MERIDIAN – Three different Russets cracked double-digit scoring as Shelley cruised into the 3A semi finals with a 60-44 win over Payette on Thursday evening.
Playing the last of the four opening round games the Russets took note of the earlier upset of conference rival Sugar-Salem as they came out quick on the Pirates, leading to a 15-9 first quarter lead.
“It was hard to push it as much as we wanted to against their zone with them getting back we didn’t get quite as many easy looks as I would have liked to have gotten,” Shelley head coach Dave Hadley said. “First game of the state tournament for all of these kids except for McKay, McKay got some time as a freshman, and for the first time on a pretty big stage you have to expect some nerves. Overall execution wasn’t great but we got a win and I guess that’s what matters now.”
Shelley made a living in the Payette passing lanes as they combined for 13 steals while forcing 19 turnovers on the evening, leading to 23 points off of those turnovers as the Russets never trailed in the ball game.
“It’s kind of a catch twenty-two to be honest because I thought from a defensive position stand point that we weren’t very good tonight. From a team defensive stand point that we gave up way too much penetration to the elbow. We gave up way too much penetration to the baseline and we have got to do a better job of not denying so hard at twenty-eight feet and then watch them penetrate to the glass,” Coach Hadley said.
Leading by 13 at the half, Shelley extended that to 36-20 on the opening possession of the second half when McKay Cannon drilled a trey, one of his four on the evening. Cannon led all scorers with 19 points on the evening.
Back came Payette however as the feisty Pirate crew, behind the strong play of Clint Blackwell, closed the gap to just 8 points at 38-30 with 4:06 remaining in the third quarter. Blackwell led the Pirates with a double-double with 10 points and 14 rebounds in the losing effort.
Coach Hadley then inserted the big guy into the game as Garrett Smith and his 6’8” frame came off the bench. Smith paid instant dividends as he corralled five rebounds and tallied four points. That loosened the Pirate zone somewhat as the rest of the Russets were then able to find open shots and by quarters end, Shelley had pushed the lead back out to fifteen at 49-34.
“Garrett’s playing time was huge tonight,” Coach Hadley said. “One of the things that we weren’t able to do consistently against their zone was get the ball inside on the low block and when Garrett was in the game we were able to get it down there where he made a couple of nice moves. He played hard, went and got the ball off the glass and did some good things. He will probably have to be in that roll again for us in the next two days.”
That lead was never threatened as Shelley cruised into the semi finals where they will tangle with Filer, who knocked off Sugar-Salem in the game previous. Tip off is scheduled for 8 p.m at Meridian High School.
“Filer are extremely aggressive,” Coach Hadley said. “We are going to have to handle the basketball well. We are going to have to be very smart in our decision making from 94-feet. I thought that in their game with Sugar, that Sugar made too many mistakes passing the ball ahead from 30 to 40 feet. We also need to make them pay with lay ups when we get by them. That’s something that Sugar weren’t able to do but we will go watch some film and figure out a way to do that.”
SHELLEY 60, PAYETTE 44
Payette 9 11 14 10 – 44
Shelley 15 18 16 11 - 60
Payette (44) – Zane Allen 4, Chance Poe 2, Clint Blackwell 10, Emilion Winn 12, Matt Blake 12, Andrew Galloway 4. FG: 21. FT: 1-2. 3-pointers: 1-6 (Emilion Winn). Rebounds: 37 (Clint Blackwell 14). Assists: 9 (Zane Allen 5). Fouls: 15. Fouled out: (Matt Blake).
Shelley (60) – Tyler Fredrickson 10, Kaden Schmitt 2, Garrett Nelson 7, Chad Leckington 10, Carter Cannon 1, Dalton Nelson 7, McKay Cannon 19, Garrett Smith 4. FG: 20. FT: 11-16. 3-pointers: 9-25 (Tyler Fredrickson 2, Garrett Nelson 1, Chad Leckington 2, McKay Cannon 4). Rebounds: 27 (Chad Leckington 6). Assists: 10 (McKay Cannon 3, Tyler Fredrickson 3, Chad Leckington 3). Fouls: 7. Fouled out: none.