Rocky Mountain girls stay unbeaten

Grizzlies close out a dominant regular season with a big victory over Centennial. © 2014 Idaho StatesmanJanuary 31, 2014 

Megan Hochstein scored 17 of her game-high 24 points in the first half Thursday night. Rocky Mountain led 40-10 at halftime before cruising to a 62-35 victory over Centennial.

Rarely were there wasted dribbles or unnecessary extended looks at the basket.

Instead, the Rocky Mountain High girls basketball team passed with pinpoint accuracy from one player to another.



Dish inside.

The end result was the same as it has been all season — another victory for the Grizzlies.

Rocky Mountain (20-0, 18-0) completed its first unbeaten regular season in school history with a 62-35 win against 5A Southern Idaho Conference foe Centennial on Thursday night at Centennial.

The Patriots (17-3, 15-3) are the second best team in the league. Yet, the Grizzlies produced their 18th double-digit win of the season — and now have scored 60 or more points 16 times this season.

Rocky Mountain coach Emery Roy has a simple explanation for his team’s exceptional streak.

“They just play well together. They’re very unselfish, which really helps,” he said. “No one really seems to care who scores, and everybody runs the floor well. They’re a good defensive team.”

The Grizzlies are the only unbeaten team remaining in the 5A classification, and they took over the top spot in the state media poll this week after previous No. 1 Lewiston fell to Coeur d’Alene.

They’re hoping their stay isn’t a short one.

“We are really clicking and practice is all about executing and getting our plays down. It’s looking good so far,” said Rocky senior guard Noelle Aragon, who finished with 11 points and three assists. “We play every game like it’s the championship. We just don’t take anyone easy and go as hard as we can all the time.”

Rocky Mountain will be the No. 1 seed in the 5A District Three Tournament, which begins next Thursday at Capital and Timberline high schools. The district championship game is set for Feb. 14 at Capital. The top four teams advance to the Feb. 20-22 state tournament at the Idaho Center in Nampa.

The Grizzlies, who are winning by an average of about 28 points per game, aren’t willing to look that far ahead.

“There’s three seasons. You’ve got this one, then district and hopefully state,” Roy said. “They’ll get serious. We’ve got some things we still need to work on, and they know that. We’ve been improving. As long as we keep improving, I think they’ll be pretty tough.”

Rocky Mountain senior Megan Hochstein proved her toughness inside against the Patriots, scoring 24 points exclusively inside the paint. Junior forward Maya Rodgers added a double-double of 10 points and 11 rebounds, and senior point guard Madi Kelly dished out a game-leading five assists.

“The last few games, she’s been coming on and playing a littler harder, playing tougher and starting to do more stuff inside,” Roy said of Hochstein. “She’s tough. If they don’t double her, one-on-one she’s going get a shot off.”

Rocky Mountain out-rebounded Centennial 49-19 and held the Patriots to 25.5 percent shooting from the field. Only two of the Grizzlies’ games this season have finished in single digits, the most recent of which came on Dec. 28 against Boise.

Since then, Rocky Mountain has won by an average of 33.4 points.

“Last year we just didn’t click very well and this year something just turned on in us,” Rodgers said. “We are just going for it. We are playing together and it feels so good.”

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