Capital wins battle of No. 1 vs. No. 2

The Eagles improve to 14-0 on the season with a 48-35 win over Boise.

rroberts@idahostatesman.comJanuary 26, 2014 

There wasn’t enough room inside the Boise High gymnasium to accommodate the sea of people waiting outside in the hallway.

Boise Athletic Director Tracy Leinen encouraged those already seated to try and get to know their neighbor a little better, but some fans still had to be turned away.

The fans that were able to squeeze in witnessed exactly why the Capital High boys basketball team is undefeated and owns the top ranking in the state media poll.

The Eagles held second-ranked Boise to just eight field goals on their way to a dominant 48-35 victory Saturday night.

Boise shot 24.2 percent from the field, and made just one field goal in the first half.

“The defensive effort was great. We hang our hat on defense,” Capital coach Paul Rush said. “We can score the ball and we can play fast, but at the end of the day what we do well is defend. We put our kids in positions every day in practice where they’ve got to be tough, aggressive, smart defenders.

“When they needed it tonight, when the ball wasn’t going in the hole and the pace of the game was real slow, they were able to defend.”

With the gym packed to the ceiling, both teams got a taste of what the playoff atmosphere will be like next month. For the first quarter, that intensity made it hard for either team to find the basket.

“I was really nervous to begin with and there was a lot of energy in the crowd,” Capital junior guard Derrick White said. “After a while, we all got settled down a little bit.”

White got the ball rolling for the Eagles (14-0, 12-0 5A SIC), setting up the first field goal of the game on a fastbreak pass to junior forward Tarik Littlejohn with 4:47 to go in the first quarter.

White finished with a game-high 19 points, going 6-for-9 from the field and 2-for-4 from 3-point range.

Littlejohn added nine points and five rebounds despite sitting out nearly 10 minutes because of foul trouble. Four Eagles had three or more fouls, forcing Rush to call on his bench early on.

“I feel like there are so many of our guys that could be starting for other teams that come off the bench for us,” Rush said. “The last couple of games, we’ve needed them with injuries and different things going on.”

Ten different Eagles saw playing time against the Braves.

Boise (11-3, 9-3) was led by senior forward Sam Simpson, who posted a double-double of 15 points and 10 rebounds.

NOTES: Capital junior guard Keegan Hansen returned for his first game since injuring his knee last month. Hansen had six points and six rebounds. Meanwhile, Capital senior guard Hunter Young was dressed in street clothes and did not play. Rush said Young will be back in the lineup next week.

Rachel Roberts: 377-6422, Twitter: @IDS_VarsityX

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