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BLACKFOOT â€” The Blackfoot Broncos got 33 points from senior Trae Pilster as they avenged their season opening loss at Pocatello with a hard fought 64-51 home win over the Indians on Saturday evening.
"I think that the difference tonight was that we just have a lot more games under our belts and we are starting to get used to playing together," Pilster said. "As the season has gone along we continue to get better and better each week and we played really good team basketball tonight."
The two teams traded blows over the opening period and Blackfoot seized control of the contest with a 12-0 run to open the second period of play for a 28-17 advantage. All told, it was the defensive end of the court which made a difference in the key second quarter as Blackfoot outpaced the Indians by a 17-4 margin in the quarter for a 33-21 half time lead.
"Coach always tells us that defense will start our offense and that is what we are trying to do, play good team defense," Pilster said.
Pocatello mounted a comeback in the third quarter, eventually pulling to within four points on the score board but a quick 6-0 run from Pilster to close out the quarter negated all of that effort as Blackfoot once again led by ten points at 45-35.
As with the first game between the two squads, Saturday's contest was chippy to say the least and the officials blew the whistle on for 53 fouls combined between the two teams including a double technical foul at the beginning of the fourth quarter.
"You know, down there it wasn't just a little chippy, it got borderline dirty and again tonight towards the end it started to get a little chippy but I thought that we did a good job of boning up and not taking a step back," Blackfoot head coach Dan Hale said. "I thought that we could have done a little better job of passing the ball and cutting rather than driving the ball in there at the end because you never know when you are going to get your legs cut out from under you and we really wanted to pick up a win and get out of the game without an injury."
Blackfoot got the better of the whistles as they took 38 free throw attempts on the evening, converting 21 of those in the thirteen point victory.
Blackfoot (7-11, 2-7) will be on the road Wednesday evening when they travel to Skyline and will then close out the regular season on senior night next Friday, when they host Bonneville in a key High Country Conference match up. Both games are scheduled for 7:30 start times.
BLACKFOOT 64, POCATELLO 51
POCATELLO 17 4 14 16 - 51
BLACKFOOT 16 17 12 19 - 64
Pocatello (51) - Jordan Christensen 2, Kade Teter 5, Chris Randall 12, Garrett Holmes 4, Tyler Carson 4, Easton Ralphs 3, Jake Jardine 6, Bodie Cooper 8, Jerron Batts 2, Spencer Jessee 5. FG: 17. FT: 16-26. 3-pointers 1 (Jessee). Fouls: 31. Fouled out: (Christensen, Randall). Technical Fouls: (Randall).
Blackfoot (64) - Tanner Norton 1, Trae Pilster 33, Colby Pearson 3, Paul Cannon 2, Keith Moore 15, Gabby Maldonado 4, Austin Campbell 3, Jacob Denning 3. FG: 20. FT: 21-38. 3-pointers 3 (Pilster 2, Moore). Fouls: 22. Fouled out: (Cannon). Technical Fouls: (Cannon).