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.”

Minico 73, Burley 54

Minico 73, Burley 54

Minico 26 11 14 22 — 73

Burley 11 18 11 14 — 54

MINICO (73)

Durrant 26, Pilling 18, Brumley 12, Bailey 11, Vega 3, Chandler 2, Stevenson 1

Totals: 26 9-17 73

BURLEY (54)

Bell 19, Simmons 14, Garrard 11, Bagley 4, Hackett 4, Christiansen 2

Get the latest sports news and scores sent to your email inbox

Totals 18 9-11 54

3-point field goals: Minico 12 (Durrant 5, Pilling 4, Bailey 3) Burley 9 (Bell 4, Garrard 3, Simmons 2)

Team fouls: Minico 10, Burley 17

Fouled out: Garrard (Burley)

Minico 73, Burley 54

Minico 73, Burley 54

Minico 26 11 14 22 — 73

Burley 11 18 11 14 — 54

MINICO (73)

Durrant 26, Pilling 18, Brumley 12, Bailey 11, Vega 3, Chandler 2, Stevenson 1

Totals: 26 9-17 73

BURLEY (54)

Bell 19, Simmons 14, Garrard 11, Bagley 4, Hackett 4, Christiansen 2

Totals 18 9-11 54

3-point field goals: Minico 12 (Durrant 5, Pilling 4, Bailey 3) Burley 9 (Bell 4, Garrard 3, Simmons 2)

Team fouls: Minico 10, Burley 17

Fouled out: Garrard (Burley)

0
0
0
0
0

Load comments