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Boys take on the Bulldogs, winning 64-59

by EMILY BONSANT
Hagadone News Network | January 13, 2022 1:00 AM

This story has been updated for extended online content.

BONNERS FERRY — The Badgers used an early lead to take control and then held off the Bulldogs to win 64-59.

The Badgers went to work in the first three minutes with a 6-0 lead on Sandpoint. Dillion Mai took a charge and Ethan Hubbard downed his second three-pointer, making the game 9-2.

The Badgers turned the ball over and the Bulldogs would score on almost every mistake and the first quarter ended 13-11, with the Badgers clinging to the lead.

By halftime the boys were down 31-26, but came back from halftime and out shot the Bulldogs scoring 38-28 in the second half.

In the third, the Bulldogs’ zone play kept the Badgers out of the key. The Badgers took advantage of the Bulldogs lack of closeouts and drained two three-pointers back-to-back possessions. Ethan Hubbard shot one of these threes from way downtown when it was apparent

The fourth quarter started 50-49 with the Badgers holding a one-point lead and it was a fight on each possession as the Badgers maintained the lead. As the game headed to the end of regulation, it was tied, 56-56, but Charles Henslee ended that with a quick basket and Asher Williams added to the lead. The Bulldogs answered with a three-pointer making it 60-59. With less than a minute left the Bulldogs sent the Badgers to the free throw line where they shot four of seven.

Ethan Hubbard had four three-pointers, Braeden Blackmore scored 15 points, two assists, three steals and six rebounds. Ridge Williams scored 13 points all in the third quarter.

Head coach Nathan Williams said he was impressed by Hubbard's performance.

“He played great defense, played point guard most of the game, hit four three-pointers, and just played with confidence,” said Williams. “He is such a great all around player and I was so pleased to see him shoot the ball the way he did. He contributed on both ends of the floor and we couldn't have won without him.”

Ridge Williams returned to the court after being out all season due to an injury.

“Tonight he and I spoke about playing a few minutes per half just to get him ready for our next league game,” said Williams. “Well, that idea didn't last long. He didn't get in many minutes the first half, and at halftime the Badger coaching staff discussed how to get more scoring opportunities against a tough Sandpoint half court defense.”

Williams said both his assistant coaches believed Ridge should start the second half.

“So I started him and he went out there and sparked us, scoring 12 of the Badgers 24 points in the third quarter and helping the team take the lead going into the fourth quarter,” said Williams. “I was nervous for him tonight because he hasn't played a game since June and I just didn't know how much he had in his tank.

Williams said riding a stationary bike only goes so far in an up tempo physical basketball game. However, Ridge did a great job and gave the Badgers everything he had, said Williams.

“I appreciate his heart. He has been watching from the sideline and for a competitive kid who loves basketball it has been a tough go. I'm really proud of him and look forward to some good IML match ups,” said Williams.

He said that Braeden Blackmore was a difference maker versus the Bulldogs. Blackmore scored 15 points, created plays for other players, and led the Badgers in rebounds.

“The last two games Braeden has stepped it up a notch and I am so proud of his effort and commitment to this team,” said Williams. “He is so skilled and is someone that can take over a game quickly. This is what we have been needing for a few games and Braeden has taken it amongst himself to do it.”

Williams said in the Bonners Ferry and Sandpoint matchup, Dillon Mai was another huge contributor.

“I believe Dillon Mai was another kid that was a huge reason we won tonight. He stepped it up on defense and I challenged him to guard a versatile 6'5" Ethan Butler all night,” said Williams.

“I believe Ethan Butler has been playing some great basketball this year and although he got away from us one time and got a dunk, we did hold him to 12 points for the game, which I believe was a success,” said Williams. “Sandpoint is well coached and I am proud of how our kids fought tonight on both ends of the court.”

The boys finished 64-59 and are (7-6) overall.

Bonners Ferry 13 13 24 14 — 64

Sandpoint 11 20 18 10 — 59

BONNERS FERRY — R. Williams 13, Henslee 4, A. Williams 9, Bateman 2, Hubbard 16, Mai 4, Blackmore 15.

SANDPOINT — Lee 12, Eldridge 14, Dickinson 8, Childs 12, Kuehn 3, Butler 12.

The boys lost to St. Maries on Jan. 8, 65-52.

BONNERS FERRY 11 8 17 16

ST MARIES 28 14 13 10

photo

(Photo by: CYNTHIA BONSANT)

Braeden Blackmore scores a layin against Sandpoint Jan. 11. He scored 15 points had two assists, three steals and six rebounds.

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