BONNERS FERRY — The Badger boys basketball team began the new year with a league win against Priest River on Jan. 4. The team went to halftime break ahead 40-23, and finished the evening winning the game 82-54.
“I felt that we did a great job controlling the tempo and working together,” said Coach Andy Rice. “I think we set the tone from the tip which was awesome.”
Seth Bateman was part of the early surge, scoring 12 of his 29 points in the first quarter to put the host Badgers in the lead.
In the second quarter, Priest River switched up their defense causing the Badgers to struggle a bit, but after adjusting, they finished out strong.
“Overall it was a great team win for us,” said Rice. “We need to keep building off of our success and keep working to get better. I think our league is going to be very tight this year with several teams capable of being at the top.”
Ty Bateman took a tumble injuring his ankle again, but he is on the road to recovery and the team is looking forward to him being back on the court.
“It was nice to start the year off with a league win after the break, especially in front of our home crowd,” said Rice. “I was really proud of the support and numbers that we had in the bleachers, it means a lot to us and the players really enjoy playing in front of them.”
The Badgers play Kellogg for their next league game at home on Saturday, Jan. 12.
“They haven’t lost a league game since 2014, which is pretty remarkable,” said Rice. “I think if we play smart and take care of the ball we have a chance at doing something special this year.”
• The following night, Bonner Ferry traveled to Post Falls to match up with the defending Division 1-AA champions, Genesis Prep.
While the Badgers held the host Jaguars to five points in the third quarter, outscoring them 12-5 in the period, the early scoring of Genesis Prep’s Jonny Hillman and Jacob Schultz was too much to overcome as the Jaguars won 49-37.
“They (the Badgers) controlled the tempo,” Genesis Prep coach Marsell Colbert said. “We’ll probably see more games like that than the style we want to play. It’s good to be able to play different styles of basketball.”
Seth Bateman had nine points to lead Bonners Ferry (5-6), which continues nonconference play tonight at St. Maries.
Bonners Ferry 11 7 12 7 — 37
Genesis Prep 19 14 5 11 — 49
BONNERS FERRY — Hines 1, S. Bateman 9, Hittle 6, Durette 8, Stockton 4, Foster 0, Petersen 4, Morgan 5.
GENESIS PREP — Ajang 7, Hillman 19, Neely 6, Schultz 13, Bohannon 2, Peterson 0, Mwinuka 2, Gonzales 0.