RIGBY — In a standing room only Rigby High School gym, the top two ranked teams in Idaho's 5A boys basketball media poll met for a rivalry game.
Friday night’s game between No. 1 Madison and No. 2 Rigby had everything a fan could desire.
Rigby overcame a slow start to pull within one three times in the second half, but Wyatt Taylor’s potential game-tying 3-pointer at the buzzer rimmed out as Madison held on for a 45-42 victory to remain undefeated.
“What a great environment and what a great atmosphere for both teams,” Bobcats coach Travis Schwab said. “For both teams to play in game like this, I told my kids to embrace this and enjoy it, because not everyone is like this.”
The packed house did not seem to faze the Bobcats early on as they jumped out to a 13-4 lead behind a pair of 3-pointers from Jaden Schwab and Spencer Hathaway.
The lead was short lived as the Trojans started the second quarter on a 9-1 run to pull within 20-15.
The five-point advantage was as big as the lead would get the remainder of the game.
“After we caught ourselves and regained our composure, I thought we held it through the remainder of the game,” Trojans coach Justin Jones said. “The kids were resilient. Give our kids credit, they kept fighting and battling.”
Another advantage in the game for Rigby was the play of junior post Tanoa Togiai.
The big man controlled the low post and scored at will against the Bobcats' defense on his way to a game-high 18 points.
“I thought Tanoa played well and finished at the basket and that’s what we want,” Jones said. “He kept us in the game.”
“Togiai ate us up,” Schwab said. “He scored at will and really challenged us all night.”
To take down the top seeded Bobcats, however, Rigby needed others to step up. The Trojans had that help from a pair of plays by Keegan Thompson and Tagg Olaveson.
Trailing by five with 15 seconds left, Olaveson made two 3-pointers, the second of which came with 3.8 seconds left to pull the Trojans within 43-42.
Every time Rigby got close, however, Madison found a way to answer.
The Bobcats closed out the game with an 8-for-9 performance from the foul line.
“”We did a great job down the stretch at the line,” Schwab said. “We didn’t shoot great from the line in the first half, but I will take 8-of-9 at the end.”
Mason McWhorter had 12 points while Kyle Jackson added nine for the Bobcats (8-0, 2-0 5A District 5-6), who host Skyline one week from tonight. Olaveson added 10 for Rigby (7-2, 0-1), which is off until a Jan. 2 game at Hillcrest.