Both Bonneville head coach Amy Wood and Hillcrest head coach Alan Sargent anticipated an intensely competitive first edition of the 2018-19 Civil War girls basketball game Friday night.
The Bees entered the contest 6-0 and ranked No. 3 in 4A in the latest Idaho girls basketball state media poll. The Knights entered with their first 4-1 start since the 2016-17 season.
By the second quarter at Hillcrest High School, it became evident that any predictions of a nailbiter rivalry game were dashed. The Bees held the Knights to one field goal (and four points) in the second quarter to take a 34-17 lead and extended it to as large as 46-19 in the third en route to a 56-32 win.
The victory extends Bonneville’s win streak over Hillcrest to seven games and puts the Bees 4-0 in 4A District 6 play.
“Hillcrest is playing good basketball,” Wood said. “I told my team before the game, ‘Hillcrest has been playing really good defense. If we can take care of the ball, we can win.’ That’s exactly what happened. It’s our defense that creates our offensive game.”
Starting junior guard Sadie Lott helped Bonneville’s cause Friday night. The junior was assigned to guard Hillcrest senior guard Maycee Stenquist, who entered Friday averaging 18 points per game. Stenquist’s average ended up being Lott’s total Friday.
“When you’re on, you’re on,” Lott said. “It was a good night for me.”
Wood elaborated a bit more on that ‘good night’ for Lott.
“Sadie, she is a stud,” Wood said. “What she brings is a level of intensity that causes every single player around her to elevate their game.”
That defense-turned-offense was displayed in countless fast breaks and consistent rebounding. The first quarter began bucket for bucket before Bonneville went on an 8-0 run to go up 12-4 with 2:48 left. The Knights responded with a nine point run of their own capped off by a putback from Hallie Carlson to give them a 13-12 lead at the 0:50 mark. Mariah Jardine and Lott put the Bees up 17-13 to end the quarter, including a shot by Lott as time expired.
Five Bees scored in the second quarter, which stretched Bonneville’s lead to double digits and 34-17 at halftime. Lott, Sydnee Hunt and Jardine sent Bonneville on a 12-2 run to begin the third quarter, which ended 46-24 Bonneville. Lott had seven points in that quarter, including a jumper that put the Bees up 44-19 at the 3:31 mark. The Bees led by at least 20 points for the entire fourth quarter.
“We had our best defender Ashlyn Sargent on her first,” Hillcrest coach Alan Sargent said of Lott. “She got in foul trouble and when she was out, (Lott) went off.”
Stenquist had all seven of Hillcrest’s third quarter points and Macy Speirs had six of the Knights’ eight fourth quarter points, finishing the evening with 11 and 12 points, respectively.
Coach Sargent said the Bees are similar to the Knights in their aggressive defense, but they took advantage of Hillcrest’s scoring woes.
“Offensively, we didn’t rebound very well,” Sargent said. “We couldn’t get any baskets.”
Brooklyn Cunningham added 10 points for Bonneville (7-0), which hosts Rigby on Wednesday. Hillcrest (4-2, 1-1) hosts Blackfoot on Tuesday.