Eagle girls basketball celebrates first title in program history
History repeated itself Saturday. Just not the history anyone expected.
The Eagle High girls basketball team upset undefeated Mountain View 51-47 in the 5A state championship game, spoiling the Mavericks’ undefeated season a year after Eagle lost an undefeated season itself in the final.
The title is the first in program history for Eagle (22-5) after losing as a heavy favorite in the state championship game each of the past two years at the Ford Idaho Center.
“No one gave us a shot,” Eagle coach Cody Pickett said in the postgame trophy ceremony. “But here we are holding the blue trophy.”
Mountain View (26-1) entered Saturday with all the accolades after running roughshod over opponents all season, beating teams by an average of 24.9 points per game, setting a 5A state scoring record in the first round (79) and going wire to wire as the state’s No. 1-ranked team.
The Mavericks had topped the Mustangs three times this season, including a 12-point win last week in the district championship. But Eagle shut down the state’s top offense on the largest stage, limiting it to 15-for-55 (27 percent) shooting, including 2-for-21 (9 percent) behind the 3-point line.
“I’m shaking right now,” Eagle senior Jaime McKinnie said. “We’ve been working so hard. Every single year, we’ve never been able to get it. Tonight, we made it happen. My teammates and I made it happen, and the feeling is completely surreal.”
Eagle built a 10-point lead when McKinnie drained a corner 3-pointer with 5:08 left in the third quarter. But Mountain View came roaring back, closing the quarter on an 11-0 run.
The Mustangs had held fourth-quarter leads on Mountain View twice this season only to let them slip away. Saturday appeared destined for the same result until Eagle took control of the offensive glass late.
The Mustangs held a 43-42 lead with 4:25 left. They then burned 2:18 off the clock by grabbing three offensive rebounds, boosting their lead to 45-42 with free throws while denying Mountain View a chance to mount a comeback.
Mountain View had one final chance when it got the ball back down by two with 16.5 seconds left. But senior guard Meghan Boyd jumped up and swiped an entry pass into the post with 4.2 seconds left. She drained two free throws to ice the win and set off Eagle’s long-awaited court storming.
“That feeling at the end, there’s nothing else like it,” McKinnie said. “... When the buzzer went off, I thought my heart was going to come out of my throat.”
McKinnie and Boyd have felt the heartbreak of finishing second the past two years as key members of Eagle’s previous runs. The Mustangs entered last season’s title game undefeated and nationally ranked only to fall to Post Falls. And Eagle swept three games against Southern Idaho Conference rival Centennial in 2017 before falling to the Patriots in the final.
But Saturday’s upset win exorcised all those demons.
“We’ve worked so hard for this moment,” Boyd said. “I’m at a loss for words. It’s so exciting.”
McKinnie led Eagle in her jack-of-all-trades role, scoring 19 points thanks to 12-of-16 shooting from the free-throw line. She also grabbed a team-high nine rebounds as the Mustangs outrebounded a much larger Mountain View lineup 44-31.
Boyd added 10 points and five rebounds. Betsey King chipped in eight points and four assists, and Gabi Peters snagged 11 rebounds without scoring a point.
The loss kept Mountain View one win shy of joining Idaho’s elite. While Century (4A) and Soda Springs (2A) completed undefeated seasons Saturday, a perfect season remains rare at Idaho’s highest level.
No Idaho 5A girls basketball team has gone undefeated season since Coeur d’Alene went 25-0 in 2009. And no Treasure Valley 5A girls basketball team has done it since Meridian in 1983.
“They had an awesome season,” Mountain View coach Connie Skogrand said. “It’s just one game. It just happened to be the last one.
“It’s always very disappointing on your very last one when you lose. Even if we won third place or consolation, you always felt really good that you won your last game.
“This will be hard. They will have to take care of business in the offseason and get ready to go for next year.”
Freshman forward Naya Ojukwu led Mountain View with 14 points, 13 rebounds and three blocks. Senior Darian White, a Montana State signee, added 12 points and six rebounds.