TWIN FALLS — It took four minutes of overtime to get it done, but the Buhl High School girls basketball team secured its first state title berth since 2003.
The Indians beat Filer 47-45 in overtime Wednesday night at the College of Southern Idaho for the 3A District 4 title.
Both teams had opportunities to take or maintain leads nearing the end of regulation, but it was Kyra Azevedo’s jumper with about six seconds left that sealed the title for the Indians.
“I knew I had to make it,” she said. “I had to help my teammates and Emily (Gorrell), who was working so hard.”
Gorrell scored five of Buhl’s 10 points in overtime, including a perfect 3-for-3 from the free-throw line. She tied the game at 45 after taking the ball the distance of the court and converting an and-one opportunity with 9.2 seconds to play.
She said that changed the entire game’s energy in a split second.
“After the layup, I was just so glad it went in, but it got me and my teammates focused in,” Gorrell said. “I just wanted to play so hard on the other side of the ball.”
That intense defensive pressure led to a turnover and timeout to set up the game-winner by Azevedo seconds later.
Buhl head coach Kody Bingham said the end of the game was one of the most energetic situations he’s coached in.
“Coaching is an emotional roller coaster, and you try to ride it with them,” Bingham said. “We played with emotion, but didn’t get too caught up in it.”
The Indians had to get it done late in the fourth quarter and in overtime without a few key players, including senior guard Sage Eckert, who fouled out with a few minutes remaining in regulation. Then sophomore Kayla Morse fouled out in overtime.
So Bingham looked to his bench to play hard, and they delivered.
“We had big minutes out of those bench players,” he said. “America Jamarillo had great ball pressure on defense, and Kendra Benson gave us a few good minutes there at the end, too.”
Filer freshman Ella Fischer, who finished with a team-high 14 points, hit a layup and was fouled with about three seconds left in regulation to tie the game. However, her go-ahead free throw attempt bounced off the back of the rim and out.
Fischer fouled out halfway through overtime, but Bingham said she gave his squad problems throughout the game.
“It’s hard to keep Fischer off the boards,” he said, “but we battled down low and didn’t make it easy for her.”
Shots didn’t come easy for either side early on, as neither Filer nor Buhl scored more than 10 points in the first, second or third quarter. The fourth quarter, however, ended with 16 points for Filer and 15 for Buhl.
One of the difference-makers was free-throw shooting, especially on the part of Buhl.
The Indians shot 14-for-20 from the free-throw line in the fourth quarter and overtime combined, nearly half of their 32 points in that span. It was a far cry from their performance from the stripe in the first half, during which they converted only 5-of-15.
“I told the girls at half we can’t miss any more free throws,” Bingham said. “Might not be realistic, but they started to hit their free throws late in the game.”
Azevedo and Gorrell proved to be the most consistent late-game free-throw shooters, draining all but one of their combined 11 attempts.
Gorrell said her method to staying focused at the line was treating every shot as if the game depended on it.
“I just tell myself it has to go in,” she said. “If it doesn’t, then I treat the next one the same way, and there’s a little more pressure.”
Azevedo and Gorrell led Buhl with 16 points and 15 points, respectively.
Almost as incredible as the win for Buhl was the journey for Filer to the title game.
Filer started the year 1-8 and finished last in the Sawtooth Central Idaho Conference at 1-5. Half of the Wildcats are underclassmen, and first-year head coach Mike Amaya said the progress they made through the season shows they’ve matured well.
“It was fun to play the underdog coming in,” he said. “It’s a tough loss, but for our young team, it’s all about experience. It’s pretty incredible where we are now.”
Jailyn Gartner and Kynlee Thornton backed up Fischer with 13 points apiece.
Filer will face South Fremont in a 3A state play-in game on Saturday at American Falls.
The Indians are glad that’s not their fate. Last year, Buhl lost to Teton in the state play-in game, and Bingham said it’s great to know they’ve secured a tournament seed.
“It’s been 15 years,” he said. “So long. I’m just so proud of the girls. I tell them all the time, it’s not given to them, they’ve got to earn it. This group gets that, and they showed it tonight.”
For Azevedo, the junior who stepped up in the biggest moment of the season thus far, it’s a feeling that’s hard to describe.
“It’s what we dreamed of all year,” Azevedo said. “It feels so good to actually do it.”
Emily Gorrell has been finding this wide open spot a lot, whether or not she gets the pass. It's helped Buhl keep it close at 21-20 Filer lead with 2:00 to play in 3rd Q. #buhlindians #filercats pic.twitter.com/eqWm4Tvqxa— Jake Crouse (@jake_crouse94) February 8, 2018
Timeout with 5:21 to play. Madison Somers hit a layup after a big scrum, and drew this foul to help Buhl to a 25-23 lead. Fischer at the line for Cats. #buhlindians #filerscats pic.twitter.com/44J2hvWSxn— Jake Crouse (@jake_crouse94) February 8, 2018
GOODING — On Wednesday morning, a large crowd gathered at Gooding High School to celebrate four Senator seniors.
Linemen Kolton Adkinson and Andrew Carter both inked their letters of intent to play football for NAIA schools. Linebackers Sam Funkhouser and Ruger Jennings had already signed with Idaho State University in December, but Gooding head football coach Cameron Andersen used Wednesday — college football’s National Signing Day — to honor all four college-bound players.
“It’s four really good football players,” Andersen told the Times-News after the ceremony. “It’s tough to see them go, but I’m really relieved and happy to see the process done.”
Funkhouser and Jennings became best friends in seventh grade. As they got deeper into their Gooding careers, they planned to play college football together.
That dream was realized in December, when the duo signed their letters of intent during the early singing period. Their scholarships from ISU will cover tuition, they said.
“When I got this job back in April, I said we’re gonna build Idaho State with state of Idaho players,” ISU head coach Rob Phenicie told the Times-News over the phone on Wednesday. “There are a ton of good football players in small towns across the state, and these two are the epitome of that.”
Both received offers in the spring of 2017, they said, and Jennings planned to join the Bengals almost immediately. Funkhouser wasn’t quite as decisive, with offers from Montana State and Weber State. In October, he feared he’d lost his scholarship.
On Oct. 5, Funkhouser suffered a knee injury that forced him to miss the rest of the season.
“I thought for sure ISU was definitely off the list and I would have to go somewhere else,” Funkhouser said Wednesday. “ISU, Montana State, Weber State, I thought all those disappeared right then.”
But Phenicie and ISU linebackers coach Roger Cooper said they wouldn’t revoke their offer. At worst, Funkhouser said, he would receive a grey shirt, which delays enrollment and gives an athlete extra eligibility.
“I’m thankful for ISU and coach Phenicie for not giving up on me,” Funkhouser said. “Now, I get to play Division I football with my best friend.”
Funkhouser said his injured knee is about 70 percent right now. The rehab process has been difficult, especially when he watched his Senators lose to Snake River in the 3A state semifinals, but he’s confident he’ll be healthy when next football season arrives.
“I’m really looking forward to coming back, showing people I’m not done,” Funkhouser said. “This isn’t going to define me. I’m just gonna work hard.”
Jennings jokingly called himself “undersized and slow” and said he might move to safety at ISU. If he has any physical deficiencies, they didn’t show during his senior season.
Jennings was named the 2017 Sawtooth Central Idaho Conference defensive player of the year, and he earned first-team all-Idaho honors. He, like Funkhouser, consistently delivered devastating hits, and Cameron Andersen praised his mind.
“He’s probably the most football-intelligent player I’ve ever coached,” Andersen said. “I have zero doubts that once his size catches up to his brain, he’s gonna be an All-American at ISU.”
Jennings grew up wanting to play for Montana State because of his affinity for the state. But he was content to dismiss the Bobcats when ISU gave him an offer last year.
“It’ll be fun to go up there and beat them,” Jennings said of Montana State.
He and Funkhouser briefly met Phenicie at an ISU football camp as sophomores, two years before he became head coach. They did more than enough to stay on his radar.
“Sometimes you just get feel for someone,” Phenicie said. “I was like, ‘Those are a couple of dudes right there.’”
Funkhouser wasn’t verbally committed to ISU until his knee blew out, but the Bengals were his top choice before then. Their commitment to him after the injury turned his preference into a signature.
“He says he wants to build a wall around Idaho, recruit Idaho,” Funkhouser said of Phenicie. “I really fell in love with that. He’s a good guy, he’s a great coach, and I really look forward to working with him and Cooper.”
Carter said he nearly received a full-ride scholarship from Carroll College, and he’s headed to Helena, Mont., with plans to play center, one of the positions he manned at Gooding.
He received offers from other Frontier Conference schools, including Eastern Oregon, Montana Western, Montana Tech and College of Idaho, he said. But Carroll was not a hard choice.
“I like the coaches,” Carter said. “They wanted me to be a four-year starter for them.”
Carter was a star on the offensive and defensive lines for the Senators in 2017, with first-team selections on the all-SCIC and all-Idaho teams.
“Andrew’s just a mammoth monster,” Cameron Andersen said. “His calves are like 30-inch waists.”
Unlike Funkhouser and Jennings, Carter didn’t seal his college decision months ago. He committed a couple weeks ago, and Wednesday marked the official signing.
“I’m glad it’s over,” he said. “My dream since I was a little kid was to go to college.”
Adkinson said he began talking with Montana Western about a year ago. On Wednesday, in front of a full auditorium of Gooding students and faculty, he signed his letter of intent.
“It’s a great feeling,” he said, “seeing everyone in the crowd and seeing everyone that’s watched you over the last few years.”
Adkinson said he received a partial scholarship. He plans to redshirt when he gets to Dillon, Mont., in the fall, and he will likely play offensive guard. He was impressed with Montana Western’s academics, and he plans to major in wildlife ecology.
He was a first-team all-SCIC offensive lineman in 2017 after a versatile career. Cameron Andersen said Adkinson played all three spots on the offensive line over the last three seasons.
“Kolton’s just super dynamic. He’s a football player,” Andersen said. “We just never worried because he was so football savvy.”
OAKLEY — After trailing 10-0 in the first quarter, the Hornets came back to upset the No. 3-ranked Vikings in the final conference game of the regular season for both teams.
“The kids felt confidence that we could beat them,” Oakley head coach Juan Rodriguez said. “We’re playing our best basketball right now.”
Gannon Critchfield scored a game-high 18 points for the Hornets (11-8, 8-2), who will host No. 4 Declo (2A) on Friday to close out the season.
Jason Hardy led the Vikings with 15 points. Valley ended its season at 15-5 (9-1 in-conference) and will be the No. 1 seed in the Snake River Conference tournament next week.
Oakley secured the No. 2 seed.
Oakley 52, Valley 48 (OT)
Valley 10 8 14 9 7 — 48
Oakley 6 12 13 10 11 — 52
VALLEY (48) — Jason Hardy 15, Adam Elorrieta 2, Ben Christensen 11, Eddy Cano 4, Alex Korom 5, Zane Mussman 11.
OAKLEY (52) — Slater Sagers 4, Chandler Jones 2, Tate Cranney 4, Jayden Palmer 10, Jake Pulsipher 8, Max Alves 2, Gannon Critchfield 18, Austin Bedke 4.
TWIN FALLS — Regen Povlsen drained a deep 3-pointer with five seconds left in overtime to turn a 76-74 deficit into a Great Basin Conference win for the Spartans.
“He shot it with a lot of confidence,” Minico coach Ty Shippen said. “It was a great game. We were fortunate to come away with the win.”
Kasen Carpenter scored a game-high 24 points, Kobe Matsen had 16, Brant Etherington had 11 and Povlsen and Rylan Chandler each added 10 for Minico (13-7, 6-4), which ends the regular season Friday at Preston.
Jaymund Dyer scored 18 points, Logan Ahlquist had 14 and Sheldon Flanary added 11 for Canyon Ridge (8-12, 3-7), which prepares for next week’s district tournament.
Minico 77, Canyon Ridge 76 (OT)
Minico 15 18 22 14 8 — 77
Canyon Ridge 12 16 24 17 7 — 76
MINICO (77) — Regen Povlsen 10, Kasen Carpenter 24, Jonathan Brumley 4, Kobe Matsen 15, Rylan Chandler 10, Tyler Munsee 3, Brant Etherington 11.
CANYON Ridge (76) — Dyer 18, Ahlquist 14, Flanney 11, Pierce 8, Clark 4, Milligan 2, Rambur 5, Cresto 5, Cueller 9.
TWIN FALLS — The Bruins rode a 16-point halftime lead to a Great Basin Conference win at home.
Mitchell Brizee scored a team-high 12 points for Twin Falls, followed up by Winston Duggan, Drew Meyerhoffer and Hudson Klundt, all with 11 points.
The Bruins (12-8, 9-1) will host Hillcrest on Friday to close out the regular season.
Anikin Hernandez dropped a game-high 20 points for Jerome (7-14, 3-7) in its regular-season finale. The Tigers will play next in the Great Basin Conference tournament.
Twin Falls 70, Jerome 40
Jerome 8 7 16 19 — 40
Twin Falls 17 14 21 18 — 70
JEROME (40) — David Lloyd 2, Anikin Hernandez 20, James Slone 3, Jordin Myers 10, Korbin Cryer 2, Braydon Ahrens 2, Cole Baker 8.
TWIN FALLS (70) — Winston Duggan 11, Lucas Young 4, Drew Meyerhoeffer 11, Faust Ystueta 6, Collin Aardema 2, Wyatt Haszier 8, Ryan Ball 5, Hudson Klundt 11, Mitchell Brizee 12.
HAILEY — The Bobcats cruised past the Wolverines in the Great Basin Conference regular season finale.
Jackson Hill scored a game-high 17 points, Andrew Ferrin had 15 and Jace Whiting added 11 for Burley (15-4, 9-1), which will finish the regular season Friday at home against Pocatello.
Johnny Radford scored 14 points for Wood River (4-16, 0-10), which will host Filer the same day to end the regular season.
HAGERMAN — The Pirates held on for a win at home against Shoshone in a tightly contested matchup.
Bryant Osbourne scored 15 points to lead Hagerman (7-10, 2-8) in its final game of the regular season. The Pirates will be the No. 5 seed in the Snake River Conference tournament.
Patrick Taber drained a game-high 16 points for the Indians (6-14, 0-10). Shoshone will be the No. 6 seed in the district tournament.
Hagerman 53, Shoshone 50
Shoshone 17 12 10 11 — 50
Hagerman 9 13 17 14 — 53
SHOSHONE (50) — Patrick Taber 16, Tyson Chapman 12, Ethan Perry 10, Joe Koonce 7, Alex Cruz 3, Denny Arroyo 2.
HAGERMAN (53) — Bryant Osbourne 15, Caleb Owsley 11, Terrell Wise 10, Derek Herrington 9, AB Salas 5, Chris Belem 3.
GLENNS FERRY — The Pilots outscored the Trojans 11-2 in the fourth quarter to earn a win in their final Snake River Conference game of the regular season.
Kody Henslee scored a game-high 18 points for Glenns Ferry (8-11, 6-4), which captured the No. 3 seed in the district tournament.
Raft River (9-11, 5-5) is the No. 4 seed.
Glenns Ferry 37, Raft River 28
Raft River 7 6 13 2 — 28
Glenns Ferry 11 11 4 11 — 37
RAFT RIVER (28) — Chatburn 3, Erickson 4, Spaeth 2, Spencer 10, Schumann 4, Poole 4, Lloyd 2.
GLENNS FERRY (37) — Williams 6, Traudt 8, Grigg 5, Henslee 18.
SHOSHONE — The Lions outscored Murtaugh 29-12 in the second half to win a loser-out game in the North Side Conference tournament.
Lighthouse Christian head coach Tia Standlee said that the Red Devils got to one of her top players early.
“They also did a great job at shutting Chloe Gomez down the first half,” she said via email. “I thought it was a great, hard-fought game.”
Haylee Grossman scored a game-high 17 points from the post for the Lions, who will face Carey on Friday for the conference’s second seed in the 1A Division II state tournament.
Jenna Benites scored 14 points to lead Murtaugh.
Lighthouse Christian 43, Murtaugh 33
Murtaugh 16 5 5 7 — 33
Lighthouse Christian 11 3 10 19 — 43
MURTAUGH (33) — Fatima Aguilera 2, Lisa Ambriz 5, Jenna Benites 14, Juany Arevalo 1, Alissa Chatelain 10.
LIGHTHOUSE CHRISTIAN (43) — Trudy Millenkamp 2, Sabrina De Jong 6, Chloe Gomez 8, Haylee Grossman 17, Maycee Holloway 10.
RUPERT — After leading the Minico High School football team to its first title game appearance in program history, John Perrigot will follow in his father’s footsteps as a collegiate quarterback.
On Tuesday, Perrigot held a brief ceremony in the Minico foyer as he signed his National Letter of Intent to play at University of Montana Western.
Perrigot, the 2017 Great Basin Conference offensive player of the year, received interest from the Bulldogs over the past year, including three home visits by the football staff as well as two trips to the UMW campus in Dillon, Mont.
John said the staff, some of whom came to watch him at the 4A state title game at Holt Arena in November, were a big part of his decision, but also he liked that UMW and Dillon, an area of similar size to Rupert, “felt like home.”
“Just the people, the campus, all of it,” he said. “I’ve never been a big city kid, so it felt comfortable.”
He also liked the Frontier Conference, which he said fits well with his wish for a competitive field of opponents.
“That conference is a great conference to play football in,” he said. “It’s tough football.”
John’s dad, Tim Perrigot, the longtime Minico head coach who recently accepted a job as the superintendent of the Wendell School District, said he knew some of the staff personally and respected them, including head coach Ryan Nourse.
“He’s come down to speak at our District 4 coaching clinic,” Tim said. “He’s a good coach and runs a good program.”
In an announcement of this year’s signees on the UMW football page, Nourse said of John is an “athletic quarterback” and “a competitor (who) will bring a fire to a talented quarterback group at Western.”
Tim said his son’s accomplishments came with consistent effort throughout his years in youth and varsity football. As a former collegiate quarterback himself at Western State Colorado University, Tim said he knew what it took to reach the collegiate level, and that John put in the level of preparation to do so.
“Not many people realize the amount of time and effort you have to put in to become a college quarterback,” Tim said. “You spend so much time doing drills, morning prep, in the weight room to get here.”
Not only is UMW close enough for John’s family and friends to visit — a drive of less than four hours from Rupert — but it’s also been home to a lineage of Minico football alumni, including current Minico assistant coach Gerriuh Nay, who played safety for the Bulldogs nearly a decade ago.
“I talked with (Nay) a lot about it,” John said. “He told me about the community and school, and I think he played a role in (the decision).”
Whether he plays in his first game or not, John will likely have a lot of hometown connections in the crowd at his debut as a Bulldog: an away game at Carroll College in Helena, Mont.
That’s where his sister, Katie, attends college, and it’s the town where one of his hometown heroes, Dane Broadhead, a former Minico and Carroll quarterback, lives.
For the quarterback who will always be able to say he led Minico to its first state title game, John couldn’t imagine a better way to move on to the next point in his athletic career.
“Going off to college with all that we accomplished, it’s pretty amazing,” he said. “Especially since I got to do it all with my dad.”
SHOSHONE — The third-seeded Dietrich High School girls basketball team won the North Side Conference title Wednesday night 42-35 over Carey, the top seed and defending district champion.
The two teams went possession-for-possession in the first quarter, which ended with the Panthers leading 11-10 following three 3-pointers by senior Rylee Smith, who ended up with a team-high 13 points. Blue Devils senior Jaxon Eggleston, the top scorer for the game with 17 points, kept Dietrich close with six points in the quarter.
“The girls never got in a panic mode after Smith made the three 3-pointers,” said Dietrich coach Acey Shaw. ”We switched up our defense and put Eggleston on her, and she only scored one more basket.”
The Blue Devils took the lead at the 2:34 mark of the second quarter and outscored the Panthers in the second quarter 14-8 for a 24-19 halftime lead. Dietrich did not ever trail after that and led 32-27 after three quarters.
“Our offense was very patient, and they ran what we wanted them to run,” said Shaw. “And the defense played very well as a team.”
Eggleston shared Shaw’s thoughts.
“Our team defense was amazing,” she said. “We worked well and communicated great as a team.”
Dietrich junior Brianna Astle’s face beamed from ear to ear after the game.
“It was so fun,” she said. “This was the best time with everyone pumped and being so intense. We had good energy from the start, and it carried over from quarter to quarter. This is a great feeling.”
Carey coach Merrilee Sears just kind of shook her head after the game.
“It was just one of those kind of nights,” she said. “These girls are very positive and pretty resilient. I think they will match up with Lighthouse and can bounce back OK.”
Carey will face No. 2 Lighthouse Christian at 7 p.m. on Friday back at Shoshone High School. The winner will earn the conference’s second spot at the 1A Division II state tournament.
Dietrich 42, Carey 35
Dietrich 10 14 8 10 — 42
Carey 11 8 8 8 — 35
DIETRICH (42) — KayLee Hendrix 5, Cassie Berthelson 4, Bailey Hubert 2, Brianna Astle 8, Caylee Dilworth 4, Jaxon Eggleston 17, Quincie Christiansen 2.
CAREY (35) — Shantell Chavez 3, Rylee Smith 13, Athana Versis 9, Kylie Wood 6, Kodi Green 4.