BLACKFOOT â€” And that is why they play the games. A popular saying in sporting circles to help describe upsets in the athletic arena. Well on Tuesday evening the 1-17 Blackfoot Lady Broncos were facing off with the 16-1 Pocatello Lady Indians. Throw the records out the window however as Blackfoot turned in an inspired performance, sending the seniors out in style with a 54-46 upset victory.
"We've been working so hard and the girls are starting to see. They're starting to recognize and the girls just wanted it tonight," Blackfoot head coach Merle Smith said. "There was no way that they were going to let the seniors down on senior night and they turned in a total team effort."
Whatever the inspiration, the Lady Broncos will surely want to bottle that for the remainder of the year because on Tuesday evening, Blackfoot arguably played their finest four quarters of basketball of the past two seasons.
"Pocatello are a mirror of us both in records, they with one loss and us with one win, and with styles of play," Coach Smith said. "They like to do the same things that we like to do but tonight, we were more athletic. We closed out on their shooters with good fundamentals and didn't reach and get ourselves in foul trouble like we have in the past."
Pocatello started out hot, knocking down five three point baskets in the games opening quarter for a 17-9 lead. That lead swelled to 22-12 early into the second quarter but Blackfoot then put on the defensive clamps, shutting the visiting Lady Indians down for the remainder of the second quarter while the offensive side of the ball heated up as Blackfoot closed the quarter on a 18-2 run for a 30-24 halftime advantage.
Cassandra Clarke tied the game at 24-24 with a hoop plus they harm and back-to-back trey's from Morningrose Tobey and Mariella Alvarez put the Lady Broncos up six.
Tobey finished the night as the games high scorer with 22 in the winning effort.
Pocatello chipped away at the Blackfoot lead, eventually tying the game at 40-40 early in the fourth quarter but Blackfoot had an answer with an 8-0 run forcing a Pocatello time out at 3:15 with a 48-40 lead.
Pocatello responded with a quick 6-0 run to cut the deficit to two but they could climb no closer as Blackfoot closed with 6 unanswered points for the upset victory.
"We're communicating better and Madison Leslie is rebounding like a demon out there," Coach Smith said. "These are just great kids. I'm lucky to be able to coach kids like these. They all want to win and now they are getting over than hump."
At the half Blackfoot thanked Sasha Black, Madalyne Thomas, Tori Miller and Kristin Ferm with a senior presentation.
Next up for Blackfoot (2-17, 2-5) is a road date at Preston Thursday, where they will be looking for the season sweep. Tip off is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.
BLACKFOOT 54, POCATELLO 46
Pocatello 17 7 14 8 - 46
Blackfoot 9 21 10 14 - 54
Pocatello (46) - Shayla Henderson 9, Paige Durrant 3, Danielle Jorgensen 3, Kealee Hewatt 2, Brooke Pierce 6, Carly Parker 17, Allie Parker 6. FG: 16. FT: 8-13. 3-pointers: 6-24 (Shayla Henderson 1, Paige Durrant 1, Danielle Jorgensen 1, Carly Parker 3). Fouls: 16. Fouled out: Carly Parker.
Blackfoot (54) - Cassandra Clarke 12, Madison Leslie 6, Morningrose Tobey 22, Mariella Alvarez 9, Madalyne Thomas 5. FG: 20. FT: 9-12. 3-pointers: 5-14 (Morningrose Tobey 2, Mariella Alvarez 3). Fouls: 14. Fouled out: none.