MIDDLETON — Fresh off of their heartbreaking semi-final, double-overtime loss the night previous,the Snake River Lady Panthers took to the court at Middleton High School in the third place game at the 3A State Basketball Championship Tournament on Saturday morning.
Right from the opening tip, Snake River showed that they were no worse for wear after playing six quarters of basketball a little more than 12 hours previous as they jumped on the Priest River Spartans for 17 first quarter points en route to a convincing 50-28 victory.
"Any time you come over to the state tournament and you can bring home a trophy it makes you happy to be able to do that no matter what color it is," Snake River head coach Rich Dunn said. "It was a bounce back game for us as we were still trying to get over Friday's disappointment and I thought that our underclassmen did a great job of giving our seniors a little push."
The talented underclassmen were indeed a very large cog in the Lady Panther wheel on Saturday as junior Madison Pilster had 18 points while sophomore Brylie Bair pitched in 15 in the lopsided affair.
Pilster was particularly effective in the first half of play as she poured in 14 first half points with a dazzling display of aggressive moves to the hole against a Spartan defense that simply had no answers for her.
"Maddie came out strong. Was as aggressive as I've seen her all year long and just took the ball to the hole," Coach Dunn said. "Brylie was also huge for us tonight. She had a great game and of course our seniors did what they normally do."
Snake River built a 23-13 half time advantage and then just buried the Lady Spartans in the decisive fourth quarter as they closed the game on a 19-4 run to cap a fine season with a 20-5 record and a third place trophy for the already bulging Snake River High School trophy case.
Shayla Christensen, Macy Martin, Jessie Albertson and Jocelyn Harper each took to the floor for the final time as Lady Panthers.
"I really can't say enough about the legacy that those seniors have left for Snake River basketball," Coach Dunn said. "And even with them leaving, it's easy to see how bright our future is as well."
SNAKE RIVER 50, PRIEST RIVER 28
PRIEST RIVER 8 5 11 4 - 28
SNAKE RIVER 17 6 8 19 - 50
Priest River (28) Jill Weimer 6, Melissa Trost 7, Steffie Pavey 6, Kelsey Bradbury 3, Taylar Doolittle 2, Liz Halcro 4. FG: 13. FT: 1/2 3-pointers 1/6 (Bradbury). Fouls: 13. Fouled out: (none).
Snake River (50) Shayla Christensen 2, Madison Pilster 18, Macy Martin 6, Max Shelly 7, Jocelyn Harper 6, Brylie Bair 15. FG: 18. FT: 9/16. 3-pointers 5/8 (Pilster 2, Martin 2, Shelly). Fouls: 6. Fouled out: (none).