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Historic Win: Badgers Top seed at state, League and District champs

by EMILY BONSANT
Staff Writer | February 24, 2023 11:45 AM

BONNERS FERRY — Sophomore Asher Williams scored 16 points for Bonners Ferry, which advanced to the state tournament with an 82-44 win over the Timberlake Tigers in Game 2 of a 3A District best-of-3 championship series on Thursday at Bonners Ferry High.

Bonners Ferry (21-1) will be the top seed in the state tournament starting Thursday March 2 at Meridian High. It is not known if the Badgers have ever been the top seed at the state tournament.

“We decided tonight to put on full court pressure, hoping they’d be tired by the fourth quarter,” Bonners Ferry head coach Nathan Williams said. “Four years ago, we took fourth in a district of four teams. This group of kids have been putting the work in since third grade. The success of the program has been due to the sacrifice of these families driving down to Kootenai County in blizzards to play doubleheaders.”

Senior Braeden Blackmore scored 11 points for Bonners Ferry. He told the Herald it was “about time,” that the Badgers are off to state.

"Our defense stepped up a lot tonight,” senior Charles Henslee said. “They scored 44 on us and our goal was to hold them to 50 [...] ‘Defense travels’ is what coach tells us, so we had to get our defense down [tonight]," he said in anticipation of moving on to the state competition.

Sophomore Haidyn Jonas scored 11 points for Timberlake, which finished 8-14.

In the third quarter Bonners Ferry only scored a single basket in the first four minutes. After some adjustments then went on to score another 20 points out pacing the Tigers 22-11.

The Badgers won districts the past two years at Kellogg, but haven’t won league since 2006-2007 season.

The Badgers have traveled to state the two years, but have fallen short of placing. The Badgers took four in state in 2002 and in 1991.

On Thursday, March 2, the Badgers will play Buhl the No. 8 seed at Meridian High School at 7 p.m. (MST) as part of the state championship.

Timberlake 15 10 11 8 — 44

Bonners Ferry 22 25 22 13 — 82

TIMBERLAKE — Olivieri 0, McLuskie 3, Yetter 4, Vallieres 6, Meidinger 0, H. Higgins 2, V. Higgins 5, MacArthur 4, Jonas 11.

BONNERS FERRY — R. Williams 8, E. Blackmore 6, Rice 2, Henslee 8, Petesch 6, A. Williams 16, Th. Bateman 5, Hammons 4, Tr. Bateman 9, Schulte 2, Smith 5, B. Blackmore 11.

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(Photo by: EMILY BONSANT)

Senior Braeden Blackmore cuts the net from the district basketball game hoop.

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(Photo by: EMILY BONSANT)

Badgers receive league and district trophies.

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(Photo by: EMILY BONSANT)

Boys basketball seniors with trophies (top) Porter Schulte, Charles Henslee, David Hammonds (bottom) Braeden Blackmore and Ridge Williams.

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(Photo by: EMILY BONSANT)

Braeden Blackmore shows the district trophy to the crowd.

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(Photo by: EMILY BONSANT)

Asher Williams at free throw line at the 3A IML Districts Game 2.