FIRTH — While the temperature outside of Firth High School hovers around zero, the shooting on the floor was equally as cold as the Lady Cougar took on northern Bingham County rival Shelley Thursday night.
Turnovers and jump balls were the story of the opening minutes of the first quarter, before three consecutive baskets by Firth's Kayla Jensen capped an early 8-0 run.
While that early run gave the Lady Cougars a big lead, it was a late fourth quarter 9-0 run by Firth that proved to be the difference in the game as Firth earned a hard fought 29-18 victory.
"I told my team at halftime that they did a good job of holding them to six points, the problem was we were held to 15," Firth head coach Sharla Cook said. "Offense was hard to come by tonight and I thought we were able to play good enough defense to get a win on a poor offensive night."
"Everything of us right now is rough," Shelley head coach Burke Davis said. "Nothing is easy right now. Part of that is what other teams do to us and part of it is on our own, we need to simplify things and make it easy on ourselves.
Shelley was held to just six first half points, three in each quarter. And despite the early struggles, the Lady Russets were still in the game due to the fact that Firth was struggling shooting as well.
"Tonight was more of a boxing match than anything and that really hindered any time am getting any flow," Davis said. "We had our opportunities, we just need to find a way to make something out of them and right now we are not doing that."
Firth took a 15-6 lead into halftime.
The 10 minute layoff for halftime seemed to really affect the Lady Cougars in the third quarter.
A Jensen basket with just under six minutes left in the quarter was the only offense the team had in the quarter. The struggles from the floor allowed Shelley to creep back into the game as the Lady Russets went into the final quarter trailing by five.
Shelley closed the deficit to three after a Holly Dolley basket, but were unable to get any closer as Cook put the full court press on in the final three minutes of the game as Firth went on a 9-2 game closing run.
"I think we were a little tight and I think is because it was the Shelley game and it has a little more hype to it," Cook said. "Both teams were tight offensively, but that final three minutes we put on the press was the difference in the game for us."
Jensen led the Lady Cougars with 11 points, Kira Marlow led Shelley with 6.
Both teams take the floor again on Saturday as Shelley travels to Snake River and Firth hosts West Side. Both games tip-off at 7:30 p.m.
Firth 29, Shelley 18
Shelley 3 3 6 6 — 18
Firth 8 7 2 12 — 29
Shelley — Brecklyn Hobbs 1 1-2 3, Indi Young 2 1-2 5, Brooke Sorensen 1 0-2 2, Kira Marlow 3 0-1 6, Holley Dooley 1 0-0 2. Firth — Rachel Schiess 2 1-2 5, Kayla Jensen 5 1-2 9, Brittana Spencer 2 3-4 7, Jordyn Park 1 0-0 2, Ashley Sanders 0 0-2 0, Jacee Jensen 1 2-2 4.