The 2018-19 season was a dream one for the seniors on the Blackfoot High School girls basketball team.
Through their freshman and sophomore seasons, the Broncos won a combined four games. Then came a 14-10 record their junior season, which was Blackfoot’s best record and first winning season since going 18-5 in 2007.
The Broncos took it a step farther this season, cracking the rankings of the 4A state media poll, defeating Kuna in a state play-in game, and bringing back the 4A state consolation trophy to finish 23-5 overall.
For guiding the Broncos to their first state tournament and first state trophy since 2005, Courtnie Smith is the Post Register All-Area Girls Basketball Coach of the Year.
A successful combination of experience and youth that included stellar seasons from sophomore point guard Tenleigh Smith and freshman post Hadley Humpherys, as well as a strong summer basketball schedule, were among the factors Smith and other District 6 coaches credited for Blackfoot’s turnaround.
For Sugar-Salem coach Crystal Dayley, whose Diggers won their second consecutive 3A state title and third title in five seasons, Blackfoot’s historic season was no surprise.
“Those kids play a lot of basketball,” Dayley said. “They came to tournaments I’ve put on. I’ve been saying for years that program’s going to turn around because they’re buying in and playing a lot of basketball.”
Also nominated for this honor were Dayley, Rigby’s Troy Shippen, Hillcrest’s Alan Sargent, Teton’s Shon Kunz, Ririe’s Damien Smith and West Jefferson’s Jalena Dixon.