TWIN FALLS — The Dietrich High School boys basketball team traveled to Twin Falls on Friday for one of its toughest games of the season. By the fourth quarter, the clock was running.
Lighthouse Christian showed moments of competitiveness, but Dietrich showed why it is ranked No. 1 in the 1A Division II state boys basketball media poll. The Blue Devils blew out the Lions 77-48 Friday night to remain undefeated in North Side Conference play.
“We’ve had our ups and downs,” Dietrich senior Slade Dill said, “but I think we’ve got most of that figured out. I think we’re on the other side.”
Lighthouse entered Friday’s game with a 10-2 overall record and just one loss (66-63 to Murtaugh) in five conference games. It received three votes in the latest state media poll.
Hopes of a conference-shaking upset were quickly tossed aside by the Blue Devils, who led 25-11 after one quarter. Lighthouse cut the deficit to single digits early in the second quarter, but Dietrich sped away and took a 46-26 lead into halftime.
The Blue Devils now average 66.8 points per game, an impressive number considering the absence of shot clocks in Idaho. But most, if not all, of their possessions on Friday night would have rendered a shot clock meaningless.
Just about every defensive rebound turned into a fast break for Dietrich, and even some inbounds passes led to quick shots on the other end. The Blue Devils fired a bunch of 3-pointers, attacked the rim and were happy to take midrange shots if they were open.
“We practice fast,” Dietrich coach Wayne Dill said. “It gets to a point where it’s hard a hard deal for other teams to adjust. They’ll play with you for a quarter or two, but over the course of the whole game, it’s pretty tough to keep up with us.”
The tempo withered the Lions down, but Dietrich wouldn’t have won so comfortably without converting the quick shots. That wasn’t a problem, thanks in large part to Slade Dill and Kade Shaw. The seniors nearly outscored Lighthouse by themselves — Shaw had a game-high 26 points, and Slade scored 17.
“Tonight was the Kade and Slade show,” Wayne Dill said.
Dietrich didn’t have full game stats, but Wayne believes Slade (his son) approached a triple-double when accounting for rebounds and blocked shots. He has accomplished that feat at least once this season.
Slade made shots from every area of the court, including a first quarter buzzer-beater, and he showed off his strong passing skills throughout the three quarters he played.
“Slade controlled the game from beginning to end,” Wayne said. “This is a good team we played. We just controlled the game.”
The score was 73-36 through three quarters, and the clock ran the entire fourth quarter because of the 30-plus-point lead.
Dietrich also received 15 efficient points from senior Lon Page and 10 from sophomore Raygn Robertson. Jordan Bradshaw and Alex Shetler each scored 12 points for Lighthouse.
The Blue Devils have now won seven straight games, including a 55-54 win over Declo last week. The Hornets are responsible for Dietrich’s only loss this season.
Dietrich graduated multiple key players from last year’s squad, including Times-News small school player of the year Jake Smith, so its relative youth provides some mystery when the postseason arrives.
But right now, the Blue Devils look ready to return to the 1A-DII state title game, which they lost to Genesis Prep last year.
“We’ve gotten a lot better from the start of the year, but we’ve got a lot of progress to make up,” Shaw said. “We’ve got a long ways to go.”
Dietrich (12-1, 5-0) plays at Oakley on Saturday, and Lighthouse (10-3, 4-2) plays at Carey on Tuesday.