Ryan Erikson knew there was something special at Bonneville upon his hire as head coach last year when he watched film on the Bees and got to know their nine seniors.
The return of Brooklyn Cunningham and Maddi Pettingill from ACL surgeries further added to Bonneville’s potential, as did Makayla Sorensen’s return to basketball after not playing as a junior.
An undefeated season, however, was not something Erikson or the Bees were thinking about at the start of the season.
The Bees completed the 2019-20 season without a blemish, becoming the first Idaho city school girls basketball team to go undefeated. They scored an average of 56 points per game, were voted unanimous No. 1 in 4A in the last five state media polls and defeated defending 4A state champion Century 54-39 for their first state title since 2009.
Erikson ended his first and only season at Bonneville 27-0 and receives the honor of Post Register All-Area Girls Basketball Coach of the Year. Erikson accepted a job as assistant principal at Rigby Middle School for next school year and will no longer be permitted to be a head coach.
Also considered for this honor were Troy Shippen, who guided a junior-laden Rigby team to its first repeat district championship since 2012, and Sugar-Salem head coach Crystal Dayley, whose Diggers completed a 23-2 season.
Thunder Ridge coach Jeremy Spencer said the Titans felt pretty good with a third quarter lead versus Bonneville in one of their two meetings this season, but as the Bees did time and time again this season, the second half was when they put their foot on the gas pedal.
“I felt good in the middle of the third quarter when we were up. Then they just took over the game,” Thunder Ridge coach Jeremy Spencer said. “Being 27-0, the feat to do that is incredibly hard. They’ve never been the biggest team in any game they’ve ever played throughout this entire season, but fundamentally that starting group is so good. They play bigger than they are. I told one of my coaches that I don’t know if we’ll see a group kids fundamentally that good (in eastern Idaho) again.”