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Raft River 45, Oakley 26

MURTAUGH – The best coaches in every sport, whether professional, collegiate, or high school, borrow tactics from opponents.

Raft River head coach Brian Poole is no different.

Tuesday, in the Snake River Conference Championship, Poole watched fourth-seeded Valley hold top-seeded Oakley, which came in averaging 52.5 points per game, to just 26 points. The hot-shooting Hornets were held without a single three-pointer.

On Thursday, Raft River held Oakley to an identical 26 points and allowed just two three-pointers in the Snake River Conference second-place game.

“We took a little bit of what we saw Valley do. Oakley is a really good shooting team, so we wanted to make their guards put the ball on the floor and drive to the hole. We saw that work for Valley, so that was our goal too. Our kids executed phenomenally. It was all about our defense,” said Poole.

The Trojans held a seven-point lead at halftime, but exploded for 19 points in the third and held Oakley to just one. The rout was on.

“Offensively, we’re a unique team with two really strong guards in Kayden and Kolten (Hitt). Other teams want to take the ball out of their hands, but they’re really good at getting others involved,” said Poole.

Despite Oakley’s concerted effort to slow down Raft River’s standout twins, the duo still combined to score 25 points, nearly topping Oakley’s point total in tandem. Junior Braxton Poole also added 11 points for Raft River. For Oakley, senior Hewstyn Beck led the way with nine points.

Raft River advances to a state tournament play-in game against Grace Saturday at 3 p.m. Saturday in American Falls. Oakley’s season ends with a record of 19-5.

Raft River 45, Oakley 26

Raft River 16 5 19 6 - 40

Oakley 4 10 1 11 - 25

RAFT RIVER (40)

Ko. Hitt 15, Ka. Hitt 10, Poole 11, Lloyd 4, Spencer 3, Powers 1, Shulz 2 Totals: 17 9-18 40

OAKLEY (25)

Beck 9, Robinson 4, Palmer 3, Martin 2, Critchfield 4, Nunes 4 Totals: 9 6-13 25

3-point goals: Raft River 3 (Ko. Hitt 2, Spencer) Oakley (Palmer, Beck) Team fouls: Raft River 16, Oakley 16 Fouled out: Raft River (Ko. Hitt) Technicals: Oakley bench.

Carey 49, Murtaugh 31

SHOSHONE – Carey dominated from start to finish in the North Side Conference second-place game, securing its spot in the 1A-DII State Tournament in the process.

The Panthers held the three-point specialist Red Devils to 2-for-26 shooting from beyond the arc and just 16 percent overall. Carey, meanwhile, shot 49 percent on the game.

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“We really played great defense. We covered them up at the three-point line and used our size inside,” said Carey head coach Dick Simpson.

Three different players finished in double-figure scoring for Carey, led by senior center Derrick Baird with 14 points and junior guard Hayden Wayment with 12. For Murtaugh, senior Adan Saucedo led the way with nine points.

Carey heads into the state tournament as the second seed from District IV and will play Council in the first round next Thursday. Murtaugh’s season ends with a record of 15-10.

Carey 49, Murtaugh 31

Carey 16 9 11 13 - 49

Murtaugh 9 4 3 15 - 31

CAREY (49)

Baird 14, Wayment 12, Hennefer 6, Koudelka 10, Whitworth 4, Castle 3 Totals: 21 3-10 49

MURTAUGH (31)

Saucedo 9, Bodden 7, Gil 2, Smith 2, Zavala 3, Cornell 4, Martinez 4 Totals: 8 13-21 31

3-point goals: Carey 3 (Hennefer, Wayment 2, Castle) Murtaugh 2 (Saucedo, Bodden) Team fouls: Carey 15, Murtaugh 14 Fouled out: None.

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