SHELLEY — There have been many Hillcrest/Shelley basketball games over the years but on Tuesday night, that rivalry took on added meaning as the Russets opened their 4A High Country Conference season with a showdown with the Knights.
After an uncharacteristic game of basketball, Hillcrest emerged triumphant by handing the Russets a bitterly disappointing 69-46 loss.
"We made the New York Jets look tough in the way they played last night," Shelley head coach Dave Hadley said. "We didn't match anything. We didn't match intensity level. We didn't match screen setting. We didn't match intelligence level. We didn't match coaching level. Hillcrest dictated everything that happened right from the opening tip and once it started going bad it seemed like we were willing to allow that to happen which was uncharacteristic of the kids in our program."
Normally a perimeter shooting squad, Hillcrest turned to their interior game with Tyler Cunningham doing the bulk of the damage on the evening with 22-points and 13-rebounds.
"We knew the Cunningham kid was good especially down on the low block and Hillcrest had good balance tonight which makes them very tough to play against," coach Hadley said.
Shelley tried to counter with their own big man, Chad Cather who had a decent game statistically with 14-points and 7-rebounds but that was not quite enough as the Knights out-rebounded the Russets 39-28 on the night with many of those of the offensive variety.
"Inside of 8 feet tonight we just got outworked and it wasn't just post-to-post it was everybody and if your getting outworked on the inside it makes it that much more difficult to be affective on the perimeter." coach Hadley said. "I honestly don't know if there was a positive from tonight. I would like to say that we played hard to the end but I am not even sure about that. Once we got behind our posture showed that we weren't going to compete and that is a huge thing."
Shelley (1-1, 0-1) will look to rebound from Tuesday nights setback when they travel to Rigby on Saturday for a stiff road test against the Trojans.
Hillcrest 15 13 18 23 - 69
Shelley 10 9 8 19 - 46
Hillcrest (69) T. Roe 5, T. McDonald 3, T. Brooks 4, B. Phippen 6, M. Hansen 13, A. Christensen 8, I. Johnson 2, S. Baldwin 4, T. Cunningham 22, B. Nielson 2 Rebounds (39) T. Cunningham 13 Assists (12) M. Hansen 5 FT: 14/22 3PT: 2/14 (T. Roe, T. McDonald
Shelley (46) - K. Killpack 4, J. Christensen 5, E. Mendoza 2, T.J.Stommel 2, C. Leckington 9, C. Cather 14, M. Cannon 10 Rebounds (28) C. Cather 7 Assists (10) M. Cannon 4 FT: 9/20 3PT: 5/15 (J. Christensen, M. Cannon, C. Leckington 3)