Kimberly 63, Shelley 43
MERIDIAN — Going into Friday, Kimberly had defeated every team on its schedule except one: Shelley.
The Bulldogs avenged early season blowouts to Canyon Ridge and Snake River. They handled Buhl and Declo after losing close games to both teams in January.
But they never had a chance to get even with Shelley after losing to the Russets 66-47 on Dec. 21 at the Magic Valley Holiday Classic.
Until Friday’s 3A state semifinal game, that is.
After a close first quarter, Kimberly pulled away for a 63-43 win to reach their first state title game since 2008.
The score was 14-14 after one quarter, but Kimberly built a 30-23 lead at halftime and a 42-32 lead through three quarters. Any hope Shelley had was buried in the fourth quarter, which the Bulldogs won 21-11.
“They kinda did the same things they did at the holiday tournament to us,” Kimberly coach Daren Garey said over the phone, “and we were more prepared for it.”
Daren’s son Trey Garey had another big game, scoring 18 points, and Connor Golay scored a game-high 22. Both Bulldogs shot 4-of-7 from the field and were strong at the free-throw line: 12-of-13 for Golay, 8-of-10 for Trey Garey.
As a team, Kimberly shot 56.3 percent from the field, 60 percent (6-of-10) from 3 and 84 percent from the free-throw line. The Bulldogs also outrebounded the Russets 31-16.
Kimberly (20-5) will face Fruitland in the 3A state title game at 3:50 p.m. Saturday at the Ford Idaho Center in Nampa.
The Bulldogs lost to Fruitland 68-51 in the 2008 state title game, so Saturday’s game will be an overdue opportunity for vengeance. They will also be playing for their second state title in school history. Kimberly won its only championship in 1952.
“The kids have an opportunity to make history,” Daren Garey said. “These are the kinds of kids where that doesn’t bother them that much.”
Valley 55, Ambrose 52
CALDWELL — For the first time since 2001, the Vikings will be playing for a state championship.
“We’re happy,” Valley coach Brian Hardy said over the phone. “It wasn’t perfect, but we got there.”
Junior forward Zane Mussmann had his second straight double-double, and he one-upped his 18-point, 10-rebound performance from Thursday’s first-round win over Riverstone. In Friday’s semifinal game, Mussmann scored a team-high 22 points (7-of-14 from the field) and grabbed a game-high 14 rebounds.
Mussmann got help from Ben Christensen (12 points, 4-of-7) and Jason Hardy (10 points, five rebounds, five assists).
After trailing 11-10 in the first quarter, Valley outscored Ambrose 17-7 in the second quarter, and the lead grew as large as 34-21 in the third quarter. The Vikings got a scare late after missing a bunch of free throws, but they held on.
“They say you’ve gotta win your first one and you’ve gotta win your worst one,” Brian Hardy said. “I don’t know if that was our worst one, but we like where we’re at.”
No. 3-ranked Valley (19-5) will face top-ranked Lapwai in the state title game at 11:30 a.m. Saturday at the Ford Idaho Center. In 2001, the Vikings beat Malad for their first and only state championship in program history.
Bear Lake 52, Declo 44
BOISE — A poor second quarter sunk the Hornets in the 2A state semifinals.
The score was tied 12-12 after one quarter, but Bear Lake outscored Declo 19-9 in the second.
Declo was led by Trey Smyer with a game-high 15 points (5-of-11 from the field) and Keegan Duncan with 13 points (5-of-8) and six rebounds.
The Hornets (20-6) will face St. Maries in the third-place game at 11 a.m. Saturday back at Capital High School.
Twin Falls 61, Moscow 34
BOISE — The Bruins kept their season alive with a blowout win in Friday’s 4A consolation semifinals. No other details were available.
Twin Falls (15-12) will take on Bishop Kelly in the consolation final at 9:15 a.m. Saturday back at Borah High School.
Liberty Charter 53, Oakley 44
CALDWELL — The Patriots outscored the Hornets 29-14 in the fourth quarter to stay alive and end Oakley’s season.
Gannon Critchfield scored 21 points (8-of-12 from the field) and grabbed a game-high 11 rebounds in the loss.
Oakley finished the season with a 13-12 record.