BOISE – Following a game for the record books against the Marsh Valley Eagles, the Snake River Panthers had only one foe standing in their way; the Kellogg Wildcats. The Kellogg basketball team would face the Panthers in the Consolation bracket finals with the winner leaving with the trophy and title of “Consolation Champions.”
Trey Poulter would line up across from Gavin Luna of Kellogg for the tipoff, and from that moment the action would start. Poulter would get the tipoff to one of his teammates and Panthers would go to work. Just as in the first game of the tournament, both teams started with some early-game jitters and both would start by feeling each other out.
The Panthes would be the first on the board, scoring on an inside pass to Trey Poulter who would drain an easy lay up nearly two minutes into the game. It would be from here where both teams would turn on the heat. Kellogg would go on the offensive, outscoring the Panthers 11 to six in the first quarter and the boys from Snake River looked tired.
Once the first quarter was over and the Panthers woke up, the rest of the half would be all Panthers. Kellogg’s Taylor Bush would score a sole three-pointer in the second before the Panthers would go on an 11-point run to finish the quarter. Snake River would hold the Wildcats to only three in the second quarter, overtaking the lead before heading into the locker room for the half.
The third quarter would be where both teams fight for the lead, with four lead changes taking place and scoring a combined 39 points. It would be in the third where Michael Ibarra for Snake River would crank it up for his team, draining two of his four three-pointers. Ibarra would be perfect for the game from three-point land, hitting 4/4 from beyond the arc and leading the Panthers in scoring.
Noah Watt, normally known for hitting from beyond the three-point line would change his role during the game, executing much needed inside passes with precision to his teammates, allowing his teammates to handle the scoring.
Cody Anderson would continue his domination of the lanes, leading the Panthers again in offensive and defensive rebounds.
Kellogg would try to close the gap between the two scoring 20 in the third, but would not be able to stop the Panthers’ prowl.
The fourth quarter would be another resurgence of Panther power, outscoring the Wildcats 11-8 to extend their lead to 47-42, which would be the final score, Panthers crowned as the Consolation Champions.
The Panthers would finish the state tournament 2-1 with their only loss coming on Thursday to Fruitland. They would go on to play the first round of the consolation bracket against a familiar opponent–Marsh Valley. The game against Marsh Valley will be one for the history books with Snake River overcoming a 15-point deficit at the start of the fourth quarter. They would go on to tie the game before sending it into overtime where they would have the momentum to continue their onslaught started in the fourth, winning 66-60.