NAMPA — Michael Ure put his hands on his head and walked off the court. The feeling of another late postseason loss was all too familiar.
Accepting the microphone from Idaho High School Activities Association officials and standing in front of Ririe’s fan base on the Ford Idaho Center court, Ririe coach Eric Torgerson said he didn’t want to be the first to talk Saturday afternoon. But he did talk first.
For the second straight season, Bear Lake beat Ririe in the 2A championship 68-60. Despite four ties, and staying within three points several times, Ure’s 26 points and nine rebounds wasn’t enough.
Avery Carlsen’s 25 was enough, icing the game by going 11-for-12 from the line.
“Second time it’s happened. It’s hard,” Ure said. “Another year. It’s going to drive me insane for another year.”
Bear Lake never trailed, picking apart Ririe’s 2-3 zone defense with three different players reaching double-digit scoring. Troy Shaul finished with 16 and Hayden Petersen added 10.
Ure kept the Bulldogs’ offense afloat, going 9-for-17 from the field, and Ririe trailed by one with five minutes left in regulation and three at the 3:11 mark.
That was before Carlsen and the Bears chewed two minutes off the clock on one possession — handing Bear Lake its second blue trophy and its 54th win in three seasons.
Ririe trailed by one point on five different occasions.
“Last year, I shouldn’t say cooler because back-to-back is (pause) … it hasn’t set into me. Last year was more emotional for me, for what we’ve been through,” Carlsen said.
Ure scored 14 points in the first half, including back-to-back 3-pointers to tie the game at 15 with a minute to play in the first quarter.
The Bears went on a 9-0 run to take the lead early in the second quarter. They never relinquished it again, as the Bulldogs struggled with perimeter shooting.
The Bulldogs shot 11-for-35 from behind the arc.
“We knew Bear Lake was a very good basketball team,” Ririe coach Eric Torgerson said. “Our game plan coming in here was to play our hardest, be extremely fundamental and take every open shot that we could … I told them, ‘If we’re gonna go down, we’re going down swinging, playing our very hardest.’ And I think we did that.”
Ryker Parkinson added 11 points for Ririe, which finishes its season 22-4.
BEAR LAKE 68, RIRIE 60
Ririe 17 12 11 20 — 60
Bear Lake 17 17 9 25 — 68
RIRIE (60) — Michael Ure 26, Larz Sutton 2, Daeton Wheeler 8, Stockton Johnson 3, Jace Johnson 7, Ryker Parkinson 11, Slade Bybee 3. FG: 19. FT: 11-14. 3-pointers: 11 (Wheeler 2, S. Johnson 1, J. Johnson 2, Parkinson 3, Bybee 1, Ure 2). Total fouls: 23. Fouled out: Parkinson.
BEAR LAKE (68) — Ashton Carlsen 3, Troy Shaul 16, Walter Schwarting 2, Hayden Peterson 10, Avery Carlsen 25, Houston Peterson 5, Zack Peterson 7. FG: 16. FT: 27-33. 3-pointers: 9 (A. Carlsen 1, Shaul 1, H. Peterson 1, A. Carlsen 4, H. Peterson 1, Z. Peterson 1). Total fouls: 15. Fouled out: none