BOISE – Burley entered Thursday’s opening round of the 4A state tournament playing its best basketball of the season after clinching the Great Basin Conference title six days earlier.
With hopes high, the Bobcats took the court against Vallivue, and promptly ran into a brick wall.
Burley was outmatched and overwhelmed by the Falcons’ athleticism in a 70-56 loss Thursday night at Borah High School in Boise.
“They have a really good team,” said Burley head coach Jack Bagley. “They had a great game plan and they made shots. They did a good job. Their athleticism was the difference.”
“They outplayed us,” said Burley junior Ryan Bagley. “They got every 50/50 ball and they wanted it more than we did.”
Bagley got the first points for the Bobcats with a jumper in the early going. Through the first quarter it was a back-and-forth affair and it appeared Burley would be able to match pace with Vallivue.
The Bobcats trailed just 14-12 after the first quarter.
It was late in the opening period that Vallivue reserve Amoro Lado entered the game for the first time. Lado, who played the entire season on the JV squad before being pulled up during the district tournament, torched Burley all night.
Lado was too fast for the Bobcat bigs to keep him in front, and too tall and athletic for their guards. He finished with a game-high 29 points and scored from everywhere on the floor.
Lado’s athleticism was a microcosm of Vallivue’s biggest advantage, which the Falcons exploited at will.
“We had a really hard time matching up with them on the perimeter,” Jack Bagley said. “We’d come out on them and they’d take it to the basket. We’d stay back and they knocked down threes.”
Burley trailed 34-24 at the half.
Burley fought throughout the game and did its best to keep pace with the Falcons. But the Bobcats were outmanned and outgunned, and, no matter how many punches they landed, Vallivue always had an answer.
The Falcons continued to pad its lead and were up 56-41 heading into the fourth quarter.
“We had some momentum, but they bounced that deep 3 in at the end of the third quarter,” Jack Bagley said. “We had a hard time getting stops tonight.”
In addition to Lado’s 29 points, Vallivue got 18 points from Southern Idaho Conference leading scorer Nick Fitts.
Burley was paced by Bagley’s 17 points, while Andrew Ferrin added 11.
“I’m proud of the kids,” Jack Bagley said. “The effort was there, we just ran into a really good Vallivue team. We give them credit.”
Burley has a chance to keep its season alive as it takes on Middleton Saturday in the consolation bracket at 3 p.m. at Borah High School.
“We have to keep our heads up, come out and play,” Ryan Bagley said. “There’s still a trophy to be won, and we want to win it.”
“We want to play Saturday,” Jack Bagley said. “We don’t want to go two-and-out. We have some kids who love to compete and love to play basketball. So hopefully we’ll show up ready to go.”
Vallivue 70, Burley 56
Vallivue; 14; 20; 22; 14;-70
Burley; 12; 12; 17; 15;-56
Bagley 17, Ferrin 11, Hill 6, Christiansen 6, Hackett 6, Whitaker 6, Seely 2, Beazer 3 Totals 18 14-19 56.
Bishop Kelly 68, Jerome 42
BOISE – Jerome fell behind early and committed uncharacteristic mistakes that kept it from coming back in the first round of the 4A State Tournament Thursday afternoon.
The Tigers, who averaged just eight turnovers per game in the regular season, turned it over 20 times to Bishop Kelly’s eight. That, coupled with the Knights out-rebounding Jerome by 15, added up to Bishop Kelly taking 30 more shots than the Tigers.
“Any time you turn it over 20 times, it’s going to be difficult. BK turned us over too. Credit to them. Their rotations and defensive rotations were right on mark. It wasn’t the team that we put on display over the past few weeks,” said Jerome head coach Joe Messick.
Senior point guard Alex Clegg went down with a sprained ankle in the first quarter. He tried to play on it in the first half, but was unable in the second. His status is doubtful for Saturday.
Senior guard Logan Geist led Jerome with 13 points and fellow senior guard Tyler Cook added 12.
Jerome bumps to the loser’s bracket, where it will take on Moscow at 1:15 p.m. Saturday with a spot in the consolation championship game on the line.
Bishop Kelly 68, Jerome 42
Bishop Kelly; 10; 17; 22; 19;- 68
Jerome; 4; 12; 9; 17;- 42
Geist 13, Cook 12, Ploss 7, Myers 5, Acuna 3, Baker 2 Totals: 13 9-13 42
3-point goals: Jerome 7 (Geist 4, Ploss 2, Acuna) Team fouls: Jerome 12 Fouled out: None.