions (17-1, 15-1) remain in first in the 5A SIC, and can sew up the No. 1 seed for the upcoming district tournament with a victory over Timberline on Tuesday.
Its been a lot of pressure for 16-, 17- and 18-year-old kids, Borah coach Cary Cada said of the winning streak. Weve downplayed it as much as we could. The players have been focused and have had their priorities in order, but it really stings because a very good run ended.
Rocky Mountain put the pressure on Borah from the start, holding the Lions to a single field goal in the first quarter. The Lions clawed their way to a 22-18 lead at halftime after falling behind by as many as seven points.
It was a basket-for-basket battle for most of the third and fourth quarters until Rocky claimed a four-point lead with 2 minutes, 47 seconds remaining.
Thats when Wright who finished with a game-leading 24 points went to work.
The sophomore hit a 3-pointer, followed with a drive to the basket for a layup and then worked his way to the free-throw line for two shots and his Lions trailing 46-43 with 6.9 seconds remaining in the game.
Wright made the first free throw and missed the second, which he retrieved and the Lions called a timeout.
Borahs inbound play with 3.8 seconds left fell apart, and Rocky Mountain scooped up the ball as the student section stormed the court.
They are a great team, and it felt like we had to beat them four different times today to just get the one win, Rocky Mountain coach Dane Roy said. Now when I look back and watch a little tape, maybe Ill enjoy it a little bit more.
The last time Borah lost a game during the regular season, the Lions responded with a fury on their way to a state championship.
Cada hopes these players will do the same.
They are angry right now because they know we didnt play as well as we should have, Cada said. But I have a tough group of players and I know well bounce back.
Rachel Roberts: 377-6422; Twitter: @IDS_VarsityX