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Badgers slam Hawks, win Backwoods Brawl

by EMILY BONSANT
Staff Writer | February 2, 2023 1:00 AM

BONNERS FERRY — The 3A Bonners Ferry boys basketball team (15-1) spread the ball around against the 5A/4A Lakeland Hawks (3-12) with four Badgers ending the night in double digits, two Badgers just a point shy of 10 points in the 77-57 win on Jan. 31.

The Badgers were on the attack and up 11-2 in the first three minutes of the game with Asher Williams already at nine points.

Trey Bateman and Riley Petesch had some big stops on defense and moved the ball down low on offense to send the Badgers ahead, 35-23. The Hawks fought back and were sent to the free-throw line and came within four points of the Badgers at half.

However, the Badgers held tough — and held onto the lead in the third quarter. In the fourth, the Badgers executed off fast breaks and denied the Hawks free throws, resulting in a 77-57 win. The Badgers are on a nine-game winning streak.

Sophomore Asher Williams was the leading scorer for Bonners Ferry with 23 points, 11 of which were in the first quarter. Thomas Bateman and Riley Petesch scored 11 points each for the Badgers.

Nick Nowell led the Hawks with 10 points.

Bonners Ferry head coach Nathan Williams said the team did better boxing out in the second half. He wasn’t satisfied with the third quarter wavering lead, as the Badgers would be up 11 and then the Hawks would make a three-pointer and trail by eight.

“I’m really proud of the guys,” he said. “Trey Bateman is great at rotation on defense. He shuts down the key and he’ll take a charge. I felt our defense was better in the second half, not great, and we still allowed three-point shots in our face, but those are still tough shots.”

He commended Ridge Williams and his tough defense.

“Ridge always gets stuck defending the best guard or wing. He picked up two quick fouls so I had to bench him for a time,” he said.

Williams continues to stress defensive rebounding and he said the program is looking at how to improve before the state competition.

In the last two games, the Badgers shot 80 to 82% from the free-throw line. They were 15 for 18 against Lakeland and 24 for 28 against Timberlake.

The Badgers travel to St. Maries (9-3) on Friday. Earlier this season, the Badger beat the Lumberjack 74-68. It was the first time boys basketball had defeated St. Maries. The Badgers have five games until districts.

The Badgers last home game will be Feb. 17 against Timberlake. Districts against Timberlake will be Feb. 21 and 22. If the teams go 1-1, then they will play on Feb. 24 for the district championship and a chance to play at state.

BONNERS FERRY — 22 15 17 23 — 77

LAKELAND — 18 15 10 14 — 57

Bonners Ferry: R. Williams 10, E. Blackmore 2, Henslee 2, Petesch 11, A. Williams 23, Th. Bateman 11, Hammons 0, Tr. Bateman 9, B. Blackmore 9.

Lakeland: Nowell 10, Cameron 8, Ferguson 8, Ryan 9, Tebbe 0, Rothrock 0, Loutzenhiser 0, Hocking 7, Hensley 0, Anderson 3, Hams 2, Locke 0.

Williams brothers lead at Backwoods Brawl

SPIRIT LAKE — Badgers Ridge and Asher Williams led the contest with 25 points each giving Bonners Ferry (14-1) a league win against the Timberlake Tigers (6-10) and a victory at the Backwoods Brawl, a new spirit competition between the two schools on Jan. 27.

The first half was a neck-in-neck contest between the Badgers and the Tigers with Bonners Ferry down 36-33 at half time.

Timberlake racked up fouls early on and sent the Badgers to the free throw line seven times in the third. The Badgers were 13 for 14, with Ridge Williams shooting six for six, and Asher Williams shooting five for six.

Around the three-minute mark, the Badgers pulled away from the Tigers after executing off fast breaks and led by 15 going into the fourth quarter. The Badgers kept up the pressure and although both teams scored 19 in the fourth quarter, the Badgers kept their lead of 15 taking their first league win against Timberlake 79-64.

Bonners Ferry head coach Nathan Williams said he was very impressed with Timberlake’s three-point shots and how the Badgers kept their composure even in the fun atmosphere of the spirit competition.

“I told the boys before the game, if we can rebound and play defense, limit our turnovers and make lay-ups, we will win,” he said. “First half we didn’t do that. We didn’t take care of the ball and we couldn’t make lay-ups.”

He said at half time the Badgers calmed down, played their style and mixed in defenses.

“I love the depth of our team. Any given night someone else can be our leading scorer,” he said.

When it comes to being lead scorer, Williams said no one on the team or the coaching staff cares who that player is.

“It’s a great feeling to have team-first basketball. They get along great, and cheer for each other. I love the team and the family we have,” he said.

Boys basketball plays the Lakeland Hawks tonight at home, with JV at 5:30 p.m. and varsity at 7 p.m.

BONNERS FERRY 15 18 27 19 — 79

SPIRIT LAKE 12 24 9 19 — 64

Bonners Ferry: R. Williams 25, E. Blackmore 11, Henslee 0, Petesch 5, A. Williams 25,Th. Bateman 7, Hammons 0, Tr. Bateman 5, B. Blackmore 4.

Spirit Lake: Olivieri 10, Dykeman 0, Jones 0, Lenz 0, McLuskie 18, Yetter 5, Vallieres 10, Meidinger 0, McDougall 0, H. Huggins 10, D. Dorman 0, V Higgins 2, McCarthy 9.

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Asher Williams drives to hoop against the Timberlake Tigers on Jan. 27 for the Backwoods Brawl.

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(Photo by: EMILY BONSANT)

Ridge Williams with a jumper.

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(Photo by: EMILY BONSANT)

Riley Petesch with a block.