BOISE | Minico coach Ty Shippen thought his team was bound for the state championship near the end of regulation in its semifinals matchup against Bishop Kelly. But for what seemed like an eternity, Matthew Brumley’s layup spun around the rim at the Borah High School gym.
The rim decided it wasn’t meant to be.
Shippen then thought his team should have beaten Bishop Kelly in the first overtime period.
But then the Knights’ Dan Sabala decided it wasn’t meant to be, sinking a ridiculous 25-footer to tie the game.
And at the end of the second overtime, Shippen thought there was going to be a third period of free basketball. But that wasn’t meant to be, either.
Tied at 69 with less than five seconds remaining in the second overtime period, Peyton Bailey committed a foul at midcourt on Bishop Kelly’s Bronson King. King sunk a pair of free throws that led the Knights past the Spartans, 71-69.
The crushing loss knocks Minico out of title contention and into Saturday’s third-place game against rival Burley. It was the team’s second overtime game in a row after beating Caldwell in a thriller the night before.
“It was pretty loud. We were getting pretty close to him and on the bench we were saying, ‘Don’t foul,’” Shippen said. “And (Bailey) heard foul. And it’s not on him. It’s hard because you hear ‘foul.’ And that’s just one thing you can’t do. But I don’t want that game (to be about that). That game was an unbelievable experience.”
“Those guys wanted it so bad. And they worked so hard for it. My heart breaks for them. What do you say to a group of young men who fight so hard for something?”
Neither Minico nor Bishop Kelly budged the entirety of the game. And just when it looked like one team was going to close things out, the other countered with a brutal uppercut.
It was a game for the ages.
“It was just one of those games where it should have gone into triple-overtime,” Shippen said. “It was definitely an epic game.”
The teams jostled back-and-forth the entire first half and entered the locker room tied at 32. The third and forth quarter went the exact same way.
Bailey was all over the place for Minico in the fourth, causing turnovers and hitting huge shots to keep the Spartans in the game. He tied the game at 51 late in the fourth quarter with a short pull-up jumper.
Bishop Kelly had a chance to win the game in regulation but missed a 3-point attempt. Minico grabbed the rebound and then had its chance to end the game.
It looked like they had finished the job.
Brumley floated a shot up to the rim with less than three seconds remaining that spun around it several times before falling to the floor. Shippen himself fell to the ground in disbelief before gathering himself and heading back to the bench. His team was inches away from the Idaho Center.
“That bounced like three times,” Shippen admitted. “I thought we were going to the state championship game.”
Minico was on the verge of winning the game in the first overtime period behind the play of Jeremy Stevenson. His layup off a missed free throw put the Spartans ahead by six and on a clear path to a win despite a few missed free throws. Unfortunately, Bishop Kelly wasn’t done yet.
The Knights turned around and scored five points in 13 seconds to close within a point of Minico. Chase Chandler hit a pair of free throws that put the Spartans up three with just a few seconds remaining. Bishop Kelly’s Dan Sabala proceeded to nail a 3-pointer from nearly 30-feet out to send the game into another overtime.
“I felt like in the first overtime it was our game. Then we missed some free throws,” said Shippen. “That 3 that Sabola hit …. that shot misses, we go to the state championship.”
Minico turned around and played in its second double-overtime game in as many days and had the game tied late at 69. The roar of the fans boomed throughout the gymnasium and Bailey committed a foul that wound up putting Bishop Kelly’s Bronson King at the free throw line to win the game.
“I don’t feel like we got beat tonight,” said Shippen. “I feel like these were two teams that gave it their all.”
Friday’s outcome led to pure joy on one side of the gym and tears of unfathomable sadness on the other. Minico, playing in its first state tournament since 2011, was on the verge of competing for the state title. But in the end it was Bishop Kelly celebrating exuberantly at mid-court.
“(We’re) a special groups of boys. What they did, that was unbelievable. Their resovle, their character, the way they fought together,” Shippen said. “I couldn’t be prouder to be associated with a group like them. It was an amazing game. That’s one that won’t be soon forgotten.”
Redemption: Minico Rebounds From Devastating Loss to Take 3rd Place
Behind a combined 67 points from Bailey, Pilling, Brumley and junior Tyson Durrant, Minico blows out rival Bobcats, 73-54, to take home a third-place trophy from the state tournament.
BOISE | Peyton Bailey and Josh Pilling didn’t sleep very well Friday night.
The Minico seniors shared a hotel room at the 4A state tournament and were devastated after a double-overtime loss to Bishop Kelly. The latter portions of Friday night’s game were like a never-ending nightmare.
The Spartans’ potential game-winner from Matthew Brumley rimmed out at the end of regulation against the Knights to send the game into overtime. They later saw a six-point lead dissolve in the first extra period to send the game into another overtime.
A late foul by Peyton Bailey on a Bishop Kelly player put the Knights at the free throw line late in double overtime tied at 69. Both free throws swished through the bottom of the net and the Great Basin champion Spartans were stunned. Their state title hopes were dashed in the blink of an eye.
There was no time for self pity, though. Because just about 12 hours separated the end of a heartbreaking game with the tip-off of a third-place game against archival Burley in a rematch of their recent district championship bout.
“Last night was not a good night for me,” Bailey admitted. “I just needed to play (well) today or else I wouldn’t have been content with my game and how I played.”
But Pilling and Bailey can rest easy Saturday night. Because they ended what could have been a devastating series of events in the best possible way.
Behind a combined 67 points from Bailey, Pilling, Brumley and junior Tyson Durrant, Minico blew out the rival Bobcats, 73-54, to end take home a third-place trophy from the state tournament. It was the team’s first playoff appearance since 2011.
“It was a bad sleep,” Pilling said with a laugh. “In life, you’re going to get adversity. And when adversity gets bad, you have to lock in and just push forward. And that adversity goes away when the next good thing comes. It was heartbreaking and disappointing. But we were hungry this morning.”
The Spartans’ hunger shined birghtly early and often Saturday morning at Borah High School. The team walked onto the court with their arms interlocked, ready to face the next challenge at hand. As had been the case all season, Minico was going to live and die as one.
“We walked out and locked arms. We didn’t want to walk out as individuals. We still had each other’s back,” head coach Ty Shippen said. “I’m so thankful that they had an opportunity to got out and play and that last night wasn’t it. Because last night hurt.”
The Spartans showed no ill-affects from the previous night’s devastation in the game’s early goings. Minico jumped out to a 15-point lead after a quarter and led by eight at halftime. Though Burley was able to keep things relatively close the majority of the game, Shippen’s team exploded for 22 points in the fourth quarter to put the game out of reach.
Minico shot an incredible 59.1 percent from the field in the game and hit 12-of-22 shots from 3-point range.
“Last night after the game we set a goal for ourselves that we were going to be resilient,” Bailey said.”That’s just kind of what we’ve been trying to do all year.”
Durrant led Minico in scoring with a game-high 26 points. Pilling and Bailey scored 18 and 11 in their final game, respectively.
Minico’s defense did its part as well, holding the Bobcats to just 36.7 percent from the field. Star sophomore Ryan Bagley was held to just four points on three shot attempts. Britton Garrard led Burley with 19 points.
As tired as Minico was after playing consecutive double-overtime games, Shippen knew his team wasn’t going to let exhaustion get in the way.
“Adrenaline takes you a long ways. Last night they were exhausted,” Shippen said. “It’s been mental and physical exhaustion. They put everything they have into it.”
Saturday also happened to be Bailey’s birthday. As terrible as things were Friday night, he couldn’t have imagined a better birthday gift. He got to go out one more time with his best friends and win a game he and his teammates so badly wanted.
“It’s the tightest brotherhood I’ve ever been a part of in any sport,” said Bailey. “It’s been the best year of my life because of these men next to me.”
Pilling and Bailey’s varsity experiences as a whole embody the determination and resiliency of this year’s Minico team. The team went a miserable 7-16 when the pair were first-year varsity players as sophomores. The Spartans improved when they were juniors and made it to the state play-in game against Bishop Kelly. The Knights mercy-ruled them by 28 points.
Determined from that point on, Pilling, Bailey and the rest of the team vowed to end the 2015-16 campaign with a win. Minico wasn’t going to have a bus ride home like that ever that again.
The Spartans then came into Borah’ gym Saturday morning determined to end the year on a high note. The cause the team had created the year before had finally intersected with a newfound goal created after the devastating defeat to Bishop Kelly on Friday.
That same resiliency the team showed over the three years that Bailey and Pilling played on varsity came out in full-force one last time on Saturday. And even though they didn’t end their careers as state champions, the two seniors who were so crucial to Minico’s turnaround couldn’t have been happier.
“We made it a goal that we were going to get some hardware,” said Pilling. “Just looking back, all the memories of hard work and just knowing that we gave our heart and soul to the Minico basketball team and program, to be able to bring something home to the school, it’s indescribable.”
Shippen was in his first season leading Minico when Bailey, Pilling and the other seniors were sophomores. He couldn’t be happier that his players went out on top. They deserved as much.
“They know that they’ve worked as hard as they can work and they have no regrets. And to see that is something I think everybody strives for,” said Shippen. “I don’t think at this point they can really grasp the reality of what happened here. But down the road they’ll look back and say, ‘That was amazing.’ These guys are brothers for life.”
'Survive and Advance': Minico Wins 2OT Marathon Opener
BOISE | As far as playoff debuts go, Matthew Brumley and Minico certainly got their money’s worth against Caldwell.
Brumley scored a game-high 30 points and grabbed 14 rebounds in the Spartan’s first playoff game since 2011, leading Minico past the Cougars in double-overtime Thursday night, 77-65. The team advances to the 4A semifinals where it faces Bishop Kelly at 8 p.m. on Friday.
Thursday’s thriller featured 11 lead changes and 12 ties between the teams.
“This is pretty special. The guys just kept gutting it out. Caldwell was fantastic. They just kept coming,” Minico coach Ty Shippen said. “I’m just proud of our kids for continuing to battle and fight through it. I just couldn’t be more proud.”
Caldwell came out firing from the gate, hitting a 3-pointer on the game’s first possession. Shipped said he immediately knew his team was in for a battle.
While Minico kept pace for the most part in the first quarter, a late layup from Forrest Smith at the buzzer gave Caldwell a 16-15 lead heading into the second.
Then the floodgates opened.
The Spartans reeled in the opening moments of the second, getting outscored 11-3 and falling into a hole by way of turnovers and easy Caldwell layups.
Minico ultimately trimmed the deficit to just four by halftime with help from Matthew Brumley’s 13 points. Despite outshooting Caldwell by nearly five percent at a solid 52.2 percent clip, the Cougars kept coming back.
“You just have to recollect them. You’ve been here before. It’s 5-on-5,” Shippen said. “It’s fun for them. This is what high school basketball’s all about right here.”
Peyton Bailey took matters into his own hands in the third, scoring six-straight points to open the period and giving Minico a 33-31 lead with a pull-up jumper. It marked the beginning of a back-and-forth third where the teams exchanged baskets and Minico gained a two-point lead heading into the the fourth.
That lead quickly dissipated as Caldwell tied the game at 44 with just under five minutes remaining in regulation. Sam Briseno hit shot after shot in the game’s latter stages, tying the game at 53 with just 24 seconds remaining in regulation with a scooping layup.
“Sam hit some huge shots. I think they call him ‘Big Shot Sam,’” Shippen said with a laugh. “He hit some big ones.”
A last-second floater from Bailey fell short of the basket for Minico at the end of regulation and the teams headed to overtime. Just when it looked like the Spartans were going to put the game away up by four in the first overtime, Briseno hit another huge 3-pointer for Caldwell that kept Minico from gaining any steam.
The stage was set for the Spartans to win the game late despite Briseno’s sharp-shooting. Josh Pilling was called for a travel with just four seconds remaining, though, and the teams headed to a second extra period tied at 62.
Minico was able to pull away in the second overtime, outscoring Caldwell 15-3 to win a game that Shippen could only smile and laugh about when the final buzzer sounded. Brumley scored 17 of his 30 points in the second half and overtime. Bailey finished with 23 points and seven rebounds.
“There were so many times when both sides could have went either direction. And I’m just so proud of the way they fought,” said Shippen. “Survive and advance. It (was) a battle of survival tonight.”
Behind Sophomore Bagley's Huge 2nd Half, Burley Beats Lakeland 56-45
BOISE | Many teams depend on seniors come state tournament time. Burley, on the other hand, put the game in the hands of star sophomore guard Ryan Bagley.
Bagley knew just what to do with the keys to the Bobcats’ car when the team needed him most.
The sensational sophomore scored 17 of his 21 points in the second half Thursday afternoon, leading his Bobcats past Lakeland, 56-45, and into the 4A semifinals against Preston.
“It’s just the game I love and I grew up playing,” Bagley said. “Just come out and have fun. I wasn’t shooting too good in the first half, but my dad (head coach Jack Bagley) always tells me to come out and keep your head up and just keep shooting if you’re open. So that’s what I did.”
The teams went step-for-step in the game’s early-goings, as Burley took a slim 25-23 lead into halftime. The Bobcats shot a solid 43.5 percent from the field but were just 1-for-12 from 3-point range. Ryan Bagley had just four points on five field goal attempts.
“We really struggled with our perimeter shooting,” said head coach Jack Bagley. “Against a zone defense, you have to be making those outside shots. They were there. We just weren’t knocking them down.”
Lakeland held pace with Burley in the third and trailed by just five heading into the fourth. Every time the Bobcats looked like they were going to put the final nail in the coffin, the Hawks made noise.
“It just seemed like we could never pull away,” said Jack Bagley. “We’d get it to seven and they’d hit a big shot. It just never was comfortable.”
Things finally got a little more comfortable for Burley in the fourth quarter. The shots finally started to fall for Ryan Bagley.
Bagley scored eight-straight points to start the fourth and ended up with 12 in the quarter. He went 3-for-4 from behind the arc in the second half and helped turn a slim lead into a comfortable margin of victory. The team shot a scorching 63.2 percent from the field in the second half, due in large part to Bagley’s going 6-for-7 from the field.
Burley’s defense also clamped-down in the second half. Lakeland’s Kaden Davis scored just two points in the third and fourth quarters after notching 13 in the first half of play.
“We just moved a lot more,” said Ryan Bagley. “In the first half we kind of stood around. The second half we moved a lot more than we did in the first half and I think that got us more open shots. We just made them.”
Bagley’s late-game heroics also provided a perfect father-son-moment.
“The bigger the stage, the better he plays,” Jack Bagley said with a grin. “I’ve been looking forward to the state tournament just to see what he’s capable of doing. He showed me a lot there in the second half.”