Nick Nielsen Pocatello boys basketball vs. Burley

Pocatello's Nick Nielsen (#5) drives in the lane while Burley's Ethan Smith guards him in the fourth quarter of Poky's 49-40 victory on Wednesday. 



At Pocatello, the Indians secured a 49-40 win over Burley in their season-opener despite a big second-half from the Bobcats.

“We made the extra pass int he first half and we got stops, which helps going against a transition defense,” Poky coach Joe Green said. “We got in a good flow. Then in the third quarter, we didn’t have that same flow.”

Burley scored 29 points in the second half but Poky’s defensive-heavy first half was enough for its first win. Three players for the Indians — Ryan Payne (12), freshman Julian Bowie (11) and Jaxon Williams (11) scored in double-digits.

Despite the victory, green thinks it can be a learning lesson for his young team.

“We lost so many seniors last year so there’s not too much experience,” he said. “I expect us to enjoy the process and hopefully we can grow and get better as the season goes on.

“This is just one game where they can see they have to play every single possession for every single quarter.”

Pocatello (1-0) plays at Canyon Ridge on Friday at 7:30 p.m.


At American Falls, a defensive lapse for the Beavers in the second half allowed Declo to surge forward for the 56-37 victory.

“We were leading by five at half and led most of the third. We just had some self-inflicted wounds for about eight minutes,” A.F. coach Jason Brower said. “We turned the ball over four or five times in a row and Declo capitalized on it.

“That’s just something we’re going to have to work through and learn to play through ups and downs.”

Brower is in his first year coaching at his alma mater. He knows it’s going to take time to build the consistent program he hopes for. And, this year presents obstacles. Forget COVID, the Beavers have just eight variety players — many of whom, Brower said, will need to get more involved scoring-wise.

On Wednesday, Taeson deBruijn led American Falls with 19 points — and he was the only one who scored in double figures.

“They all played pretty well. We just have to get more guys involved. We’re going to need to get a point where we can get six-to-points from everyone,” Brower said. “We’re trying to improve ourselves and improve every night. We’re trying to re-direct the program and bring some excitement back.”

American Falls (0-1) plays at Wendell on Thursday at 7:30 p.m.


At North Fremont, the Huskies were clutch a game that was tied heading into the fourth quarter, beating Malad 58-53.

“They executed just a little better than we did,” Malad coach Tony Gibbs said of the fourth quarter. “We had some layups we missed. It was tied with 40 seconds left. They went to the hole and we fouled them.

“But we got shut down for basketball last Tuesday and then had to take on the two-time defending state champs.”

Indeed. Malad’s basketball program got out of COVID quarantine on Monday and had just two days to prepare for an extremely-talented North Fremont team. Considering that, Gibbs couldn’t have been more pleased with his team’s performance on Wednesday.

“I’m astounded how we’re playing right now,” he said. “The energy we have and how we scrambled all night long was fantastic. And we played really good defense — they didn’t score for the first five minutes.”

Malad had three players — Richardson (17, Ward (13) and Simpson (10) — score in double-digit, which is a remarkable feat considering all they’ve been through over the last week.

“We’ve been talking about the mental side of basketball a lot,” Gibbs said. “Just self-talk and being positive. We were dealt the hand we were dealt and we have to make the best of it. The game is 90% mental so if we can conquer that side of it, the physical part will come.”

Malad (0-1) hosts West Jefferson on Saturday at 4:00 p.m.


Highland (1-0) hosts Preston on Friday at 7:30 p.m.



At Bear Lake, the Bears played the game at their pace and downed Grace 32-25 in a defensive slug fest.

“The last time we played them, they ran the pace and our goal tonight was to slow it down,” Bear Lake coach Brenda Messerly said. “(Grace’s Maniah) Clegg scoring 12 was a lot but we were able to limit everyone else.”

The Grizzlies were actually up by a point heading into the fourth quarter, but Bear Lake managed a 10-2 margin in the final period to earn its first win of the season.

The Bears leading scorer was Hailey Humphreys, who only managed 7 points on Wednesday but can light it up. Just over a week ago, Humphreys had 28 points in a loss to Marsh Valley.

“She is gifted offensively,” Messerly said. The way she can get to the basket and finish -- and she has always been a great shooter. Now that she’s a senior, she’s really putting everything together.”

Bear Lake (1-2) play Saturday at home against Rich County (UT) at 7:00 p.m.

Grace (4-1) plays at American Falls on Wednesday at 7:30 p.m.


At Rockland, the Bulldogs used a 19-point forth quarter to complete its comeback against Murtaugh and get the victory.

“We were forcing the ball too much — trying to make things on offense instead of slowing down,” Rockland coach Vern Nelson said. “Once the kids figured out to move the ball and do some things to open up their defense and get some open shots.

“We finally settled in in that 4th quarter. It was kind of a turnaround. We went from struggling in the first half to playing some really good basketball in the second half.”

For the Bulldogs, Ember Farr led all scorers with 20 points. Kiersley Boyer had 11 points and 12 rebounds. And Angie Lee netted 12 points, including a pair of 3-pointers in Rockland’s big fourth quarter.

“Kiersley is a great shooter. She needs to just shoot instead of differing the shots trying to be unselfish,” Nelson said. “Ember is a two-post player. She works around the basket and physically, she;’ll give you all you can handle down there. And Angie Lee was fantastic for us tonight.”

The victory keeps Rockland — the defending 1A DII state champions — undefeated in this early season.

Rockland (3-0) travels to Grace Lutheran on Tuesday at 7:00 p.m.


Marsh Valley's game at West Side was postponed after the Eagles' JV coach tested positive for COVID-19.

M.V. coach Kyle McQuivey said his team will quarantine for seven days, unless symptoms arise, and hopes that the Eagles will be able to reschedule the two games -- which includes Wednesday's contest -- that falls into that seven-day window


At Century, the Diamondbacks and Pocatello competed in a quad-meet against Minico and Madison in first meet of the season for the quartet.

Century won both matches, besting Minico 45-39 and topping Madison 43-27. The Diamondbacks had numerous wrestlers who won a pair of matches on Wednesday including: Devyn Greenland (113 pounds), Xander Thompson (138), Canyon Mansfield (160), Easton Millward (182), Michael Houghton (195) and Gerardo Duran (285).

“We have lots of improvement. We have a lot of good kids but we didn’t wrestle as good as we could have. It’s just the early-year rust," Century coach Michael Millward said. “We call it mat time. You never get the same simulation in practice. You’re always prating against someone smaller or bigger."

Millward, though, did acknowledge his team has a target on its back heading into the 2020 season.

Three years ago when he took over the program, no one was scared of the Diamondbacks said. Since then, he's boosted his numbers of wrestlers from six to 40 and, last year, had the first individual state champion in school history with Easton Millward's victory.

“I think you wrestle different (after a state title)," Millward said of his son. "It’s easier being the hunter than being the hunted. And I think he’s critical of himself. It’s a little different preparation.”

As for Poky, the Indians fell in both of their matches, dropping 82-6 to Minico and 66-9 to Madison. But the Indians only had three wrestlers who hit the mat on Wednesday.

“We were down on kids today," Poky coach J.B. Plato said, noting none of the absences had to do with COVID. "But the kids that did get out there really wrestled well. They’re really picking up from where we left off last year and improving. We had a couple big wins."

For the Indians, Brody Johnson (160) picked up a 14-7 decision over Madison while heavyweight A.J. Villasenor pinned his Minico opponent in his only match of the night.

“He just went out there and imposed his will. He was determined, focused and ready to beat the man in front of him," Plato said of Villasenor before talking about Johnson. "The kid got on top and started scoring. Brody was able to get a reversal and got an escape ... He locked up a nice cradle that put him up by a few more.”


Burley 5 6 18 11

Pocatello 16 13 8 12

Burley — Kloepfer 16, Mort 9, Page 7, Judd 3, Dahmann 3, Smith 2.

Pocatello — Ryan Payne 12, Julian Bowie 11, Jaxon Williams 11, Matt Christensen 6, Nick Nielsen 6, Hunter Killian 2, Brevin Vaughan 1


Declo 8 11 15 23 — 56

American Falls 11 12 6 8 — 37

Declo — Nebker 22, Silcock 9, Olson 7, Ramsey (#4) 6, Ramsey (#2) 5, Gailey 4, Heward 3.

American Falls — deBruijn 19, Henesh 9, Bolyan 3, Harwood 2, Alvarez 2, Horton 2.


Malad 14 20 12 7 — 53

North Fremont 6 20 20 12 — 58

Malad — Richardsen 17, Ward 13, Simpson 10, Bingham 7, Briggs 3, Williams 3.

North Fremont — Lenz 28, L. Hill 11, Richardson 4, M Palmer 3, AJ. Hill 3, J. Palmer, Childs 2, Dye 2.


Grace 6 5 12 2 — 25

Bear Lake 7 10 5 10 — 32

Grace — Maniah Clegg 12, Smith 5, Anderson 4, Mansfield 2, Straatman 2.

Bear Lake — Hailey Humphreys 7, Eliza Sharp 6, Elise Kelsey 5, Kelsea Skinner 4, Kalisha Parker 4, Lydia Johnson 2, Danni Bassett 2, Tylinn Hennick 2.


Murtaugh 17 12 9 6 — 44

Rockland 13 12 5 19 — 49

Murtaugh — Stoker 15, Jensen 7, Nebeker 6, Tupia 5, Rojas 4, Stanger 4, Elorrieta 3.

Rockland — Ember Farr 20, Angie Lee 12, Kiersley Boyer 11, Addie Wilson 4, Taylie Boyer 2.