The Bonners Ferry varsity boys basketball team busted out of a slump in a big way last Thursday, Feb. 2, beating Coeur d’Alene Charter at home 80-40. The blowout victory—their first league win of the season — was just what the doctor ordered as the ailing Badgers had dropped the previous 5 games they played in.
It took Bonners Ferry most of the opening quarter to get rolling. The two teams stayed neck and neck for the first six minutes, with neither offense shooting particularly well, but a few strong plays by the Badgers’ defense was all they needed to gain some momentum.
This defensive unit, led by Elijah Price and Seth Bateman, did an impressive job suffocating the Panthers’ guards with a full court press. They communicated well on defense, trapping the visiting team on the sidelines often and effectively.
Bonners Ferry also consistently out-rebounded the Panthers, getting second and third opportunities on most shots.
After roughly seven minutes of grinding down the visiting team defensively, the Badgers exploded on offense and spent the remainder of the first quarter putting points up on the board.
Bonners Ferry’s offensive charge would continue in the second quarter, especially as Kaleb Stockton started to heat up from beyond the arc. Stockton, who went seven for nine from three-point range that night, would lead his team in scoring with 28 points.
Coeur d’Alene looked intimidated by the Badgers’ defense, which stayed in attack mode all game, giving the home team opportunity after opportunity: an errant pass here, a blown look there, and too many missed rebounds to keep track of.
By the time the halftime buzzer sounded, the Badgers were up 52-16 and firing on all cylinders.
The third quarter was more of the same. Bonners Ferry continued to control the game by playing open court basketball and scoring most of their points on fast breaks. The worn-out Panthers, who had a relatively shallow bench, trailed by nearly 50 points going into the fourth.
Now feeling sure of the win, the Badgers let up a little bit in the final quarter. While they still managed six points during those eight minutes, they allowed 15, which meant the visiting team was able to bring the deficit down from around 50+ to 40 points.
The loss brings the Panthers’ league record to 0-5.
After that glorious win at home, the Badgers had to prepare for two bouts with a strong Timberlake team. The first league game took place the very next day at Timberlake’s gym. Bonners Ferry would lose this one 61-30.
The next game, which was scheduled at home, was postponed for weather. Head coach Andy Rice says he is unsure whether or not they will be able to reschedule the Timberlake game in the coming weeks, especially since they are approaching the tail end of the regular season.
Bonners Ferry, now 4-9 overall, will play Priest River at home on Friday. Tipoff is around 7 p.m.