Shelley and Firth boys rack up impressive wins

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Shelley Russet Brady Hollist shoots over a Fruitland player Dec. 9. The boys team would go on to win 60-35. Mike Whiteley/Special to The Shelley Pioneer

If you are a follower of either Shelley or Firth boys basketball and watched either team play last week you would have to think great things are going to happen this season in both towns as both teams looked impressive in their wins.

Shelley is ranked number two in the first Media Poll of the 2016-17 season and Fruitland ranked 1st but that should change in week two as the Russets hosted the Griz last weekend and blew out Fruitland in a 60-35 point win where the Russets led at half 30-11.

They built that lead to 30 points at times in the 4th quarter behind a Russets 13-0 scoring run in the huge win Shelley has 14 players on the varsity team and it appeared whatever Russet was on the floor they looked impressive on both offense and defense. Shelley had eight players score with three in double figurers led by Adam Driscoll 20; Brennon Wattenbarger 14; Jack Thompson 12; other scoring Brady Hollist 6; Kimball Smith 3; Mason Price, Matt Leal 2; and Will Dubin 1.

The next night, the Russets hosted the New Plymouth Pilgrims from western Idaho who are a excellent team and a regular at the 2A State Tournament and came away with a 65-56 win to move their early record to 3-0. Shelley led 22-12 after one quarter and were up by 19 in the 4th quarter but the Pilgrims refused to go away with the Russets finishing with a 9 point win over a pesky New Plymouth team.

The Russets had balanced scoring from four players led by Thompson 16; Hollist 15; Driscoll 15; and Wattenbarger 12; Shelley was 5 of 16 of 3’s (Driscoll-3; Wattenbarger - 2; Stockton Cannon -1) and 15 of 22 on foul shots. New Plymouth stayed in the game from long range hitting 10 of 32 3’s; The Russets will host North Fremont Dec. 14 and Soda Springs on the 15th at 4:30 Freshman; 6pm JV.

The Firth Cougars boys basketball team is also off to a impressive start after losing 6 players from their 2015-16 state championship and looking to pick up their 4th straight title. After three wins last week the Cougars have an early season 4-0 record and host Sugar Salem Dec. 15.

Last week at Teton the Cougars took a 32-17 lead into half and out scored the redskins in each quarter in their 57-29 point win. Firth had balanced scoring led by Will Park 12; Grayson Nelson 11; Damon Folkman 9; Ben Park and Remingtn 7; Kiel Chapman 6; and Levi Adams 5; Firth connected on 5 3’s ( K Chapman-2; W Park- 1; R Chapman-1; B Park-1).

The Cougars hosted 3A number Media ranked Fruitland and after leading early by 19 points saw the Griz with a 21 point 4th quarter tie the game 49-49 .The Cougars held on to outscore Fruitland 8-1 to take the overtime win. Damon Folk man had a monster night with 29 points, including two 3’s and 14 rebounds followed by B Park-9; K Chapman -8; and R Chapman –7. Firth hit three other 3’s (R Chapman 1; B Park 2).

Firth also hosted New Plymouth another regular at state tournament games and the Cougars hammered the Pilgrims 60-30 in a game where the 4th quarter used a running clock on the mercy rule. The Cougars led 18-7 at the end of the 1st period and 51-24 after three quarters. Will Park had 19 points and 10 rebounds followed by Folkman 18; Grayson Nelson 13; and K Chapman 8; and were 5of 17 on three’s (W Park 4 and K Chapman 1).

This week, the Cougars host another tough team in Sugar Salem Dec. 15 at Firth.

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