Parma girls basketball secures best finish in program history
In its first state championship appearance since 1984, the Melba High girls basketball team ran into a juggernaut Saturday afternoon at the Ford Idaho Center, falling 50-34 to Soda Springs in the 2A final.
Soda Springs (27-0) capped off its second consecutive state title, a first in school history, with a suffocating defensive effort, holding Melba (24-2) scoreless for most of the second quarter and to a season-low 34 points. The Mustangs finished the first half without any two-point field goals as all of Melba’s points came from behind the arc or from the free-throw line.
The win is Soda Springs’ 53rd in a row, a streak that dates back to a loss in last year’s season opener. Soda Springs has won three out of the last five 2A championships.
“They very rarely make mistakes,” Melba coach David Lenz said. “They run their stuff very well.”
Melba’s state championship appearance marks the first by a 2A District Three team since 2003 and was the third appearance in school history, although the Mustangs are still without a state title.
Kate Clark led Melba in scoring with 12 points while her sister Emma Clark finished her Melba career with seven. Soda Springs was led in scoring by senior Reagan Yamauchi, who finished with a game-high 15 points.
“Next year will be different,” Lenz said. “We will have to figure out life without Emma.”
3A: Parma secures best finish in history
Parma (23-3) set a record this season for wins and made its first appearance in a state championship game. But the Panthers’ historic run ended at the hands of perennial power Sugar-Salem, which beat Parma 57-40 to repeat as champs.
“It’s not the finish we wanted, but we are really thankful we were able to make it this far,” Parma senior Madison Jackson said.
The Diggers (24-2) tried to run away with the game, building a 15-point lead lead midway through the third quarter. Parma rallied and cut the lead to six when Adyson Harris drained a 3-pointer from the left wing with 6:40 left in the fourth. But that was as close as the Panthers could get the rest of the way.
“I’m proud of this team and what we were able to accomplish,” Parma coach Michael Calkins said. “Obviously, we are disappointed in how the season ended. But these girls should be proud of the season they had.”
Sugar-Salem senior Macie Knapp dominated on both ends of the floor, finishing with game highs in points (27) and rebounds (12).
Jackson, who has signed with Montana State, led Parma with 16 points and seven rebounds despite picking up three fouls in the first quarter. She leaves the Panthers as the program’s all-time leading scorer.
“I started dragging her to summer basketball camps when she was an incoming seventh-grader,” Calkins said. “I’ve had her for a long time. She’s Grandma Jackson to me. What she’s meant to this program, I can’t even put it into words. … She leaves an incredible legacy behind.”
1AD2: Star’s performance not enough for Salmon River
Points were not going to come easily for Salmon River in the 1A Division II girls basketball state championship, but the Savages had one of the state’s most prolific scorers on their side.
True to form, senior guard Chevelle Shepherd was outstanding, scoring 29 of Salmon River’s 48 points against Carey, but the Panthers were able to mix their stout defense with some sharp shooting Saturday morning at the Idaho Center.
Carey’s 56-48 win gave the Panthers their first girls basketball state crown, and left Salmon River with just one in its history (1977).
“It’s amazing. We worked so hard all year to get here. We knew they were going to make it tough, but we were ready,” Carey sophomore guard Kylie Wood said.
Wood led Carey (22-1) with 20 points, adding six rebounds and five assists. She was 9-of-10 at the free-throw line, including all four attempts in the fourth quarter. Senior post Kodi Green had 10 points and 10 rebounds.
Shepherd scored 76 points for Salmon River (21-3) during the tournament. She was 10-of-20 from the field Saturday, the rest of the Savages were a combined 9-of-32. They were 1-of-13 from 3-point range in the second half, though their 48 points were the most against the Panthers this season.
“They played good defense, and we’ve seen good defenses before. But I think a lot of our young kids were tense, walked in with great big eyes, and (Carey) shot the lights out,” Salmon River coach Paula Tucker said.
Carey was 19-of-35 from the field (54.3 percent) and was 6-of-8 from 3. The Panthers led the entire second half after a halftime tie, opening the third quarter with a 12-2 run. The Savages cut the lead to 48-46 with less than 3 minutes to play, but Carey’s Athana Versis hit a 3-pointer with 2 minutes remaining, and Salmon River only scored once more, at the buzzer.
“I don’t feel like we were on our game, didn’t push the ball as fast as we usually can, and weren’t the best we could be,” Tucker said.
1ADI: SHOSHONE SHUTS DOWN GENESEE
Try as they may, the Genesee Bulldogs just had a lid on their basket — they were 3-of-25 in Saturday’s 1A Division I championship from 3-point range, as the Shoshone Indians ran away with the 47-37 win.
The Indians (24-1) won their third championship in school history, and their first since 2005. Senior guard Cierra Hennings led Shoshone with 17 points, aided by a 12-for-12 showing at the free-throw line. She also had 10 rebounds. Fellow senior Baylee Owens had 16 points and seven rebounds, but hurt a knee in the final minutes.
Genesee (20-9), which won four straight elimination games to even reach the state tournament, was paced by sophomore guard Bailey Leseman’s 16 points.
▪ Timberline 45, Boise 29: The Wolves outscored the Braves 16-3 in the second quarter on their way to third place in 5A. Ava Ranson scored 21 points and Ashlyn Ascuena-Mercil grabbed 14 rebounds for Timberline. Peyton McFarland had a double-double for Boise with 11 points and 10 rebounds.
▪ Lake City 47, Meridian 35: Bridget Rieken scored 17 points to lead Lake City to the 5A consolation trophy. Graci Kolka scored eight for Meridian.
▪ Middleton 51, Minico 44: Middleton used a 24-3 run to take third place in 4A. Zoey Moore scored 15 points for the Vikings. Bailey Black had 10 for Minico.
▪ Timberlake 55, Homedale 37: Timberlake rode a 17-3 first-quarter edge to the third-place trophy in 3A. McKeeley Tonkin scored 17 points, and Brooke Jessen added 12 points and 14 rebounds. Josey Hall scored 13 for Homedale.
▪ Cole Valley Christian 50, West Jefferson 45: Cole Valley grabbed the 2A third-place trophy with a strong fourth quarter. Savannah Khoury (14 points) and Anna Veeck (12 points, 10 rebounds) led a balanced attack for the Chargers. Jordi Holdaway scored 30 points for West Jefferson.
▪ Grace 64, Notus 29: Maniah Clegg scored 19 points to lead a dominant effort by Grace in the 1A Division I consolation final. Destiny Quebrado scored 20 for Notus.
5A: Eagle vs. Mountain View, late
4A: Century 41, Caldwell 26
3A: Sugar-Salem 57, Parma 40
2A: Soda Springs 50, Melba 34
1A Division I: Shoshone 47, Genesee 37
1A Division II: Carey 56, Salmon River 48
For full coverage of the 5A and 4A championship games, go to IdahoStatesman.com. Those games were played too late to make the print edition.