After being able to catch some 5A games, and by looking at the upcoming schedules and leading teams in this conference, I think we are in for a treat the rest of this season. Here are some takeaways thus far for the 5A southern Idaho conference.
Rocky Mountain currently leads their conference as well as all of Idaho with an overall record of 10-1. Their only loss was by a couple of points to a team in Utah. The rest of their games they have won substantially except for a few. Borah, Eagle, and Meridian have been the only real conference threats to them so far, which makes sense since those are the top 4 teams of the conference right now. What makes Rocky Mountain so good? It helps that they have Briggs Ranstrom on their team who is ranked #3 in all of Idaho, as well as Cooper Frith who is ranked at #12. Ranstrom makes an impact on both sides of the ball getting steals, blocks, and rebounds on defense and great scoring, jumpers, post moves, and 3 pointers on the offensive end. Frith, on the other hand, is an excellent point guard for their team. He is a scoring threat from 3, cashes in off of steals, and can run an offense well because of his quickness and great ball-handling skills. Another key piece to their roster is Townsend Tripple, a 6’8 forward who is an excellent defender at the rim, great at getting boards, and can also shoot the 3. The rest of the players on their roster step up as well and can knock down shots. Rocky Mountain plays hard right from the tip-off and has confident shooters, especially when they are open. They have the size they need for scoring and protecting the rim, as well as quick guard players providing shots, assists, and steals, as well as the passion they need to go far this year. They play the Meridian Warriors again soon which will be a good test for them.
The Meridian Warriors are playing well this year with an overall record of 9-1. They have a great all-around squad with players that all play their roles well. McKay Anderson, a 6’0 Sophomore, starts as their point guard and he is quick! He handles the ball well and does a great job running their offense while providing assists and some buckets. The next vital piece to their team is Joe Mpoyo, a 6’4 Sophomore guard. He is a shifty player who handles the ball very well, can jump well, shoot the 3, and is a smooth finisher at the rim. Next, they have Donovan Sanor, a 6’3 Junior shooting guard who is a knockdown 3 point shooter (especially from the corner). His release is quick and he can also get people in the air off the fake and either score or dish. Their post player, Brody Rowbury, stands at 6’10 and is a strong player down low who gets blocks, boards and is a good scorer. He can even pull up from 3 and won’t hesitate to either. The rest of their players are great with the ball and can shoot. Davis Thacker, a 6’4 Freshman comes off the bench at times and is also a great versatile player much like Joe Mpoyo. He can handle the ball well, shoot 3’s and take it to the hoop. All the pieces for this team fit well together making them a top team in 5A.
3. Can Borah Clentch #1 or #2 in Conference?
The Borah Lions are currently 9-1 sitting #2 in the conference and #3 overall. They’ve had some close games, beating Boise and Eagle by 4-5 points and lost to Rocky Mountain by 4 points. They haven’t played the Meridian Warriors yet, so that will be a great game to watch. We’ll see if they’ll be able to hold off Eagle again and possibly knock off Rocky Mountain. Borah has #2 ranked player Austin Bolt, who is a 6’4 senior playing the forward position.
The Eagle Mustangs are currently 6-3 overall and sitting #4 in the conference. They put up good fights against Meridian, Rocky Mountain, and Borah but ultimately lost. Tanner Hayhurst, a 6’6 senior guard continues to put up good numbers and prove why he is ranked #4. With his size, build, and ball-handling skills, he can easily get to the hoop and draw fouls while scoring. He is difficult to guard, but not impossible to stop. When they put more pressure on him he has to give the ball up at times and his other teammates can step up. Jordan Kemp and Donovan Jones, two 6’4 guards/forwards fill that role with jumpers, 3’s, full-court passes, layups, and steals. Jaden Carter, a 6’8 senior is another key player to their team since he plays down low and is counted on for blocks, boards, and some scoring. He has some smooth post moves and is also another player that steps up for this team. Gage Jones, a 6’1 Sophomore guard starts and comes off the bench, serving as a great point guard and 3 point shooter. The Eagle Mustangs are a resilient team that refuses to give up even when they are down by 20. Although at times they dig a hole for themselves, I can see them upsetting one of the top 3 teams in their conference by the end of the season.