BLACKFOOT – The Blackfoot High School boys' basketball team invited Soda Springs and Marsh Valley to play in a Jamboree earlier this week. Each of the three teams would play a total of four quarters, two against each school in both junior varsity and varsity basketball in preparation for the season starting next week.
The first game would be the Broncos hosting the Soda Springs Cardinals. Both teams took to the floor eager to play ball. In what could only be described as a dominant Broncos basketball team, Blackfoot would jump out to an early lead leaving Soda Springs in the dust. Jett Shelley would be the dominating force for the Broncos in the first match-up, sinking two three-pointers and two field goals to land 10 points for Blackfoot. Senior Craig Young did not play in the Jamboree, healing up from the State Championship football game just days before.
The first quarter stayed fairly close with the Broncos edging the Cardinals out under the basket time and time again. Melvin Arroyo, Jayden Wistisen and Carter Layton would dominate the boards for the Broncos snagging the majority of the rebounds. When the buzzer sounded at the end of the first quarter, the Broncos had a modest lead of 16-12.
As the second quarter got underway, the Broncos were like cats toying with a mouse; they would score as many points in this quarter as the Cardinals would the entire game. Jett would score seven of his 10 points in the second quarter along with Carter Layton who would add six.
The Broncos managed to maintain the tempo of the game forcing the Cardinals to play at Blackfoot's pace rather than allowing them to the opportunity to slow it down. Blackfoot looked as though they were going to tire the Cardinals out in just two quarters and forcing them to play their second set of quarters against Marsh Valley with nothing left in their tanks.
When the second quarter ended, Blackfoot had won the first matchup in the Jamboree 44-28.
SODA SPRINGS VS MARSH VALLEY
There would appear to be no love lost between these two teams as they prepared to face each other at BHS. Soda would have to shake off the feelings of being outgunned and outplayed by the Broncos just moments earlier before starting immediately back into the fray against the Eagles.
Marsh Valley would snag the tipoff and that's where things would get started; the Eagles would hit the scoreboard first and would demand respect the entire first quarter of play. The Cardinals would struggle to find a groove for the first part of the quarter, allowing minutes to tick off of the clock before sinking a three-pointer from the top of the key and giving some life to the team. Following this breath of fresh air, the Cardinals would go on the attack, forcing Marsh Valley to burn a timeout to try and slow the pace of the game. All would be for naught as the first quarter would reach an end with Marsh Valley up by 11 with a score of 24-13.
The second quarter both teams would turn up the defense going to full court presses and man-to-man defense. It would appear that both teams wanted to stop the possibility of a drive and wanted to force their opponent to shoot from the three-point line. This defensive model worked better for the Cardinals as they would hold the Eagles to only seven points in the second quarter while snagging 13 of their own. Ultimately being forced to intentionally foul to try to stay in the game, the Cardinals would lose their second match of the night by a close score of 31-26.
BLACKFOOT VS MARSH VALLEY
What would be the final preliminary game of the Jamboree, the Broncos would come out in their black jerseys to face off against the Eagles. Wistisen would do the tipoff for the Broncos and would out jump the center from Marsh Valley to establish ball control for Blackfoot right from the start. Brayden Wright would sink the first bucket for the Broncos and immediately put Marsh Valley in the hole.
As Marsh Valley would drive down the court, the athleticism of the Broncos would force the Eagles to play at the pace Blackfoot established. Because of the rushed pace Blackfoot created, the Eagles would struggle to secure rebounds against the Broncos, and Wright would not allow the Eagles any leeway under the hoop. With this defensive prowess presented by the Broncos, most scoring opportunities for the Eagles would go unsuccessful, allowing Blackfoot to end the first quarter up 17-12.
Just like in the Eagles' previous game, they would try to pressure their opponent with a full court press during the second quarter, but Blackfoot was prepared for it; spinning the ball without dribbling much and only using misdirection to drive into the lanes. Blackfoot would tack on another 12 points in the second quarter while Marsh Valley would score 13, ending with the Broncos up 29-25.
POST JAMBOREE GLANCE
The Broncos outscored their opponents 73-49 in the four quarters of play and out-rebounded them nearly 2-1. This once young team is now being led by a series of seniors who are hungry to have a great season.
Although scoring powerhouse Craig Young did not play in the Jamboree, teams need to be concerned about this young athlete; he is smart, skilled, strong, and electric on the field and court. He brings a third dimension to any team that most high schools dread.
Jett Shelley has worked a bunch in the off season and his shooting as well as ball handling will be hard for teams to stop.
Reece Robinson is an all-around amazing athlete that in football no team could stop him. In basketball, his speed and great team mentality makes him dangerous for any opponent who stands in his way. Although Robinson did not sink many shots during the Jamboree, he also did not take many; rather he finds the open man with the best probability of scoring points for his team in that moment.
Jayden Wistisen will be difficult for any team who thinks they can shut him down. He is powerful, quick, and puts up points. As a receiver, he was not afraid to get physical and he brings that with him on the court.
Melvin Arroyo is the X factor for this Broncos team; if he can get comfortable on the court and the Broncos can feed him the ball low at the post, he will rack points up for the team all season long.
Brayden Wright is a strong shooter and will be someone for defenses to dread. His ball handling skills as well as his team work creates a perfect storm for the Broncos to score.
STRENGTH IN DEPTH
The Broncos have a strong starting lineup with Reece Robinson, Jett Shelley, Isaiah Thomas, Jayden Wistisen and Melvin Arroyo. Although with Craig Young on the sideline during the Jamboree, if Coach Cody Shelley does intend to start Young, the team will be even more powerful with its starters.
The depth of the Broncos bench will be hard for any opponent to match up against this season, with having Carter Layton, Jace Grimmett, Jaxson Ball, Brayden Wright, and possibly Craig Young, that's like having two starting lineups, and nearly impossible for any team to plan against.
As long as the Broncos stick to their game plan created by Coach Shelley and his assistants, the team will be in a good position all season long. With the amount of talent that the team boasts for the season, it would not be hard to believe that this team becomes a district and state level squad early.
Reece Robinson scored 2 during the Jamboree
Jett Shelley score 14
Brayden Wright scored 9
Jace Grimmett scored 1
Curtis Dahle scored 6
Carter Layton scored 14
Jayden Wistisen scored 8
Melvin Arroyo scored 8
Isaiah Thomas scored 5
Jaxson Ball scored 6