Girls High School Basketball

Eagle girls basketball downs one SIC opponent, faces another in 5A state semifinals

Eagle’s Eliza de Vera drives past guarded by Boise’s Allison Ross during the first round of the 5A girls basketball state tournament at the Ford Idaho Center.
Eagle’s Eliza de Vera drives past guarded by Boise’s Allison Ross during the first round of the 5A girls basketball state tournament at the Ford Idaho Center. kjones@idahostatesman.com

The nationally ranked Eagle High girls basketball team survived one rematch Thursday, and it will face another one Friday.

The Mustangs (25-0) rallied to beat district rival Boise 46-37 in the first round of the 5A state tournament at the Ford Idaho Center, earning them a rematch with district rival Mountain View (18-7) in the semifinals.

Tipoff is at 6:15 p.m. Friday, followed by the second semifinal between Borah (19-5) and Post Falls (22-2) at 8 p.m.

Even though the Mustangs routed Mountain View by 29 points in December, Eagle coach Cody Pickett said that doesn’t mean anything now, as Boise proved in the first round.

“We’ve had a very successful season, and sometimes people kind of think the games are going to be different than they are,” said Pickett, whose team is ranked No. 25 in the nation by USA Today. “We’re in the final eight teams. All these teams are capable of winning every night.”

[Related: Full girls basketball state tournament brackets]

EAGLE 46, BOISE 37

Undefeated Eagle routed Boise by 27 points in the regular season. But the Braves (16-11) gave the Mustangs a scare Thursday.

Boise jumped out to a 7-1 lead and held Eagle without a field goal until Janie King put back her own miss with 1:41 left in the first quarter. The Mustangs struggled to find their shot all afternoon, finishing 17-for-56 (30 percent) from the floor. But Eagle turned to its trademark defense to force 19 turnovers — including four straight on the first four possessions of the second quarter — to rally and advance to the state semifinals for the third straight year.

“I think we were all nervous to begin with, and eventually we came together,” said senior guard McKenna Emerson, who jump-started the Mustangs’ second quarter with a steal and fast-break layup on the first possession.

The 7-0 spurt gave the Mustangs a lead they would never surrender. Boise cut the lead to three when freshman Allison Ross banked in a 3-pointer and gave her bench a shrug with 3:47 left in the fourth quarter. But Eagle put the game away when Katelyn Murray and Meghan Boyd converted back-to-back three-point plays to stretch the lead to 10.

“We’ve been in some tough situations this year, and we’ve managed to weather the storm so far,” Pickett said.

Murray led Eagle with 13 points and nine rebounds, and Boyd added 10 points.

Ross scored a game-high 16 points for Boise, which faces Bonneville (22-2) in an elimination game at 1:15 p.m. Friday at the Idaho Center.

MOUNTAIN VIEW 49, BONNEVILLE 43

After a 10-point loss to Bonneville during a holiday tournament, Mountain View decided to give the Bees a taste of their own medicine at state.

The Mavericks spent a week installing a pressure man-to-man defense to mirror Bonneville’s, and the work paid off with 18 forced turnovers and a spot in the semifinals for the fourth time in five years.

But it was a switch to a zone defense that sparked a 10-0 run for Mountain View to end the second quarter.

“When we get our momentum going and are doing positive things after positive things, we all get confident and get in a mode where we’re making shots and doing good things on defense,” senior forward Grace Caldwell said.

Caldwell led Mountain View with 12 points and 11 rebounds. Mountain View coach Connie Skogrand said the senior has grown exponentially since January as her confidence soared.

“We just said, ‘Hey, when you’re in those spots, you just go. You’re quick. You’re fast. You can jump. You’ve got to utilize your strengths,’ ” Skogrand said. “She’s finally understanding how to do it and is confident to do it.”

Darian White added 12 points and Alison Chanhthala finished with 10 points, six rebounds and three steals for Mountain View.

Cortney McDonald finished with 14 points to lead Bonneville.

BORAH 48, HIGHLAND 41

Borah won its first state tournament game since 2006 by locking down the Rams in the second half.

“It means so much. We’ve been building for years and years,” Borah senior guard Alesia Jones said.

Highland junior Makenna Baker erupted for 17 points in the first half. Borah coach Jason Willer said the Lions struggled to communicate on when to switch on the Rams’ screens, setting Baker up for wide-open 3s and lanes to the basket.

So in the second half, Borah switched on every screen to hold her scoreless on 0-for-9 shooting.

“Alesia (Jones) is such a lockdown defender, and when they were picking her, picking her, picking her, we weren’t helping her and covering it,” Willer said. “We made that switch to where every time the screen was there, they switched on it and they didn’t give her what she wanted.”

Alyssa Bolt led Borah with 13 points, five rebounds and three assists, and Jones added 12 points, five rebounds and four steals.

POST FALLS 58, CAPITAL 55

Down to the final 4 minutes, Post Falls sophomore guard Tyler McCliment-Call put the Trojans on her back to avoid a first-round upset. McCliment-Call poured in nine of her game-high 22 points over a 2-minute, 51-second stretch late in the fourth quarter to erase a late deficit for the second-ranked Trojans.

“Tyler was really good at the beginning of the game and really good at the end of the game,” Post Falls coach Marc Allert said. “And she wasn’t too bad in the middle, either.”

McCliment-Call also grabbed nine rebounds, and Gonzaga signee Melody Kempton finished with 20 points, 11 rebounds and six blocks.

Beverly Slater led Capital with 20 points and 16 rebounds, and Elly Johnson added 13 points and seven rebounds for the fifth-ranked Eagles (18-6), who face Highland (15-10) in an elimination game at 3 p.m. Friday at the Idaho Center.

Michael Lycklama: 208-377-6424, @MichaelLycklama

  Comments