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Great Basin Conference

Burley senior Natalie Rice, right, greets teammate Sydney Pilling as they announce the starting lineup Saturday, Feb. 3, 2018, during the Great Basin Conference semifinal game at Minico High School in Rupert.


The 2018 state girls basketball tournaments begin Thursday, and seven local teams will be making title runs. Here is our classification-by-classification preview for District 4.

4A: Burley Bobcats, Minico Spartans

Burley didn’t beat Minico this season until the district tournament, where it did it twice: in the semifinals and the finals.

Girls Basketball - Minico Vs. Burley

Minico's Saydi Anderson shoots a layup against Burley Thursday night, Feb. 8, 2018, at Burley High School.


Now, the Bobcats are back to chasing a state title after a year off from the action. The 2016 consolation championship team is represented well by the current team, which includes a class of seven seniors. All of the major impact players are represented in that group — post Jemilynn Mahoney, guard Sydney Pilling and forward Hallie Cook.

Burley’s first-round opponent is Caldwell, the No. 4 team in the final 4A girls basketball media poll. Caldwell earned the third seed out of District 3, which also is host to top-ranked Middleton and No. 2 Bishop Kelly.

The Spartans are without one of their leading scorers, injured junior Taylia Stimpson, but junior Saydi Anderson leads a Minico unit that closed out the season strong. The Spartans only lost to the Bobcats by a combined four points in the final two games of the district tournament.

Minico will face No. 3 Century in the first round. The Diamondbacks won the District 5-6 title and ended the season on a nine-game win streak.

3A: Buhl Indians

Girls Basketball - Filer Vs. Buhl

Buhl's Kayla Morse reacts to getting a charge called on Filer during the Sawtooth Central Idaho Conference championship game Wednesday night at CSI in Twin Falls.


Buhl snapped a 15-year playoff drought when Kyra Azevedo netted the game-winner in a 47-45 overtime district title game win against Filer.

The cards are stacked against Buhl, despite being the district champions. The Sawtooth Central Idaho Conference has gone 6-11 in 3A out-of-district play this season, with all six wins coming against American Falls (1-22).

The Indians will also face No. 2-ranked, defending state champion Timerberlake in the first round on Thursday. But with reliable scoring options like Emily Gorrell, Kyra Azevedo and Sage Eckert, they have a shot.

1A Division I: Shoshone Indians, Oakley Hornets

Shoshone upset Oakley 33-30 to win the District 4 title and snap the Hornets’ unbeaten streak, but both teams look to be in good positions to advance to the winner’s bracket this weekend.

Though the Indians lack a sizeable post, their inside threats, Monce Rivas and Bailee Owens, have the frames to operate against a size-starved Ambrose on Thursday. The Archers’ tallest player stands at 5-foot-8.

Girls Basketball - Oakley Vs. Shoshone

Oakley's Brittany Hardy (5) looks to pass against Shoshone's Monce Rivas during their Snake River Conference matchup Tuesday night, Feb. 6, 2018, at CSI in Twin Falls.


Oakley will play Grace in Thursday’s first-round game. The Hornets had little trouble throughout the regular season before Shoshone beat them in the district title game. They won 14 of their 23 games by more than 20 points.

With Makinlee Cranney from 3-point range, Brittany Hardy in the driving lane and Rachel Mitton holding down the post and a deep bench, Oakley has weapons all over and looks to be in good position to make a run for the title.

1A Division II: Dietrich Blue Devils, Carey Panthers

Girls Basketball - Richfield Vs. Dietrich

Dietrich's KayLee Hendrix brings the ball up against Richfield during the district tournament Friday night, Feb. 2, 2018, at Shoshone High School.


After falling to Carey for its second North Side Conference loss of the season, Dietrich got revenge with a 42-35 win in the district title game to take the top state seed out of District 4.

The Blue Devils have a balanced rotation with scoring leaders varying from game to game, but with eight of their 10 varsity players as upperclassmen, they return an experienced bunch that is hoping to return to the winning ways of 2011-16: four consecutive state titles, then two second-place finishes.

Dietrich will take on the District 5-6 second seed, Sho-Ban, in the opening round.

State Championship Basketball - Castleford Vs. Carey

Carey's Kodi Green shoots the ball during the state championship basketball tournament Saturday morning, Feb. 18, 2017, at Nampa High School.


Carey started the year 4-6, then went on a 9-1 run to enter the district tournament. With an efficient post in Kodi Green and two exceptional guards, Rylee Smith and Athana Versis, the Panthers could break into the winner’s bracket, but it will be no easy ask against No. 2-ranked Nezperce in the first round.




Record: 19-5

State seed: District Three champ

Coach: Derek McCormick, 11th season

Players to watch: G Lydia Nieto, sr.; F Theresa Reeping, sr.; F Gabby Keefe, jr.

Notes: Back-to-back defending state runner-up. … At state for the eighth time in nine years. … Has won nine straight games. … Finished the season ranked No. 2 but beat No. 1 Middleton 58-43 for its third district title in four years. … Nieto (13.4 ppg, 2.9 assists) is the reigning 4A All-Idaho Player of the Year and has signed with Division II Azusa Pacific, but Reeping leads the team in points (16.0) and rebounds (6.6). .. Only state title was in 2013.


Record: 17-7

State seed: District Four champ

Coach: Roger Caresia, 9 years

Players to watch: P Jemilynn Mahoney, G Sydney Pilling

Notes: Last won district title in 2013 … Won the consolation championship in the 2016 state tournament … Beat No. 5 Minico in back-to-back games to win the GBC title this year … Last state championship was in 2007.


Record: 18-5

State seed: District Three third place

Coach: William Rodgers, fourth season

Players to watch: G Jalen Callender, jr.; G Katrina Vallejo, so.; G Jade Martinez, so.

Notes: The Cougars are back in the state tournament after a one-year hiatus. That is largely due to Callender (10.8 ppg), who returned this season after tearing her ACL last year. Since Dec. 16, Caldwell has won 12 of its last 13 games. Included in those are wins over No. 1 Middleton and No. 2 Bishop Kelly.


(Defending champ)

Record: 18-6

State seed: District Three runner-up

Coach: Andy Jones, 16th season

Players to watch: F Lexi Mitchell, jr.; G Meriah Deugan, sr.; G Zoey Moore, so.

Notes: The Vikings won the 4A Southern Idaho Conference title and are the defending 4A state champions but are not exactly entering state on the highest of notes.They are 3-3 in their last six games and are fresh off one of their worst losses of the season, a 58-43 defeat to Bishop Kelly in the District Three title game. But Middleton does have the most 4A state titles in history with five.


Record: 17-8

State seed: District Four runner-up

Coach: Anna Bateman, 2 years

Players to watch: G/F Saydi Anderson, G Maura Merrill

Notes: Have made the state tournament for the fourth year in a row … Won the consolation championship last year … One of their leading scorers, Taylia Stimpson, is out for the rest of the season with an ankle injury … Were ranked as high as No. 2 in this year’s media poll.


Record: 13-12

State seed: District Five-Six runner-up

Coach: Kimber Hall, second season

Players to watch: C Harley Carlisle, sr.; G Shaylee Priestley, sr.

Notes: Took third place at state last season. … Carlisle averages 16.1 points, 9.7 rebounds per game. …Carlisle has nine double-doubles this season. … Only state title came in 1986.


Record: 14-8

State seed: District 1-2 champ

Coach: Duane Ward, fourth season

Players to watch: W Grace Kirscher, sr. (19.5 ppg, 6.6 rpg, 2.7 apg); G Ciera Bailey, sr. (9.3 ppg, 3 rpg); G Dawson Driggs, so. (5.0 ppg, 5.0 rpg, 1.8 apg); G Trinity Golder, sr.

Notes: Making its fifth straight trip to state. ... Kirscher, who ranks third on Sandpoint’s all-time scoring list (1,273 points) behind Alli Nieman and Madi Schoening, has signed with Eastern Washington. Golder has accepted an offer as a preferred walk-on at Eastern Washington. ... Started slow as several players, included Golder, recovered from injuries. ... Ward also was the Bulldogs’ coach in 1996, the last time Sandpoint played in the title game.



Record: 18-5

State seed: District One runner-up

Coach: Travis Hinthorn, first season

Players to watch: P Miranda Wenk, sr. (12.3 ppg, 10.4 rpg); W Kadi Bateman, sr. (11.5 ppg, 4.0 spg, 2.7 apg); W Kassy Skeen, sr. (9.7 ppg, 5.2 rpg, 3.7 spg, 2.0 apg).

Notes: At state for the first time since 2013, when it won the consolation title under Hinthorn, who first coached the Badgers for 10 seasons (2004-13). Since then, Bonners had three coaches in four seasons before Hinthorn took over again. “ It’s good to be back,” Hinthorn said. “I’m happy we are going to state; the seniors deserve it after what they have been through with all the different coaches.”


Record: 16-7

State seed: District Four champ

Coach: Kody Bingham, 2 years

Players to watch: F Emily Gorrell, G Kyra Azevedo, G Sage Eckert

Notes: Won the district title in OT against a 7-19 Filer team … Snapped a 15-year playoff drought with the bid … HC Kody Bingaham led the Indians to the state tournament in only his second year at the helm.


Record: 11-12

State seed: District Three runner-up

Coach: Joe Betancourt, sixth season

Players to watch: P Josey Hall, jr.; P Amaya Carter, jr; G Faith Jacobson, jr.

Notes: The Trojans lost five of their final seven games entering the 3A District Three Tournament. But they upset Fruitland in the runner-up game for a return trip to state after missing out last season. Josey Hall led the team in both scoring and rebounds with 9.6 points and 7.5 boards per game. Homedale’s last state title came back in 1980 at the 2A classification.


Record: 20-3

State seed: District Three champ

Coach: Michael Calkins, sixth season

Players to watch: PG Madison Jackson, jr.; F Grace Jackson, fr.; F Adyson Harris, so.

Notes: The Panthers won the 3A District Three title for the second straight season. They were absolutely dominant in 3A Snake River Valley play, beating opponents by more than 31 points per game. Parma hasn’t lost a game in more than two months with a 15-game winning streak. Jackson, who is the reigning 3A SRV Player of the Year, is averaging 19.1 points, 8.3 rebounds and 5.5 steals per game.


Record: 17-6

State seed: District Five champ

Coach: Jeff Steadman, second season

Players to watch: G Kelsey Higginson, sr.; F Abby Morgan, jr.; F Ashtyn Martin, sr.; F Josee Steadman, fr.

Notes: Making its first state tournament appearance since 2014. … Last won a state title in 2013. … Higginson (16.4 ppg, 3.1 assists) is a Colorado Mesa basketball signee. ... Josee Steadman is the second-leading scorer with 11.1 ppg.


Record: 15-11

State seed: Play-in game winner

Coach: Ryan Erikson, second season

Players to watch: P Olivia LeCheminant, jr.; F Paizlee Hobbs, jr.; G Brinlie Rowbury, sr.

Notes: First state tournament appearance since 2006 and second appearance in program history. … First winning season since 2007, when it finished 11-10. … Only non-2A team to have wins over both 2A powerhouses Ririe and Firth.


Record: 22-2

State seed: District Six champ

Coach: Crystal Dayley, seventh season

Players to watch: PG Kayla Luke, sr.; SG Macie Knapp, jr.; F Madi Fillmore, jr.; P Savanah Crane, sr.

Notes: Enters state having won its ninth district title in 11 seasons. … Graduated two players from last year’s state runner-up team. … Only losses are to 2A powerhouses Soda Springs and Firth. … Has not lost to a 3A team all year and also defeated Bishop Kelly, 4A’s second-ranked team, 48-38 over Christmas break. … Enters state on 19-game win streak and averaging 55.5 ppg.


(Defending champ)

Record: 18-3

State seed: District One champ

Coach: Matt Miller, 13th season

Players to watch: G Lilly Kelley, sr. (11.5 ppg , 4.1 rpg , 2.7 apg , 2.9 spg); F Brooke Jessen, fr. (11.3 ppg , 7.7 rpg , 1.7 apg, 2.2 spg); G Shelby Starr, sr. (11.0 ppg , 3.7 rpg , 3.4 apg , 4.0 spg).

Notes: Is the two-time defending state champion and has played in the title game six times in the past seven years. ... Despite losing Allison Kirby (now playing at Idaho) and Keelie Lawler (now playing at Division II Western State Colorado), the Tigers have barely skipped a beat, losing just three times despite playing another tough nonleague schedule. ... Tigers are balanced, with six players averaging between 7.0 and 11.5 points per game. … Jessen and freshman Taryn Soumas have been key as varsity newcomers.



Record: 17-7

State seed: District Three third place

Coach: Jordan Tucker, fifth season

Players to watch: G Kate Roberts, sr.; G Malia Good, so.

Notes: First trip to the state tournament. ... Statistical leaders include Roberts (11.2 ppg, 9.4 assists, 8.9 rebounds, 6.1 steals) and Good (18.6 ppg, 4.4 steals). ... A very young team with four freshmen, two sophomores, three juniors and two seniors.


Record: 13-11

State seed: District Five-Six champ

Coach: Jason Nance, second season

Players to watch: G Shae Donaldson, sr.; G Breanna Hill, soph.; C Braylee Wood, sr.

Notes: First state tournament appearance since 2014. … Nine of 11 losses are against Idaho 2A or non-Idaho opponents. … Has won two state titles, the last in 1986.


(Defending champ)

Record: 18-4

State seed: District Two champ

Coach: Eric Spencer, fourth year

Players to watch: G Amil Mitchell, sr.; G Heweekse Wisdom, sr.; G Raequel Domebo, jr.

Notes: Is the three-time defending state champion. ... The Wildcats are really young, with just three returners from last year’s title team. But they’ve grown up fast. ... Lapwai forced 26 turnovers from Prairie in the District Two title game, which helped the Wildcats pull an overtime upset. ... If you’re playing against Lapwai, you better get ready to face pressure defense the moment you step off the bus.


Record: 17-7

State seed: District Three runner-up

Coach: Brad McCain, 11th season

Players to watch: G Cory Hamblin, sr.; F Madison Dodge, sr.; F Madison Hodnett, fr.

Notes: Statistical leaders include Dodge (16 ppg, 11 rebounds, 3 steals), Hamblin (6.6 ppg, 4 rebounds, 3 steals, 6 assists) and Hodnett (10ppg, 12.3 rebounds, 2 blocks). ... Won its conference games by an average of 29 points. ... Fields a “Twin Towers” of two 6-foot players in junior Brenna Logue and Madison Hodnett.


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Record: 22-1

State seed: District Four runner-up

Coach: Matt Payton, 6 years

Players to watch: G Makinlee Cranney, G Brittany Hardy, P Rachel Mitton

Notes: Oakley’s only loss came in the district title game against Shoshone … The Hornets spent the majority of the season as the No. 2 seed behind Prairie … Earned third-place title last year, beating Horseshoe Bend 49-31.


Record: 22-2

State seed: District Two runner-up

Coach: Lori Mader, eighth season

Players to watch: F Sydney Bruner, sr., P Josie Peery, sr.; F Leah Higgins, sr.; G Jordyn Higgins, jr.; G India Peery, so.

Notes: Jordyn Higgins leads the Pirates in scoring, but she is hardly the only Prairie player who can shoot. ... Peery could be an X-factor at state. ... Leah Higgins will often guard the other team’s best player. ... Prairie has played for the state title the past four years, last winning in 2014.


Record: 18-5

State seed: District Three champ

Coach: Kyla Jewett, first season

Players to watch: G Sintia Varela, fr.; G Valerio Lino, sr.; G Laura Gasper, so.

Notes: Last time at state was 2014. … Won back to back state titles in 2003-2004. ... Roster consists of seven freshman, three sophomores, one junior, one senior. … Statistical leaders include Varela (14.1 ppg, 3.6 rebounds, 2.9 assists), Lino (4.9 ppg, 5 steals, 5.4 rebounds) and Gasper (5.3 ppg, 2 steals, 3 rebounds).


Record: 19-3

State seed: District Four champ

Coach: Tim Chapman, 27 years

Players to watch: F/P Bailee Owens, G Cierra Hennings, P Monce Rivas

Notes: Snapped No. 2 Oakley’s undefeated season with a 33-30 win in the district title … Two of three losses came to Oakley … Last made the tournament in 2016 … Chapman has reached the tournament 16 times in his 27 years as head coach.



(Defending champ)

Record: 20-3

State seed: District 5-6 champ

Coach: Carla Hansen, fifth season

Players to watch: G Shay Lambson, sr.; G Tausha Cummins, sr.; G Sherawn Brownlee, sr.; P Meg Buxton, sr.

Notes: Second consecutive season going undefeated against conference opponents. … Has gone 44-3 since joining the 1A Division II classification last season. … Very similar to the 2013 team, which was senior heavy and had won state the previous year. … Enters state on 14-game winning streak and averaging 63.6 ppg. … Losses are to ranked 2A teams Ririe and West Jefferson. … Lambson is averaging 12.9 ppg, 3.7 assists and shooting 36.5 percent from 3 and 90.9 percent from the free-throw line.


Record: 15-8

State seed: District Four runner-up

Coach: Merrilee Sears, 6 years

Players to watch: G Rylee Smith, G Athana Versis

Notes: Carey has never won a state championship in girls basketball … The Panthers started the season 4-6 before going on a 11-2 run to end the season (only two losses were to No. 2 Oakley in 1A-DII and No. 4 Dietrich).


Record: 17-7

State seed: Play-in game winner

Coach: Kendra Keen

Players to watch: Bailee Swanson, sr.; Gabrielle Seubert, sr.,; Megan Beyer, sr.

Notes: Second trip to state in the past three years. ... Rallied past Salmon River in a state play-in game from a nine-point, halftime deficit. ... If Deary needs a big shot, it’ll likely come from Swanson.


Record: 17-6

Coach: Acey Shaw, 13 years

State seed: District Four champ

Players to watch: P Jaxon Eggleston, F Brianna Astle

Notes: Dietrich avenged their in-conference loss to Carey in the district title game … Last year was the first year Dietrich didn’t reach the tournament since 2007 … The Blue Devils won four consecutive state championships between 2011-2014, and earned second-place trophies in 2015 and 2016.


Record: 13-9

State seed: District One champ

Coach: Brandon Haas, first season

Players to watch: P Bella Murekatete, jr.; PG Rachel Schroeder, jr.; G Josie Scribner, jr.

Notes: The Jaguars’ record is deceiving because they played several games against much-larger schools.. ... Murekatete, from Rwanda, has drawn interest from Washington State, among others. ... Was third at state last year in its first trip to state. ... Haas was an assistant coach for the Genesis Prep boys the last three seasons, including last year when the Jaguars won the state title.


Record: 19-3

State seed: District Two champ

Coach: Dave Snodgrass, eighth season

Players to watch: G Hannah Stapleton, jr.; G Caitlyn Cronce, so.; G Kourtne Carpenter, sr.; G Sydney Boyer, jr.

Notes: Fifth straight trip to state. ... Carpenter and Cronce can really light it up from outside. ... Nezperce will run whenever possible and facilitates some of its fastbreaks with its defense.


Record: 18-6

State seed: District Five-Six runner-up

Coach: Andrew Baldwin, third season

Players to watch: G/F Siona Astorga, jr.; G Sacoyah Appenay, sr.; G/F Angela Astorga, fr.

Notes: First state tournament appearance since 2009. … Three of six losses are against defending state champion Butte County. … Only state title came in 2000.


Record: 13-7

State seed: District Three champ

Coach: Clay Hollon, second season

Players to watch: F Grace Ertel, jr.; F Karli Hansen, sr.; F Ashlyn Gerlock, jr.

Notes: Co-op team between the Cambridge, Midvale and Indian Valley communities.. ... Held eight opponents to 20 points or fewer ... Never won an opening-round game at state.


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