MERIDIAN - Saturday's 4A girls basketball state champions will bring some never-before-seen hardware to their school.
The Bishop Kelly Knights, who defeated Pocatello 51-24, and the Century Diamondbacks, who defeated Twin Falls 44-32, will face off to play for the first girls basketball state titles in their histories.
"It means a lot it's the reason I came to BK, because I knew they didn't have a championship," said Bishop Kelly sixth-year coach Derek McCormick. "I want to be able to put (a banner) up. It'd be awesome to put basketball up there."
BISHOP KELLY 51, POCATELLO 24
With a near-half court shot at the buzzer to end the first half, a crushing defensive effort and eight different scorers, just about everything went in Bishop Kelly's favor Friday night.
The Knights forced the Indians into 24 turnovers and held them to a paltry 5-of-31 shooting effort (16.1 percent) to advance to the 4A championship game.
"They couldn't get anything going - defense created offense," McCormick said of his team, which shot 47.6 percent from the field.
Though Pocatello managed to make only two field goals in the first half - both 3-pointers - the Indians led 8-5 early in the second quarter. That's when the Knights embarked on an 18-3 run that lasted into the third quarter and included Molly Adcox's 3-pointer from near midcourt at the halftime buzzer.
"It wasn't a pretty game for us," Pocatello coach Laraine Cook said. " I thought we played an OK first quarter."
Raquelle Mouw paced Bishop Kelly with 17 points on 7-of-10 shooting and had three of the Knights' 14 steals. She hit a pair of free throws, then made a driving layup to turn that 8-5 Pocatello lead into a 9-8 Bishop Kelly advantage it never relinquished.
"Ever since districts started, she's just been lights-out for us," McCormick said.
Mouw, who was part of Bishop Kelly's 4A state title team in soccer in October, a team that defeated Century for the crown, had 10 points in the second half.
"You never know if you're going to get back to state, and you've just got to play your heart out, that's how I thought about it," Mouw said.
The Knights have won three of their last four games by a combined 153-83. McCormick is confident his team's recent stretch means it is peaking at the right time.
"We've been doing it for two weeks now, and we've just got to maintain that," McCormick said.
"They're going to be tough to beat in the championship," Cook said.
CENTURY 44, TWIN FALLS 32
His team was facing the squad that had just toppled the giants of 4A girls basketball, but Century coach Chris Shuler liked his odds.
Focused on stopping Twin Falls' versatile lineup, Shuler's Diamondbacks clamped down on the Bruins with strong man-to-man defense, holding them to a season-low 32 points.
"I preached to them all year about defense, how we're going to win with it, and they brought it," Shuler said. "We executed our game plan very well."
Century outrebounded Twin Falls 34-24, pulling down 17 offensive boards. The Bruins' Haley Hutchinson had an excellent game, shooting 9-of-14 from the field for 18 points, but the rest of the Bruins combined to shoot 4-of-26.
"I think we were too tentative on offense," said Twin Falls coach Nancy Jones, whose team ended Middleton's 72-game winning streak Thursday. " we weren't very aggressively-minded."
The Diamondbacks hit 17 of their 22 free-throw attempts in the second half, including 11-of-13 in the fourth quarter. Rowan Keller had 12 points and six rebounds for the Diamondbacks, and Sarah Holt had 14 points and 17 rebounds. The two combined to go 15-of-17 at the line, while Holt gave Century the lead for good with a layup with 1 minute, 27 seconds to go in the third quarter and hit a 3-pointer when Twin Falls cut the lead to 28-27 early in the fourth quarter.
"She seems to thrive in those situations," Shuler said.
MIDDLETON 44, NAMPA 38: Coming off their first loss since November of 2010, the Middleton Vikings bounced back with a win over their 4A Southern Idaho Conference foes to advance to the consolation championship.
D'Rae Tullock led Middleton with 14 points and 10 rebounds. Sophomore Danielle Jardine had 20 points and nine rebounds for the Bulldogs.
BURLEY 42, MOSCOW 40: The Burley Bobcats moved on to the 4A consolation championship behind Aubrie Vale's 13 points, five rebounds and four steals. Kylie Gorton had 10 points for the Bears in the loss.