POCATELLO — The Snake River Lady Panthers may want to consider a mascot name change from the Panthers to the Pythons because on Saturday afternoons opening round 37-26 win over Bear Lake, the Ladies in Purple simply squeezed the life out of the Bears in one of the more impressive defensive efforts of the season.
"From start to finish the kids just came out and pressured them all over the court," Snake River head coach Rich Dunn said. "I don't think that they felt any fresh air all night long to breath in and it all started with our bigs down low."
The bigs, Jocelyn Harper and Brylie Bair certainly had a nice evening as they combined for 19 of the Lady Panthers points, many of which were courtesy of put back attempts as they simply dominated the low blocks while cleaning the glass.
Harper had the bulk of the points with a game high 12 points while collecting double digit rebounds for Snake River.
"Jocelyn's engine was running right from the opening tip," Coach Dunn said. "It was all due to her good positioning though. She did a really good job of positioning herself where she was supposed to be which enabled her to get those good looks and she continued to work hard at it throughout the game which led to effectiveness."
Snake River worked their way to a 20-10 halftime advantage and a quick 7-2 spurt to open the second half pushed the lead to fifteen, a lead that was never threatened for the remainder of the contest as Snake River continued their stellar defensive effort.
Max Shelly added a pair of three point bombs in the gym her dad built and Shayla Christensen and Madison Pilster each had 4 points in the well rounded scoring effort from the Lady Panthers.
With the win, Snake River advances to the fifth district championship game which will be played Wednesday evening at Pocatello High School with tip off scheduled for 7:30 against the Marsh Valley Lady Eagles.
"One thing is for sure, I expect that Wednesday's game will be a hard, tough, physical game," Coach Dunn said. "Neither us or Marsh Valley will be surprised by what we will do on the court and the game will come down to which one of us executes better than the other. I look forward to seeing and hearing that great purple crowd because we will need them."
SNAKE RIVER 37, BEAR LAKE 26
BEAR LAKE 6 4 6 10 - 26
SNAKE RIVER 11 9 12 5 - 37
Bear Lake (26) - Shayna Cochran 5, LaShae Peterson 3, Jessica Passey 8, Shania Bateman 6, Tiffany Wallentine 4. FG: 11. FT: 2-12. 3-pointers 2 (Cochran, Peterson). Fouls: 18. Fouled out: (Cochran).
Snake River (37) - Shayla Christensen 4, Madison Pilster 4, Macy Martin 2, Max Shelly 6, Cassie Albertson 2, Jocelyn Harper 12, Brylie Bair 7. FG: 13. FT: 9-21. 3-pointers 2 (Shelly 2). Fouls: 14. Fouled out: (none).