Lady Broncos still alive after win
Blackfootâ€™s Morningrose Tobey rises for a shot while Prestonâ€™s Lilli Swainston , #11, and Shania Carlisle, #21, defend her during their 4A District 5/6 Tournament game at Blackfoot High School on Saturday.
BLACKFOOT â€” On the back of the back of the Blackfoot Lady Broncos warmup shirts is the slogan "beware of the dark horse."
In the first week of the 4A District 5/6 Tournament the Broncos have shown the rest of the league this team is determined to make it to the state tournament.
But Saturday afternoon the Lady Broncos faced an elimination game against Preston a team the beat by 33 points the week before.
The game plan for Blackfoot was simple, repeat the pressure defense and hot shooting from the previous meeting and keep the season alive.
Thanks in part to Ella Alvarez Morningrose Tobey and Cassandra Clarke the Broncos plan came to fruition.
The trio combined to score 63 of the teams 75 points as Blackfoot earned a 75-60 victory.
"Our big three stepped up for us today," Blackfoot head coach Merle Smith said. "When those three play well and we get the rest of girls moving and getting open it creates a lot easy baskets for us."
Alvarez is normally known for her defense came out shooting from the start hitting her first two shots to give Blackfoot a 5-0 lead.
Preston needed to answer and they were able to do so by beating the Broncos press and getting the ball into the low post running off eight straight points to take the lead.
But then the Indians forgot to guard Tobey.
The junior guard sparked a 15-4 Broncos run over the final four minutes of the quarter to give the Broncos a 20-12 lead after one quarter.
Tobey scored 11 points during the run, it was also the last time she would be guarded by a single player the rest of the game.
Preston double and even tripled teamed Tobey every time she touched the ball the rest of the game.
"When Preston started double teaming Mo the other girls started moving without the basketball, when they did that our offense really got going," Smith said. "It freed up Ella and Cassandra and they made shots."
Blackfoot went into the locker room leading by 17 39-22.
Preston came out of the locker room for the second half ready to get back into the game.
The Indians found ways to break the Broncos press and cut the deficit down to 12, but would get no closer.
"We knew what we needed to do today and the team responded," Smith said. "We got contributions from the entire team and and those bench players are giving us more and more every time we play."
The Broncos will now travel to Rigby for another elimination game on Tuesday at 7 p.m.
"We match-up well with Rigby," Smith said. "We are getting better in every game we play and I think we can continue to do that."
Alvarez led all a corers with 26 points. Tobey added 25 and Clarke chipped in 12.
The Broncos and Trojans tip off at 7 p.m. Tuesday at Rigby High School.
Blackfoot 75, Preston 60
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Preston 12 10 15 23 â€” 60
Blackfoot 20 19 15 21 â€” 75
Preston â€” Shania Carlisle 6 3-9 14, Bailey Roberts 4 0-0 8, Whitney Parker 2 0-0 4, Alexa VanVleet 3 1-2 7, Lilli Swainston 4 4-5 14, Olivia Wheatley 1 1-2 3, Kelsey Checketts 1 0-0 2, Megan Porter 2 1-2 7.
Blackfoot â€” Ella Alvarez 9 4-4 26, Morningrose Tobey 8 7-7 25, Madison Leslie 2 0-0 4, Cassandra Clarke 4 4-9 12, Willow Kip 0 2-2 2, Holly Gunderson 1 0-0 2, Kelsey Baguely 1 0-0 2, Ashlyn Beer 1 0-0 2.