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Badgers seek return to state

by EMILY BONSANT
Hagadone News Network | November 24, 2021 1:00 AM

BONNERS FERRY — The Badgers will be returning strong this year with four of their five past starters from last year’s state-bound team back on the court.

Returning are Blake Rice, Ethan Hubbard and all-league selections Braden Blackmore and Ridge Williams.

Last year, the boys basketball team made it to state for the first time in 13 years under first-year head coach Nathan Williams.

Williams said that he was proud of how the team improved throughout the season and stepped up the intensity in practice. They are a very unselfish group of players who work hard and love to compete, he added.

Out of the 13 players that Williams took to state last year, 11 are returning. There will also be a solid freshman class coming in.

“I feel fortunate to have had the chance to coach many of these juniors in middle school and all of the freshmen since they were third,” Williams said. “It is a great group of kids with very supportive parents and I am excited to coach these young men another year.”

Williams said that it is all about consistency, who can play defense every play, who will rebound when they are out of breath, and who will hit the big shots down the stretch.

“I'm looking forward to what we can do,” Williams said.

The Badgers had a good summer league and played in several tournaments and received some much needed time on the court during the off-season, he said. Williams added that the team’s underclassmen had a great summer and got to experience what varsity basketball is all about.

This year the Intermountain League will be up for grabs with returning champions Priest River not graduating any players. Timberlake has solid athletes, and Kellogg has height and size on their side.

“What's great about our league this year is that anyone can beat anyone else on a given night. It will be a fun season and I look forward to watching our Badgers compete,” Williams said.

The Badgers host Moscow on Nov. 27 and Colville on Nov. 30.