When you've lost only twice in the past two seasons, developing a chip on your shoulder isn't terribly easy.
The Borah Lions boys basketball got one when the Rocky Mountain Grizzlies ended its 40-game winning streak Feb. 1.
On Friday, the Lions got their revenge with a physical 33-29 victory in the 5A District Three tournament championship game at Borah.
"They ended our streak, so we definitely had a chip, especially with the chance to play them for the championship on our floor," Borah guard Isaiah Wright said.
As a second half that saw neither team lead by more than four points headed into its final minutes, the Lions (22-1) found ways to win.
With Borah leading 30-26, Rocky Mountain (19-4) guard E.J. Boyce hit his fifth 3-pointer of the game with 45 seconds remaining.
Wright went to the line 17 seconds later after being fouled while driving to the basket. He missed both free throws, but grabbed the rebound on the second, creating a jump ball that kept possession for Borah. Fouled again, Wright hit two free throws with 19 seconds left to make it 32-29.
"I was really glad to get the chance to redeem myself a little bit - I hated missing those free throws," Wright said. "I'm happy it was our possession."
The Grizzlies set up a final shot with a Nate Bruneel 3-pointer in the final seconds, but Borah's Joe Nelson rebounded and made a free throw on the other end with 1.1 seconds left.
"Borah got a few more loose balls, the ball tipped their way a bit at the end there, but they just made the big plays and we didn't," Rocky Mountain coach Dane Roy said.
In the final 3 minutes, the Grizzlies had the ball four times, going 1-for-3 on field goals and turning it over on a traveling call after a rebound. On the other side, Borah made 4-of-8 free throws in the final minute.
"I'm proud of what the guys did at the end, but not in a normal way," Borah coach Cary Cada said. "We weren't real strong with the ball and didn't make free throws, but we'd get a steal, a rebound or a 50-50 ball - that part's not as pretty."
Rocky Mountain, which was led by Boyce's 15 points, led 16-8 midway through the second quarter before Borah responded with a 12-0 run that stretched into the third quarter. Wright had seven of those points after missing most of the first quarter after he hit his head against the floor trying for a rebound. He finished with 14 points and five rebounds.
As both teams head into next week's 5A state tournament at the Idaho Center in Nampa, each said Friday's feelings were quick to fade.
"We're disappointed, but we won't be sad. We'll use this to get us angry headed into state," Roy said.
For Cada's team, it will have the target on its back as the defending state champions. "I don't think anyone on this team is remotely satisfied," he said. "Rocky's a great team, it's a great win, and chances are, we might see them again."
4A TITLE GAME
Daniel Slemmer led Skyview with 19 points, four rebounds and four assists as the Hawks used a 21-7 advantage in the second quarter to build an insurmountable lead over Emmett in the District Three final. Noah Williams and Porter Gustin each scored 13 points for the Huskies. Skyview controlled the boards with a 46-24 edge and racked up 23 assists as a team.