A game between two state-ranked 4A teams came down to who utilized their strengths the best.
Bonneville had that edge in the second half, outscoring Blackfoot 33-10 and working the glass to wrap up a 59-34 win. The Bees, ranked No. 1 in 4A in last week’s Idaho state media poll, move to 20-0 overall and complete an undefeated regular season versus conference opponents for the third consecutive year.
They did so Tuesday by mounting a comeback in the second quarter and getting rebounds in the second half that Blackfoot (14-6, 7-2), tied for No. 3 in 4A in last week’s state media poll, was getting in the first half.
“There were too many offensive boards (given up),” Bonneville coach Ryan Erikson said of the first half. “We were working to clean that up. In the second half, we were able to get some run outs. I’m very proud of the girls. After the first half we had, they were able to pull out the win against a very good team.”
Both teams showed early on why they have consistently been ranked in the 4A media poll this season. Blackfoot’s defense ruled the first quarter, limiting the Bees to outside shots and forcing two ties and a lead change before ending the quarter up 14-11. Sophomore starting post Hadley Humpherys was key to that early advantage, turning offensive boards into points.
Blackfoot remained on top until the final 49 seconds of the second quarter, when Makayla Sorensen went 1 for 2 from the line and Sage Leishman hit a 3 to send the Bees into halftime up 26-24.
“We knew it was going to be a play-by-play game,” Sorensen said. “We knew it was gonna be more than one possession that decided this game. We went into this game well prepared for them.”
The Bees’ clean-up act was evident in the third quarter, when they turned steals and offensive boards into points. Lott, whom Blackfoot head coach Courtnie Smith said the Broncos worked to limit Tuesday, scored seven points in the third quarter after scoring five in the first half.
Fouls were piling up as well. By the time the third quarter ended with the score reading 41-28 Bonneville, five players combined had three or more fouls. One of them was Humpherys, who subbed out at 3:28 with her fourth foul.
She sat for the remainder of the third quarter, which ended with a 7-2 Bonneville run.
“We had to take out a key player,” Smith said. “That changed our defense, for sure.”
Lott, Sorensen, Brooklyn Cunningham and Sydnee Hunt got going in the fourth quarter, extending Bonneville’s lead to as much as 19 points before Erikson subbed out most of his starters with 1:17 left in the game.
Lott, who guarded Blackfoot point guard Tenleigh Smith, and Sorensen, who guarded Humpherys, ended the night with 18 and 17 points, respectively.
“Sadie was a different kind of animal tonight,” Erikson said. “She was everywhere getting everything--rebounds and putbacks. Makayla, same thing.”
Cunningham added 10 points for the Bees, which end the regular season Thursday at Madison.
Lott and Sorensen, two of Bonneville’s nine seniors honored pregame Tuesday, said the Bees are taking a different approach to this season. For example, Erikson refers to the regular season as season 1 and the district tournament as season 2.
“We have more of mindset of beating ourselves rather than beating other teams,” Sorensen said.
“Coach always says, we’re climbing this mountain. Where are we on the mountain?” Lott added. “We’re focusing on staying in the moment and going game by game.”
Humpherys had 12 points and Tenleigh Smith added 10 for Blackfoot, which ends the regular season Thursday at Shelley.
“Bonneville does a great job of five people crashing the boards,” coach Smith said. “We clean those up, it’s a different ball game.”
BONNEVILLE 59, BLACKFOOT 34
Blackfoot 14 10 4 6—34
Bonneville 11 15 15 18—59
BLACKFOOT—Tenleigh Smith 10, Isabelle Arave 3, Praire Caldwell 4, Kristen Thomas 4, Gracie Andersen 2, Hadley Humpherys 12.
BONNEVILLE—Sadie Lott 18, Makayla Sorensen 17, Brooklyn Cunningham 10, Mariah Jardine 2, Sydnee Hunt 9, Sage Leishman 3.