On the 17th of December, Eagle (3-1) hosted Rocky Mountain (5-0) for an important 5A conference game. Both teams have been playing well and both teams contain highly ranked players, Briggs Ranstrom from Rocky Mountain ranking 3rd in Idaho, and Tanner Hayhurst from Eagle ranking 4th overall. This was a very tense, high energy game with a lot of noise from the crowd, intentional fouls, turnovers, and some great highlights. Rocky Mountain immediately challenged Eagle when they won the tip and went on a run, knocking down several 3 pointers in a row. The score at the half was 31-29 Eagle ahead but ended 51-65 with Rocky Mountain getting the win. Here is some coverage of Idaho’s #3 and #4 ranked players as well as an analysis of a few other standout players.
Tanner Hayhurst #3 G/F 6’6″ Sr
Hayhurst played very well dropping 26 points and keeping his team alive until the end when Rocky Mountain made some key defensive plays and stalled the ball. He stands at 6’6, can handle the ball well, and is a solid player near the hoop. He also has a good mid-range jumper and appears to be a decent outside shooter, although he drove more than he shot 3 pointers. He has a great spin move which I saw him use several times when driving to the hoop. One of the plays was a fastbreak where he ran the ball down the court, spun past one defender, drew a foul on the other two defenders, and laid it up and in. He drew several fouls, making 9-12 free throws. Hayhurst has a knack for drawing the foul and still finding a way to get a good shot off whether its a scoop, hook, lefty, bank, or soft-touch over the rim. I think he had a little trouble at times defending some of the posts and getting rebounds, but he picked Eagles’ point guards several times. I hope he continues to play well and helps his team advance.
Jordan Kemp #20 F 6’4″ Sr
Although Kemp only scored 5 points, he had some good plays for his team. He had a strong finish in the paint, an impressive tip amongst Townsend and Ranstrom, and a beautiful full-court pass for the layup. He is a vital piece to Eagle’s team and I hope to see him shoot more.
Briggs Ranstrom #20 G/F 6’6″ Sr
Ranstrom finished the game with 11 points, at least 3 blocks, a 3 pointer, and a couple of A1 post buckets. Ranstrom stands at 6’6, has long arms, strong post moves with a smooth finish and is excellent at timing shot blocks. He is a decent ball-handler, but more fit as a post player who might pop out for the 3 once in a while. Briggs and Townsend Tripple dominated on the boards (defensive & offensive). I would have liked to see him shoot more, but I think he stepped up for his team when the opportunities came.
Townsend Tripple #24 G/F 6’8″ Sr
Townsend had a heck of a good game scoring 14 points with two 3 pointers, a pair of free throws, and 5 successful 2 point field goals. Along with scoring, he killed it defensively, getting at least 3 blocks and many boards. His 3 point shot looks pretty nice and he seems to be smart with the ball. He and Ranstrom were animals in the paint constantly batting at the ball, tipping it, and causing a ruckus for the Eagle players. Although its difficult to tell from one game, I think Townsend earned a spot in the top 20 after Tuesday’s game.
Cooper Frith #10 PG 6′ Sr
Cooper Frith led Rocky Mountain with 15 points on a 3 pointer, three 2 point field goals, and 6-7 free throws. He struggled to get on from 3 point land, but I could tell he was a good shooter by his form, confidence, and deep threes that he took. Frith is a very shifty player with a killer crossover and someone you can trust to take care of the ball. He plays very tough defense and is great at picking players’ pockets off the dribble.