THOMAS — The chant went up from a young group of awestruck Panther fans early in the fourth quarter of Snake Rivers 52-33 conference win over Marsh Valley on Friday night.
"Junior Jimmer!" they chanted as Candon Watt stepped back and cooly drilled his fourth trey of the night for 3 of his game high 25.
"Candon is coming out of his little shooting slump which is great," Snake River head coach Bob Coombs said. "One of our goals starting the season was to win 15 games and earn a 1 or 2 seed in the district tournament. This win assures us the 2 seed and we still have a shot at the number one seed so this was a good win for us."
After a first half that witnessed your typical fifth district flow, with lots of physical in your face defense and zero uncontested shots the Panthers blew a tight game wide open with a 20-point fourth quarter.
"I thought that we played good defense the whole game, it was physical in that first half and at times it was tough to get a good shot off against them," coach Coombs said. "I thought that we did a good job of executing, got them in foul trouble by getting the ball inside and then in the second half we got a little bit more confidence and put the ball in the hole."
The Panthers stretched a 23-16 half time lead to 35-16 with a 12-0 run over the first four minutes of the third quarter. Watt put an exclamation point on the period with a buzzer beating trey from about two steps inside the half court line, sending the near capacity crowd howling in delight.
"Candon is getting into a little groove and now is the time of year to do that," coach Coombs said. "That was a nice shot at the end of the quarter."
The game was not all Candon Watt however as Cole Rushton did his best impression of Mr. Clean, wiping the glass clean for 12 rebounds on the night which led to more than one easy basket in the transition game.
"Cole did a great job of stepping it up for us, especially with Jacoby getting into foul trouble. He did a great job for us on the boards. I just wish that he would get a little more confidence on the offensive end because he is a great shooter," coach Coombs said.
Fellow sophomore, Jacoby Johnson was able to work the paint for 14-points, despite being saddled with some foul trouble.
Snake River (12-3, 3-1) will return to their home court on Tuesday night when they square off with Teton for a non-conference match up.
MVHS 7 9 9 8 - 33
SRHS 10 13 20 9 - 52
Marsh Valley (33) - Gary Davids 4, Kelby Benson 1, Shawn Buxton 6, Karl Hunt 3, Tanner Hunsaker 6, Gage Barker 3, Kade Barker 2, Tyler Kay 2, Cole Marley 4, Jarid May 2 Rebounds (21) Marley 6, Assists (5) Benson 3 FT - 14/22 3pt-1/6 Hunsaker fouls - 21 fouled out - none
Snake River (52) - Jacoby Johnson 14, Keegan Keller 4, Cole Rushton 1, Candon Watt 25, C.J. Toulouse 4, Martin Hrabik 4 Rebounds (25) Rushton 12 Assists (10) Rushton 3 FT - 14/26 3pt - 5/13 (C. Watt 4, Johnson) fouls - 18 fouled out - none