IDAHO FALLS – The Shelley Russets have bonded of late and have shown that they could well be a threat in the upcoming District 6, 4A boys’ basketball tournament.
As they have closed the gap with the other High Country Conference teams, they have done it with youth, namely three sophomores in Tomy Bradshaw, Alex Lott, and Cannon Vance, who have surrounded star player Braxton Miskin and given the Russets a chance in every game.
This trip was to Idaho Falls to take on the Bonneville Bees, one of the more formidable teams in the league who have sights on a couple of upsets during the next week in tournament play themselves.
The Wednesday night game figured to be a dandy and as things turned out, it was.
At the start, the Russets came out just a bit flat and that allowed the Bees to get established both offensively and defensively, outscoring the Russets by four points in each of the first two periods.
The opening quarter went to Bonneville by a score of 10-6 as nothing seemed to fall for the Russets and the second quarter belonged to Bonneville as well, this time by an 18-14 margin as the shots began to fall for Shelley. The teams went to the locker rooms for intermission with Bonneville holding a 28-20 lead with the promise of better things ahead for Shelley.
In the third period, the Russets did their best and they were able to close the gap slightly, but a furious rush at the end of the quarter by Bonneville helped the Bees re-establish a bit of control and while the Russets claimed the quarter 19-18, the Bees did not let the Russets get away from them.
The fourth period was another back and forth ordeal for the Russets who, just when they established some sort of rhythm and momentum, had it snatched back by the Bees. The end result for the Russets was a one-point deficit for the period at 13-12, and another loss by the final of 59-51.
With the win, Bonneville is tied with Hillcrest for the third seed in the upcoming tournament and could wind up meeting Shelley once again in the first round of the tournament, something they probably don’t want to do following this contest.
Shelley will be seeded sixth, with an 0-10 conference mark, and will face either Hillcrest or Bonneville in the opening round of play. Either matchup could play into the hands of Shelley if they will let it. They have proven they can play with Bonneville and with Hillcrest a bit shorthanded after an injury in the game against Blackfoot, they may not be at their best for the opening round game.
Pairings will be announced this weekend for the district tournament which will begin on Tuesday.
BONNEVILLE 59, SHELLEY 51
Shelley 6 14 19 12—51
Bonneville 10 18 18 13—59
SHELLEY—Tomy Bradshaw 3, Trayce Jensen 12, Braxton Miskin 21, Alex Lott 3, Trevor Austin 7, Jaxon Hess 2, Cannon Vance 3.
BONNEVILLE—Jordan Perez 12, Carson Johnson 23, Cy Gummow 13, Carson Judy 5, Devin McDonald 6.