HAZELTON – Listed at 5-foot-9, Shoshone guard Armando Cordoba went up in the midst of the trees and corralled a rebound partway through the third period. He paused for a moment to decide what to do next.
Logic dictates to pass the ball out a reset the offense. But Cordoba quickly decided against that.
Instead, he went up for a put back, right into the body of Valley’s 6-foot-4 center, and bounced the ball off the backboard and in for 2.
That basket embodied the effort, energy and boldness with which the Indians took the court and pulled off a 58-52 upset of fourth-ranked Valley Friday night at Valley High School.
“We’ve never beat Valley before,” Shoshone head coach Garr Ward said. “But we came in here and expected to win. This is a good foundation for these kids, to see what they can do.”
“This win means a lot,” said Shoshone senior Devan Bollar. “We’ve never beaten a team this good before. It feels good.”
Shoshone senior Jose Regalado was the star of the show as he racked up an eye-popping 28 points on the night. He scored early and often in what turned into a back-and-forth battle almost the entire way.
“I felt really confident tonight,” Regalado said.
“Jose was really effective tonight,” Ward said. “He penetrated, used the glass, made good decisions and helped the team out.”
The score was tied 11-11 after the first quarter.
Valley sophomore center Zane Mussmann did his best to keep his team in the game. At 6 foot 4, he is a force to be reckoned with in the paint. He collected rebound after rebound and notched 24 points for his efforts.
“Zane brings a lot of length and a lot of energy for us,” said Valley head coach Brian Hardy. “He’s always around the rim, so he cleans up a lot of our misses. But we also want to go to him because he’s been a big part of what we do all year. We want to get him his touches.”
From the midway point of the second quarter clear through the end of the third, Mussmann scored 16 straight points for the Vikings.
“He’s put in a lot of work and he’s going to continue to have a good year,” Hardy said.
Valley led 25-23 at halftime.
The Indians went to work in the third quarter behind Regalado and Bollar. Both seniors hit shots from all over the court. Bollar drove to the hole with reckless abandon on a number of occasions and finished some tough shots over defenders, including one he released from behind the backboard.
“When Devan and Jose work together, they are really good,” Ward said. “When they use their talents, they’re very effective. And they help the rest of the team out.”
“It was a good effort all around,” Bollar said.
Shoshone held a 40-35 advantage entering the fourth period.
It was the defensive effort from the Indians that allowed them to get the lead for good. With active hands and energy-infused zone pressure, they held Valley to just 10 points in the third quarter.
“Everybody was in sync in our zone tonight,” Ward said. “I don’t treat zone like a lazy man’s defense. We’re starting to really get into it and they’re utilizing the talent that they have.”
“We practice defense a lot,” Regalado said. “It’s coming along, and it leads to offense if we do it right.”
At one point in the fourth Shoshone opened up a 46-35 lead, but Ben Christensen and Ben Hardy each hit key 3-pointers for the Vikings to put the pressure back on the Indians.
But Regalado sealed the deal at the free throw line and Shoshone headed to the locker room with a win over the fourth-ranked team in 1A.
“We’ve never beaten them,” Regalado said. “But Coach Garr kept us up and kept the intensity going. All together as a team, we all bought in and played hard.”
“All credit goes to Shoshone,” Hardy said. “They played really well, had a good plan and they rebounded really well for a small team.”
In addition to Regalado’s 28 points, Shoshone got 13 from Bollar and 10 from Cordoba.
Mussmann finished with 24 points while Jason Hardy recorded 12.
Shoshone (9-3, 3-2 Snake River Conference) hosts Ward’s former school Richfield on Monday.
“We need to go in and practice hard every day,” Bollar said. “That’s how we continue to get better.”
Valley (10-2, 4-2) takes on Declo today at home at 7:30 p.m.
“I told the kids that we were getting a lot of pats on the back this week,” Hardy said. “Sometimes we start believing that and forget that it takes the effort out on the court.
“No excuses. Shoshone outplayed us. The good thing is we get to come out tomorrow night and wash that taste out of our mouths.”
Shoshone 58, Valley 52
Shoshone; 11; 12; 17; 18;-58
Valley; 11; 14; 10; 17;-52
Devan Bollar 13, Juan Villagran 3, Armando Cordoba 10, Colby Johnson 4, Jose Regalado 28. Totals 22 7-7 58.
Jason Hardy 12, Jamin Fenton 6, Tim Carlquist 2, Ben Christensen 6, Victor Lopez 2, Zane Mussmann 24. Totals 18 9-14 52.