IDAHO FALLS – By the time Blackfoot and Thunder Ridge tipped off in boys’ basketball Tuesday night, the Broncos had not seen any game action for nearly three weeks. That is like starting a whole new season off with only practices, but when the teams have already played eight or nine games, it was like starting the season all over again, expecting to pick things up where you left off.

In the case of Blackfoot, the Broncos had a good start to the season, compiling a 5-2 record, their only losses coming at the hands of a very solid Pocatello team in the Owhyee Tournament in Boise, before rallying for a pair of wins, and against Rigby on the road in their second game of this year’s campaign.

The layoff showed as the Broncos, despite opening with a long range three ball which tied the game at three about four minutes into play, were rusty, as were the Titans, despite playing last week in the East Idaho Holiday Tournament.

The Titans were equally cold from the field and aside from Bryson Hawkes, who scored the Titans’ first five points for a 5-3 lead just over midway in the opening stanza, neither team had a lot to show for their efforts in the first six minutes of play.

Things picked up from there, as the teams both began to heat up from the floor, but the game was all about shooting three-point shots and the ensuing scramble for the ball off the long rebounds as neither team could seem to find any rhythm to their play early on.

By the time the opening quarter had ended, Blackfoot had moved out to a bit of a lead at 13-9, but both benches were looking for adjustments early on and combinations of players that would help in that effort.

“We have to get better,” Blackfoot coach Clint Arave said. “We have to be better at recognizing what the other team is doing and be able to make those adjustments on the fly. We just have to do the little things better and become much more fluid in our offense and what we are trying to do defensively.”

The second period got underway with more of the same, although the shots were starting to fall for the Titans.

Thunder Ridge went on a 14-6 run in the second period, thanks to the Titans getting the ball to the rim and Blackfoot sending them to the free throw line where they were able to cash in on some free throws that allowed the Titans to move into a lead by the intermission.

When the two teams went to the locker rooms, it was Thunder Ridge by four points at 23-19.

The third quarter saw more of the same, both teams firing away from the outside with an occasional drive to the rim and both teams playing defense by reaching and committing fouls. Before the third period was finished, both teams were in the double bonus (10 team fouls each and the Broncos had an additional technical foul called).

There was trip after trip ahead for them in the fourth quarter and with Thunder Ridge holding a 39-31 lead, it didn’t bode well for Blackfoot.

Point by point in the fourth quarter moved the Titans a little farther ahead of Blackfoot until the lead reached double digits and beyond.

Finally at the midpoint mark of the fourth, the lead was around 15 points and the Broncos went to a full court press and were able to cut into the lead as it caused problems for the Titans and turnovers ensued.

With the full court pressure, there were also more and more fouls called and the two teams would combine for some 47 points between them in the fourth quarter alone.

That would push the score to 62-55 in favor of Thunder Ridge at the final buzzer and not only was there a sense of relief that it was over, there was also a sense of lack of accomplishment for both teams as neither head coach seemed thrilled at the outcome or the way the game had been played.

With the loss, the Broncos fall to 5-3 on the season with a game on Thursday, when they traveled to Preston to tangle with the Indians who are 9-1 on the year. Thunder Ridge is now 5-5 on the year with their next date with Madison on Thursday. The Bobcats are 6-3 and in second place in the High Country Conference.

BLACKFOOT 13 6 12 24 — 55 THUNDER RIDGE 9 14 16 23 — 62

Individual scoring

Blackfoot (55): Chase Cannon, 2; Dylan Petersen, 11; Javonte King, 12; Deegan Hale, 8; Miles Toussaint, 10; Colby Bodkin 10, Ryan Reynolds

Thunder Ridge (62): Porter Brizzee, 9; Tao Johnson, 9; Conner Hall, 3; Nick Potter, 13; Kobe Hill, 2; Bryson Hawkes, 15; Jaden Sautter, 6; Austin Marlowe, 2; Gary Southwick, 2

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