BOISE – Midway through the first quarter it seemed Declo was on its way to an upset of Bear Lake, a team many picked to finish the weekend with a state title.
It wasn’t meant to be.
The Hornets were unable to sustain their early momentum and Bear Lake coasted to a 58-33 victory over Declo in the 2A state tournament Thursday night at Capital High School in Boise.
“Bear Lake deserved to win,” said Declo head coach Jacoby Fox. “They’re a great team and we couldn’t keep our momentum going throughout the game.”
Defense propelled Declo through the first quarter as the Hornets forced key turnovers they converted into points.
McKay Breshears started the scoring by splitting a pair of free throws, and Trey Ramsey put an exclamation point on it with a 3-pointer that had Declo on top 11-2.
“We devoted five days to game planning for them,” Fox said. “We knew what they were going to do and were able to stop it in the early going.”
It was all Bear Lake from there.
Kayden Romrell’s back-to-back buckets started a 9-0 Bears run to finish the first quarter. Declo led 11-10 after one, but it was short-lived.
That run continued for Bear Lake as it scored 6 more points before Declo found its footing again.
The Bears continued to flex their muscles and quickly built a double digit lead.
“With good teams, even if you know what they’re doing, they’re going to execute,” Fox said. “Even though we played good defense early, which led to offense, with a good a caliber team as Bear Lake is, they’re going to make runs. Tonight they made big runs.”
Declo trailed 27-16 at the half.
Trey Smyer provided a spark for the Hornets midway through the third. His trey gave Declo its first points of the second half and ignited a mini-run that closed the gap a bit.
“He’s the catalyst of our offense for sure,” Fox said. “We rely on him to bring the ball up. Everything centers on him and he does a great job.
“I’m glad he’s a junior because I get him again next year.”
But Bear Lake was too much and continued to extend its lead. The Bears were on top 43-25 heading into the fourth period.
Romrell led Bear Lake with 12 points. Hayden Peterson added 10 and Trey Shaul had eight.
Declo got 10 points from Keegan Duncan, eight from Smyer and five from Breshears.
Bear Lake 58, Declo 33
Bear Lake; 10; 17; 16; 15;-58
Declo; 11; 5; 9; 8;-33
Duncan 10, Smyer 8, Breshears 5, Ty. Ramsey 2, Darrington 3, Robertson 2, Tr. Ramsey 3 Totals 11 7-13 33.