Posted On: 03/3/18 8:35 AM
Day 2 at the state tournament had all the drama and emotion hoops fans in Idaho could handle as some teams fought and clawed their way to ultimately punch their tickets to championship Saturday, while others had to suffer the bitter taste of defeat.
In a busy day around the Treasure Valley, there was ample support and passion displayed by visiting fans and family, it truly has been a fantastic environment at all the sites for this year’s tournament. Now, only one building will house some of the state’s very best prospects and their teams as they battle for a state title today.
A number of the state’s top players demonstrated why they are just that on day 2, putting their teams on their backs and showcasing to onlookers their impressive skill sets. Below are our top performers from a fun filled day 2 at the state tournament.
Valiant efforts in tough losses
There were some impressive last ditch efforts put out by some of the state’s very best on Friday, but in the end, it was not enough. Snake River’s Clancy Thomas did just about everything he could posting 20 points, 15 rebounds and 5 blocks in his team’s loss to Fruitland. The future Colorado Mesa player had an excellent two days and showed us all why he is a next level player.
The same can be said for Post Falls’ Jake Pfennigs, who put up yet another double-double 23 points and 11 rebounds in his team’s loss to Hillcrest, a team who looks to be on a mission.
Dietrich’s state title hopes were extinguished by Genesis Prep, but stud Slade Dill did all that he could to stave off elimination going for 28 points and 14 rebounds despite being harassed by Genesis Prep’s pestering defense all game.
Grace’s Paycen Jensen went for a huge outing in his team’s loss to Lapwai, Jensen ended with 32 points and 6 rebounds, which is something Jensen has been known to do this season as a primetime player for his team.
2019s getting it done
A handful of teams turned to their juniors for leadership and just a bit of everything on Friday at the state tournament, as some very familiar names were at it in a big way getting the job done out on the court.
Starting first, with one of the most electric and skilled guards at the state tournament, Genesis Prep’s Jonny Hillman (a PHID POTW winner this season) sometimes toyed with Dietrich’s perimeter defenders and ended with 26 points in the win. Hillman has a certain confidence and swagger that can’t be matched and he looks primed for another big performance in the title game today.
Teammate Kon Ajang, a big man and big time prospect to watch had a tough task in guarding one of the state’s premiere bigs in Slade Dill, but made life difficult for him at both ends. Ajang finished with 13 points and had numerous shot altering defensive moments throughout the contest.
Staying with bigs, Michael Ure lifted Ririe to yet another win, this time going for 14 points in lower scoring affair against St Maries. Ure has been tremendous all season and will look to be his usual self in the title game today.
Fruitland’s Jake O’Neil came up big for his team in a win over Snake River posting 16 points. Fruitland is on a roll and the win over Snake River could give the momentum needed to finish this tournament run with some hardware.
One of the most pleasant surprises this tournament has been the play of Valley’s Zane Mussman, who is officially on our radar now and added another double-double at the state tournament to his growing resume. Mussman finished with 22 points and 14 rebounds in the win over Ambrose.
Familiar names leading the way
Preston’s Brayden Parker has been a fixture at the top of our 2018 rankings this season and Friday night he showed us why. Parker looked dominant in every facet during his team’s win over Skyview, as he went for 20 points, 10 rebounds, 8 blocks and 2 steals. Lost in those numbers were some impressive transition passes and key defensive positioning to make things in the paint a nightmare for Skyview scoring wise. Parker needs one more big game to complete the three peat for Preston, an amazing feat in itself.
Emmit Taylor III has been superb in this state tournament and was yet again Friday. Taylor III, one of the most gifted scorers playing in the Treasure Valley this week splashed home 26 points while grabbing 4 rebounds in his team’s win to get them into the title game today.
Hillcrest’s Derek Marlowe is as tough as they come and has his team rolling with confidence. Marlowe put up 17 points to help lead the way for his team in a big time win against Post Falls to punch their ticket to the title game today against Rocky Mountain at the 5A level. Should be an excellent contest.
Kimberly’s Trey Garey has put together a nice two game stretch here at the state tournament and finished Friday’s win over Shelley with 18 points.
Burley kept their postseason hopes alive and once again received a big effort from 2020 guard Jace Whiting, as he netted 17 big points to get the win over Century and place his team in today’s title game against Preston. Whiting keeps impressing us more and more as the season has progressed.