TWIN FALLS – A three-point contest broke out in the District 4 boys’ All-Star game Wednesday night at Twin Falls High School.
After an ice-cold first five minutes that featured plenty of jitters but just six points between the two teams, the West squad eventually won the three-point contest by an 18-7 tally and the game itself by a final score of 114-85.
“Our guys settled in after that first quarter. Some of it was nerves and being amped up for the all-star game. But after that first quarter, we started moving the ball and hitting some shots,” said Gooding head coach Chris Comstock, who coached the West squad.
After holding a tight six-point lead at halftime, the West squad (comprising players from Gooding, Canyon Ridge, Jerome, Buhl and Filer) put up 68 points in the second half, outscoring the East squad by 23 points along the way. While neither team shot the ball particularly well in the first half, the quantity of shots taken made up for any offensive shortage.
“I’ve seen these kids since they were in the fourth of fifth grade. It was really cool to be able to coach them. And then to be able to coach my own kids in a game like this is a nice cherry on top of a great season,” said Comstock. “I still remember my all-star game back in the day. It was one of the most fun games I ever played in. You could see that with our kids tonight.”
After connecting on eight first-half three-pointers, mostly off of isolation plays, the West squad worked the ball inside and passed to the midrange, then worked it back out for open three-pointers.
Ryan Packham of Canyon Ridge led the East with 23 points and Jim Elkin of Buhl added 22, including 11 in the fourth quarter. Tyler Cook of Jerome, playing as an alternate for injured teammate Alex Clegg, added 16 points and Cooper Moon of Filer converted four three-pointers for 12 points.
Gooding teammates Bryson Comstock and Tyler Visser combined for another 21 points. In all, seven players scored at least eight points for the East, and all nine players hit at least one three-pointer.
“We knew they had the size advantage, but we had so many guards that could shoot it and drive and take people off the dribble,” said Comstock.
For the East, which comprised players from Burley, Minico, Kimberly, Dietrich and Raft River, Coty Hackett of Burley scored 13 of his team-high 21 points in the fourth quarter, and Tyson Durrant of Minico added 15 points. Jake Smith of Dietrich also continued his hot shooting with 13 points.
West 114, East 85
West 21 25 31 37—114
East 26 14 20 25—85
Packham 23, Elkin 22, Cook 16, Moon 12, Comstock 11, Visser 10, Geist 8, Ploss 7, Cleverley 5
Hackett 21, Durrant 15, Smith 13, Gunnell 11, Hitt 9, Wright 7, Randall 5, Christiansen 4.