NAMPA - Two familiar programs kept up their run of state semifinal appearances, and one new team joined the fold on the first day of the 5A boys basketball state tournament Thursday at the Idaho Center.
Rocky Mountain (20-4) established a program first with its romp of Lake City, while Borah (23-1) and Mountain View (19-5) won their openers to assure District Three at least one team in Saturday's championship game.
Rocky meets Highland (20-4) in a semifinal at 6:15 p.m. Friday, and Borah and Mountain View square off in a rematch of their 2011 semifinal at 8 p.m.
ROCKY MOUNTAIN 61, LAKE CITY 33
The Grizzlies took a good feeling and ran with it.
Rocky Mountain dominated District One-Two champ Lake City from start to finish to advance to the state semifinals for the first time in program history.
Senior Matt Grooms didn't doubt his team's chances for a second.
"From the tipoff, when they said, 'Let's get ready to rumble,' I got chills," Grooms said. "We all got chills. It was just exciting to see everybody score."
Grooms led the Grizzlies' offensive assault with a game-high 15 points and seven rebounds. Nine Rocky players scored and every player saw at least six or more minutes on court.
"I think our kids knew there was a big challenge ahead of us and they rose to the challenge tonight," Rocky Mountain coach Dane Roy said. "When we do have our leads, we've had tendencies in the past to give those leads up. We talked about it at halftime. When we have
When we have our opportunities, we've really got to choke them out."
Lake City returned from halftime - trailing 30-18 - with a 3-pointer to start the third quarter.
"That 3-pointer made me pretty mad," said Roy, who immediately called a timeout.
But JJ Winger's 3 ended up being the only points the Timberwolves scored in the quarter, as Rocky pushed ahead with 19 unanswered points.
"I thought we did great," said Rocky guard E.J. Boyce, who had 14 points. "The point guards and the bigs worked really well together. We were feeding them and if the defense collapsed on them then they'd kick it out and find us for a 3. We had pretty good chemistry out there."
HIGHLAND 57, CAPITAL 56
It might not look like much on the stat sheet, but the Rams wouldn't be in the semifinals without them.
Reserve Tanner Tingey's putback - his only points of the game - with about 22 seconds remaining gave Highland a first-round victory over Capital.
"To win championships or to have a chance to go play for them, you have to have a little luck somewhere," Highland coach Chris Frost said. "I think we used it there and hopefully it's not all out of the tank."
The Eagles led 56-47 with 2 minutes, 30 seconds left in the fourth quarter before the Rams went on a 10-0 run to steal a come-from-behind win against the underdog Eagles.
Sophomore guard Stefan Gonzalez started the run for Highland with a four-point play followed by back-to-back scores from senior Austin Andreasen to pull the Rams within 56-55.
Capital sophomore Derrick White missed on the front end of a one-and-one with 38.1 seconds left, which set up Tingey's game-winner on the other end.
"I thought they outplayed us probably in every facet of the game," Frost said. "We didn't execute, but we kind of made shots when we needed them."
Andreasen led three Rams in double figures with 16 points, while 6-foot-7 Clark
Wilkinson had 14 points and 10 rebounds.
It was a rough ending for a Capital team that had controlled the tempo for most of the game in its first trip to state since 2009.
"They played so hard and so confident," Capital coach Paul Rush said. "They didn't back down for a second and you've got to love that from a bunch of young kids that haven't even been here before."
BORAH 54, MADISON 43
All minutes are meaningful once the state tournament arrives, but they become especially precious for seniors like Zak Studebaker.
Studebaker isn't a starter. He isn't even the first player to come off the bench for the Lions.
But when he does play, he makes it count.
Studebaker's pair of 3-pointers spanning the end of the third quarter to the start of the fourth successfully extinguished Madison's fire, spurring the Lions to a victory and their fourth consecutive appearance in the state semifinals.
"Honestly a huge difference tonight was Zak Studebaker," Borah coach Cary Cada said.
"We had missed some shots and Studebaker stepped up and I was so proud of him."
The 5-11 guard finished with a season-best nine points, all of which came in the second half.
Studebaker's spark from the bench in combination with the steady play of junior point guard Isaiah Wright and senior wing Cody Spjute proved too much for Madison in its return to the 5A classification. The Bobcats finished second at state at the 4A level last year.
"There's always nerves coming into state, but we were definitely prepared from practice," Studebaker said. "We were working hard and it worked out for us in the end."
Wright led all scorers with 21 points and nine rebounds, shooting 8-for-10 from the field and 3-for-4 from the free-throw line.
MOUNTAIN VIEW 44, POST FALLS 34
It probably couldn't have started much worse for the Mavericks, but you won't hear them complain.
Despite scoring just two points in the first quarter, Mountain View revived its flat-lined offense in the final three frames to move into the state semifinals for the third year in a row.
"Our defense was phenomenal," Mountain View coach Jon Nettleton said. "You couldn't ask for anything better in terms of helping out our offense, and sometimes defense is your best offense."
The Mavericks held the Trojans without a basket in the second quarter to take a 15-7 lead at the half, and then watched as guard Tanner Percifield came alive in the final 16 minutes.
Percifield scored 20 points in the second half and finished with a tournament-leading 24 points on 7-for-13 shooting from the field and 9-for-11 from the free-throw line.
All nine of Percifield's made free throws came in the final 2 minutes of the game, as Post Falls knocked down three 3-pointers in the final minute to keep the pressure on.
"Tanner by far is one of the best free-throw shooters I've had since I've been at Mountain View," Nettleton said. " Anytime you can put the ball in the hole if you're not shooting from the perimeter and knock them down at the line when the game is on the line, I'll take my chances with him there."