THOMAS — A long standing rivalry was renewed on Tuesday evening as the Blackfoot Lady Broncos traveled to Snake River to tangle with the Lady Panthers on the hard wood.
In a game that was as physical as any seen in recent memory the Lady Panthers rode the broad shoulders of Eden Van Orden to a 32-23 win, taking the first round in the season match up.
"For us this is how we play every day we pride ourselves on being a physical team," Snake River head coach Steven Morton said. "Especially defensively and I don't think that they played any differently than I would want to see them on any other night but it was moved up a notch tonight with this being Snake River, Blackfoot."
Both teams came out defensive minded on the evening with neither wanting to give an inch, on the perimeter or in the paint.
Blackfoot was able to take the advantage in the first half however, taking a 16-13 lead into the locker room in large part to better ball security and a stingy defensive effort.
"Our turnovers were down to 11 which was good because we have really been emphasizing that so that was positive," Blackfoot head coach Mike Kirkham said. "The offense still isn't flowing on all cylinders like we would like it but I felt that this was the best defense that we've played all year. We wondered at the start of the year if we could play man-to-man but they showed tonight that we have the capability to do that so the good defensive effort and the decline in turnovers I will take as positives even though it was a loss."
In the second half Snake River quickly tied the game at 16-16 when Shayla Christensen nailed the games only three point shot. From there it was the Eden Van Orden show as the senior post tallied 8 of her game high 18 in the quarter, while snaring 7 of her game high 19 rebounds in the third stanza.
Snake River parlayed a 11-2 third quarter into a lead that was never relinquished as the Lady Panthers moved to 1-1 on the season with the huge win over their next door neighbors.
"We had two teams with very similar defensive philosophies going at each other tonight," coach Morton said. "Even if we would have lost tonight it was fun. It's a good game, it should happen every year and I'm glad that we play each other twice this year. It was a great atmosphere and we are a better team having played this."
Blackfoot (1-3) will open conference play on Thursday when they host Hillcrest while Snake River will host Firth on Friday night. Both games are scheduled to tip off at 7:30 P.M.
Blackfoot 6 10 2 5 - 23
Snake River 9 4 11 8 - 32
Blackfoot (23) - Pilster 1, Brower 2, A. Marshall 7, Miller 2, D. Marshall 2, Honena 5, Rodriguez 4 Rebounds (19) Honena 6 Assists (4) D. Marshall 2
Snake River (32) - Lund 2, Christensen 3, Dance 1, Van Orden 18, Harper 8 Rebounds (41) Van Orden 19 Assists (10) Dance 4