FIRTH - The Firth Cougars celebrated senior night Friday evening with a total dismantling of the Ririe Bulldogs, sending the visitors home on the wrong end of a 59-23 score.
With seniors Kory Anderson, Logan Wynn and Morgan Giles leading the way, the Cougars sped to an early 16-9 lead in the first period and the contest was never in doubt from that point.
"We are playing at a good level for us right now and we are healthy as we head into the district tournament," said Coach Scott Adams. "When we play like we did tonight, the way that we are capable of, playing Firth Cougar basketball, we are very difficult for teams to defense."
The Cougars opened the opening quarter on fire from inside and out, coupled with a strong defensive presence, were able to capitalize on Bulldog mistakes to take a first quarter lead at 16-9. In the period, Giles tallied seven points, Anderson 4 and sophomore point guard Mitch Orme chipped in with 5 to account for all of the Cougar points.
"Morgan Giles gives us another offensive option and threat, making it very difficult for teams to defense us," said Coach Adams. "When he and MItch are hitting from the outside, it really opens up the driving lanes for Kory and Logan."
Stepping up the defense at the start of the second period with a full court zone press, the Cougars forced the Bulldogs into 13 first half turnovers and turned many of those miscues into fast break opportunities.
"We are playing really confidently right now," said senior Morgan Giles. "It seems like everyone is on the same page both offensively and defensively and that makes us a handful for any team to take on."
Hitting five of seven three point attempts in the first half, the Cougars were able to extend the lead to 15 points at 29-14 as the teams went to intermission.
"We have stepped up our play on both ends of the court since we lost at Butte a couple of weeks ago," said Kory Anderson. "With Logan Wynn playing great defense on the perimeter and Morgan stepping up on the offensive end, we have become a much more complete team."
Defense was the key in the second half as the Cougars held the Bulldogs to three points in the third period and only six points in the final stanza as Coach Adams cleared the bench, much to the delight of the packed house in attendance.
The Cougars will open district tournament play either on Monday or Wednesday, depending on the outcome of the contest between Butte County and North Fremont.
RHS 9 5 3 6 23
FHS 16 13 12 18 59
Ririe (23) Austin Ritter 3, Logan Hamilton 9, Jonathan Lovell 5, Jesse Weekes 4, Cody Hulse 2 rebounds (14) Lovell 5 assists (7) Hamilton 3 FT 5/9 3 pt FG 1/7 total fouls (19) fouled out - Lovell Technical Foul - Bench
Firth (59) Morgan Giles 20, Kedrick Jolley 3, MItch Orme 11, Logan Wynn 4, Austin Leslie 4, Kory Anderson 14, Jacob Fielding 3 rebounding ( 37) Anderson 13, Leslie 8 Assists (14) Anderson 4, Orme 4 FT 10/15 3 pt FG 5/9 Giles 3, Orme 2 total fouls 15 fouled out - none