By MARK HIGH
THOMAS — The Snake River Panthers returned to the basketball court on Friday night and behind a big third quarter, the Panthers made that return a happy one with a commanding 62-46 win over Soda Springs.
"I thought that it was a good bounce back game from our loss to Blackfoot," Snake River head coach Bob Coombs said. "The kids came out and responded. Now we will have to see if we can build on that with a road game against Malad and win two in a row."
Snake River trailed by one point entering the second quarter of play but a quick 12-2 run over the first three minutes pushed the Panthers into a lead that was never threatened.
Out of the break, Snake River put the hammer down with smothering defensive effort and a full throttle offensive attack as they opened a 55-29 lead with a dominating 23-5 third quarter effort.
In the quarter, the Soda Springs coaching staff pulled the entire starting unit from the floor in frustration as the Panthers erupted on both ends of the court.
"I told the kids at halftime that we needed to set better screens. We needed to hold them longer. Do a better job of running their men off of those screens and show more patience and we did all of that a lot better in the second half," Coach Coombs said. "I also thought that we did a much better job of passing into the break. Soda were double teaming our bigs and we did a much better job of hitting the outlet pass out of that, looking forward and getting a lot of easy run out baskets. We are good at that and we need to do more of it."
Jacoby Johnson paced the Panthers with 13 points on the evening while Wyatt Wray and Curtis Keller added 10 points each on the low blocks for Snake River.
Cole Rushton just missed double digits with 9 in the winning effort.
Snake River (4-3) will be on the road this evening for a rescheduled contest at Malad. Tip off is scheduled for 7 p.m.
SNAKE RIVER 62, SODA SPRINGS 46
Soda Springs 15 9 5 17 - 46
Snake River 14 18 23 7 - 62
Soda Springs (46) - Hunter Goodenough 4, Riley Yamauchi 16, Derek Spain 12, Hunter Belnap 8, Landon Hayes 2, Ty Allen 1, Kaleb Hopkins 2. FG: 18. 3-pointers (Goodenough 1, Yamauchi 1). FT: 7-15. Fouls: 18. Fouled out: none.
Snake River (62) - Adrian Castaneda 4, Jacoby Johnson 13, Kade Harral 4, Cole Rushton 9, Brad Coombs 7, Mason Watt 5, Curtis Keller 10, Wyatt Wray 10. FG: 24. 3-pointers (Harral 1, Coombs 1). FT: 11-17. Fouls: 15. Fouled out: none.