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THOMAS â€” After the overtime loss to Shelley last week Snake River head coach Bob Coombs said that Bear Lake was going to be the Panthers biggest challenge for the district championship.
He was right.
A nine point lead at the beginning of the fourth quarter was cut to five with 1:42 left before the Panthers closed out the game at the foul line hitting all six free throws down the stretch to earn a 48-40 win over Bear Lake.
"They are a good team you have to give them all the credit they came out and played hard especially in the second half," Panthers senior center Curtis Keller said. "But I felt like we stayed with it and played hard the whole game."
In the final quarter the Bears got aggressive driving to the basket and driving fouls as for the previous three quarters Keller and the rest of the Panthers did a good job of protecting the paint with blocked shots.
But the aggressive play did little to cut the deficit to less than five as the Panthers transition game got them easy baskets.
After struggling shooting the basketball over the last few games the panthers came out firing.
The Panthers hit four first quarter three pointers and six in the first half as the Panthers built a 12 point halftime lead.
Bear Lake went on a little run to start the third quarter going on a 7-2 run to pull within nine points, but Snake River was able to keep the pressure on by getting layup after layup.
"I think after winning a game like this we can go to their place and have a lot of confidence," Keller said. "We are going to continue to work on things and get better."
Brad Coombs led Snake River with 13 points, Keller added 10 and Kade Keller added nine points.
Snake River (13-3, 2-0 3A District 5) travels to Marsh Valley on Wednesday.
Snake River 48, Bear Lake 40
Bear Lake 8 5 11 16 â€” 40
Snake River 17 8 10 13 â€” 48
Bear Lake â€” Ryan Gundersen 7 7-10 21, Yanner Ipsen 2 0-0 4, Kasey keetch 2 1-2 5, Derek Weston 4 2-3 10. Snake River â€” Trey Albertson 2 0-0 6, Curtis Keller 4 2-5 10, Klay Keller 2 0-0 4, Kade Harral 1 0-0 3, Kade Keller 2 4-6 9, Jaden Poulter 1 0-2 3, Brad Coombs 2 8-8 13.