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SHELLEY â€” The Shelley Lady Russets and the Firth Lady Cougars closed out their regular season schedule with each other on Tuesday evening and in the end, a 20-2 run over the third and fourth quarters of play proved to be the difference as the home standing Shelley squad prevailed with the 50-41 victory.
FIRTH â€” The 2012-13 wrestling season got under way on Tuesday night for a pair of Bingham County teams as the Firth Cougars hosted the Shelley Russets, Sugar-Salem Diggers and Marsh Valley Eagles for a double duel on the mats.
Firth wound up winning both ends of their two matches on the evening first with a 51-30 win over Sugar-Salem and then with a 54-30 win over the Russets in the nightcap.
Conversely, Shelley found themselves on the wrong end of both matches first with a 42-30 loss to Marsh Valley and then the loss to Firth in the finale.
BLACKFOOT â€” After trailing by close to 10 points for the majority of the game, Blackfoot made a run to cut Madison's lead to 32-30 with two minutes left in the third quarter. The Broncos didn't score from the field for another five minutes and by that time the lead and grown to 11 and the Bobcats hung on to win 53-44.
"We did some good things tonight," Blackfoot head coach Dan Hale said. "Especially defensively. Offensively is where we need to see some improvement. We played like five individuals for most of the night instead of running our offense. I think we were just trying too hard."
AMMON â€” A big third quarter by the home standing Hillcrest Knights proved to be troublesome for the Blackfoot Broncos as they fell in their season opener 75-59 in the Dungeon on Wednesday evening.
"I thought that overall team effort, first ball game was good," Blackfoot head coach Dan Hale said. "If you remember last year at this time we had a hard time scoring in the forty's so to come out and score nearly sixty on a veteran team like we played tonight is encouraging. Like I told the kids, if we come out and score in the sixties we are going to win a lot of ballgames. Of course we saw a lot of things that we need to work on but we saw tonight that we have a lot of pieces to the puzzle and now we just need to put the puzzle together."
THOMAS â€” The Snake River Lady Panthers returned to the hardwood following the Thanksgiving break as they took on a solid Soda Springs club at Snake River on Tuesday evening. Snake River built a 22-11 halftime advantage but the pesky Cardinals proved to be equal to the task as they outscored the host Lady Panthers 25-11 in the second half to steal away a 36-33 come from behind victory.
"First and foremost Soda is a great team and we knew that coming in. They played tired in the first half and we played tired in the second half," Snake River head coach Rich Dunn said. "I don't know what their coach said to them at half time but they came out motivated and ready to play in the second half. They did a good job of making halftime adjustments and we didn't, it's as simple as that."
FIRTH â€” The Shelley Lady Russets built a ten point first quarter lead and then spent the remainder of the evening fending off a furious Firth Lady Cougar comeback attempt with a 37-34 road win in Firth on Tuesday evening.
Firth had cut the lead to just two points at 34-32 when Rachel Schiess found Bailey Nelson on the low block for a lay up to send the Firth faithful into a frenzy. Shelley's Nikki Nelson silenced the blue and sent the red crowd to their feet less than ten second later however as the senior coolly stroked a three point shot from the top of the arc, pushing the lead back out to seven at 37-32 with just over a minute remaining.
State football championship photos from Mark High and Bill Schaefer are available for viewing and purchase at BillSchaefer.SmugMug.com/sports
Find the folders for Firth 2A championship or Blackfoot 4A championship.
For the Shelley Russets, thereâ€™s just something about playing the Fruitland Grizzlies in the 3A state championship game.
Shelleyâ€™s last two titles came directly at the expense of Fruitland. In 2007, the Russets prevailed 19-13, and it was a 25-14 final in 2009.
This yearâ€™s title rematch wasnâ€™t nearly as close.
From the opening snap, Shelley held the gameâ€™s momentum and cruised to a 37-10 victory to claim the 3A state championship Friday night at Eagle High School.
It is the schoolâ€™s fifth title.
Declo quarterback Kai Garner scored on a pair of one-yard runs to lead the Hornets to a 22-12 victory over Firth in the Class 2A championship football game on Friday.
In a battle of unbeatens, the Hornets (12-0) took advantage of two big plays and a Firth mistake en route to their touchdowns. The Cougars (11-1) also used the big play, but struggled to sustain anything offensively all game.
"We were a little out of sync," noted Firth coach Keith Drake. That was to be expected with the loss of starting quarterback Jake Orme in the semifinals one week earlier.
For the Blackfoot Broncos Fridayâ€™s 4A state championship football game was an offensive clinic as the men in green racked up a state record 548 yards of offense. They never punted in a game in which they dominated from start to finish for a resounding 48-19 victory over the Vikings of Middleton.
â€śWow, we looked like an NFL offense out there tonight,â€ť Blackfoot coach Stan Buck said. â€śWe came out and accomplished everything that we wanted to do and our playmakers stepped up and made plays.â€ť