Seniors Abby Mangum and Cassidy Tiegs have played on the Eagle basketball team since they were freshmen.
They’ve helped the Mustangs go from the bottom of the 5A Southern Idaho Conference to this season’s regular-season championship. “Freshman year through senior year, we’ve had a lot of ups and downs,” Tiegs said. “Especially freshman year. We only won eight games.”
The Mustangs are now enjoying the view from the top.
With a 20-1 record and a seven-week run at No. 1 in the state media poll, Eagle secured a first-round bye in the 5A District Three Tournament, which starts Tuesday with play-in games.
Eagle has already checked off several milestones this season, helping head coach Cody Pickett surpass 100 career wins and senior Tiegs collect the program’s career scoring record with 1,255 points and counting.
Now they hope to win their first district championship since 1998 — a feat accomplished before most of this year’s players were even born.
“We’re just sharing (the ball) more than we ever have before,” Mangum said. “I think the teamwork is really just giving us an edge over everyone.”
Eagle is also chasing the best record in school history and the program’s first state championship. The 1997-98 squad went 24-2 and lost in the state championship game. Eagle lost in the third-place game at state last season and brought home the consolation trophy in 2015. This year’s state tournament is Feb. 16-18 at the Ford Idaho Center in Nampa.
“I think it just shows how epic this season was and how much we needed this season and how far we’ve come,” Mangum said. “Since freshman year, we kind of were at the bottom, but since then we’ve made our way to the top.”