BLACKFOOT — In the end it was a loss, but for Bronco fans in attendance at Wednesday evenings game against the Knights of Hillcrest, progress could be seen throughout the 86-73 defeat.
"Our offense is a lot better when we are a pass first team and you saw that out there tonight so at least we are making those strides because we had some really good possessions out there," Blackfoot head coach Jonathan Packer said. "We played with a lot of energy which I was happy to see."
Both squads came out of the gate on fire from the field, combining for 6 three point baskets in a quarter that witnessed 3 ties and 3 lead changes.
Hillcrest took a 23-21 advantage into the second quarter and a quick burst pushed the lead to 30-21 forcing a time out by the Broncos.
Blackfoot settled back down, going on a 6-0 run of their own to close the gap to 30-28.
That was the last time that they were within a possession for the rest of the evening however, as Hillcrest closed the half on a 17-2 run to take a 47-30 advantage.
"That was the difference, that run in the second quarter," coach Packer said. "It makes it tough to make a comeback when you get behind a team that shoots it as well as Hillcrest does."
That lead swelled to as many as 26 points in the third quarter but unlike the Skyline game, Blackfoot answered back with a ferocity that Blackfoot fans have come to expect from their squads.
Behind a smothering full court press, the Broncos put up 30-points in the fourth quarter to close the gap to 11-points with about 2 minutes remaining.
"At this point you have to take the good things and build on it," coach Packer said. "The kids played hard all the way to the end and I congratulate them on that."
Hillcrest was equal to the task however, knocking down 17 of 24 second half free throw attempts to hold the Bronco comeback attempt in check.
Blackfoot will travel to Rigby on Friday night.
HHS 23 24 17 22 - 86
BHS 21 9 13 30 - 73
Hillcrest (86) - Taylor Roe 4, Tyson McDonald 8, Taylor Brooks 4, Blake Phippen 2, Matt Hansen 14, Austin Christensen 7, Ian Johnson 8, Scott Baldwin 17, Tyler Cunningham 22 Rebounds (28) Cunningham 14 Assists (17) Hansen 7 FT - 20/28 3pt - 10/23 Brooks 5, Cunningham 2, Christensen 2, Hansen fouls - 18 fouled out - none
Blackfoot (73) - Trae Pilster 15, Beau Hoskins 14, Alonzo Ramos 18, Colby Pearson 3, Collin Rockwood 8, Will Woods 6, Sam Cannon 9 Rebounds (22) Pilster 5, Cannon 5 Assists (13) Ramos 4 FT - 19/25 3pt - 6/18 (Pearson 2, Hoskins 2, Rockwood, Cannon) fouls - 19 fouled out - none technical fouls - Pearson