MIDDLETON— Last year’s 3A girls basketball state tournament semifinal shootout between Timberlake and Teton seemed like a distant memory Thursday at Middleton High School.
Defending state champion and No. 1 Idaho state media poll ranked Timberlake made work of No. 2 Teton, holding the Redskins to four total field goals and single-digit scoring in all four quarters in a 67-16 rout. Four hours after Teton’s Mountain Rivers Conference opponent Sugar-Salem broke its own 3A state tournament record for single-game scoring in an 85-41 win over Priest River, Timberlake tied a 3A state tournament record from 1990 for fewest points allowed in a game.
Almost a year to the day after shooting 70 percent from the field in a 75-64 semifinal loss to the Tigers in the same gym, the Redskins shot 12.5 percent and committed 28 turnovers to Timberlake’s 14. Those two statistics stood out the most to Teton coach Shon Kunz of all the numbers that emerged after the battle of No. 1 versus No. 2.
“There’s no weakness in that team,” Kunz said. “I think everybody’s been hoping they aren’t as good as their record shows. They’re good. We knew going in we had to handle their pressure. We didn’t do that. We shot the ball terribly.”
Timberlake’s defense also created ample scoring opportunities for the Tigers on the offensive end. The game turned into the Keelie Lawler show by the end of the first quarter, when Timberlake had a 24-4 lead. The senior had 18 of those first-quarter points, setting her for a 22-point night.
Lawler, who has signed with Division II Western State Colorado, also had four assists, five rebounds and six of Timberlake’s 21 steals for the night.
Teton was held without a basket in the second quarter until the 4:40 mark, when freshman Waklee Kunz hit a 3-pointer, and went into halftime trailing 42-13.
The margin went from 30 to 40 in the third quarter, when both teams started subbing out some starters. The Tigers entered the fourth quarter up 58-15 and held the Redskins to one point, a free throw by Avery Kunz, the rest of the way as both teams emptied their benches.
Coach Kunz subbed out all his starters with 5:37 remaining in the game.
“At some point, you have to start thinking about tomorrow and keeping people fresh and keeping people’s heads in the game,” Kunz said. “It’s hard to come back from a game like that.”
Shelby Starr had 15 points while University of Idaho signee Allison Kirby added seven points, three rebounds and three assists for Timberlake (21-2), which faces Parma (15-6) in an 8 p.m. semifinal tonight.
Waklee Kunz had five points and Jenna Abbott added four for Teton (19-5), which plays Marsh Valley (16-9) in a 3 p.m. consolation bracket game.
TIMBERLAKE 67, TETON 16
Teton 4 9 2 1 — 16
Timberlake 24 18 16 9 — 67
TETON (16) — Jenna Abbott 4, Waklee Kunz 5, Gabrielle Berry 2, Tasha Arnold 2, Avery Kunz 1, Brooke Kaufman 2. FG: 4-32. FT: 7-9. 3-pointers: 1-10 (W. Kunz 1-1). Total fouls: 16. Fouled out: Arnold.
TIMBERLAKE (67) — Keelie Lawler 22, Shelby Starr 15, Allison Kirby 7, McKeely Tonkin 4, Glori Cheevers 2, Lilly Kelley 4, Jacquelyn Mallet 4, Kaylee Jezek 7, Shelby Linehan 3. FG: 25-46. FT: 10-17. 3-pointers: 7-15 (Lawler 2-5, Kirby 1-3, Starr 2-2, Kelley 1-2, Linehan 1-1). Total fouls: 11. Fouled out: none.