Vale’s Gracee Jacobs sets up at the top of the key during a game against Melba Nov. 30. Area prep teams kicked off the 2018-2019 season last week. (The Enterprise/Jayme Fraser).
ONTARIO – Ontario boys’ basketball coach Kevin Attila could have every reason to feel deflated after his Tigers dropped two straight non-league games over the weekend.
The first-year coach, though, isn’t focused on the past but has already set his sights on the horizon.
The Tigers lost to Nampa 68-32 Friday and then watched a disciplined Fruitland squad post a 66-40 victory Saturday.
Attila said he saw a lot to be encouraged about in both games.
“I am so proud of my guys’ fight and competitive spirit,” said Attila.
Ontario’s Dallon Haueter finished the weekend as the Tiger’s leading scorer in both contests. Haueter scored 10 points against Nampa and chipped in 12 points against the Grizzlies. Sawyer Elizondo also scored 10 points for the Tigers against Nampa.
Attila said mistakes hurt the Tigers in both contests.
“We turned the ball over 21 times Friday night and 24 times on Saturday night,” said Attila.
He said when the Tigers took care of the ball they prospered.
“We will need to cut down on our turnovers to create additional possession,” said Attila.
Attila said the determination of his team during the weekend impressed him.
“We have a group of amazing kids that compete with force and I know that, mentally, will pay off as the season progresses,” said Attila.
Attila said against Fruitland, the Tigers were outmatched.
“Fruitland is a very long, athletic and very disciplined team. It is not accident why they are the defending Idaho state champions. They played a very solid 32 straight minutes and although we made our runs, we were never really able to close the gap,” said Attila.
Attila said he saw a lot of “really good things,” from his team during the two games.
“These kids are very unselfish and are always looking to set up their teammates, which I was very proud of. I’m happy with the fight in our team,” he said. Ontario (0-2) played Payette Tuesday, past presstime, and will face Weiser Saturday at home.
Melba 43, Vale 37
In Vale Nov. 29, Tanner Hamilton and Matt McBride scored 10 points and Kade Haueter chipped in 9 but Melba used a strong defense to help it post a 43-37 non-league win over the Vikings.
“We really struggled to find open shots,” said Vale coach Colby Shira.
The Vikings trailed by as much as 10 points in the first half but managed to slash the deficit to 23-19 at intermission.
“First game out, we didn’t get the win, but all and all not a bad first game. We have a lot to build on,” said Shira.
The Vikings (0-1) struggled on offense, said Shira.
“It was tough to make any kind of run. But we were never out of it,” said Shira.
He said the Vikings put in a solid defensive performance.
“We played nine kids and I was happy with our younger kids playing,” said Shira. Vale faced the Pilgrims in New Plymouth Tuesday night and will take on the Pilgrims again at home Friday.
Nyssa 57, Cole Valley 50
Nyssa’s Omar Jaquez and Pedro Chavez each scored 15 points and the Bulldogs battled back from a steep deficit in the first quarter to post the non-league win.
“We got down big in the first quarter and fought out way back for the win. Cole Valley is really good,” said Aaron Mills, Nyssa head coach.
The Bulldogs trailed 23-7 after the first quarter but outscored Cole Valley over the next three frames to claim the victory.
Nyssa played Baker in Baker Tuesday night and will face Parma in Parma Friday.
Harper 56, Meadow Valley (Idaho), 41
At New Meadows, the Lady Hornets got off to a quick start to post the non-league win.
The Hornets (1-0) used a strong first half and strong defense and held off a late rally by the Mountaineers to claim the victory.
Kassie Jordan paced the Hornet attack with 14 points.
Harper coach Justin Johnson said he’s proud of his girls, but they still have room to improve.
“We could improve on passing the ball more in our half of the court during offense,” said Johnson. “The girls could also hold a little more composure throughout the entire game.”
Jordan Valley 74, McKenzie, 18
Jordan Valley 65, North Lake 18.
At Jordan Valley, the Lady Mustangs proved to be in mid-season form as they defeated McKenzie Friday night and North Lake on Saturday.
Against McKenzie, Regann Skinner poured in 28 points to lead Jordan Valley (2-0). On Saturday, Skinner scored 18 points while teammate Kianna Quintero chipped in 13 and ended the night with a team-high 10 steals.
Weiser 58, Ontario 49
Payette 47, Ontario 45
Weiser sophomore Maddy Erickson erupted for 27 points to lead the Wolverines past the Tigers Friday night. Lexi Navarrete paced the Tiger attack with 16 points but Ontario lagged early and never recovered.
On Saturday, the Pirates snapped a long losing streak to post the non-league win.
Ontario (0-2) face New Plymouth Thursday at home.
Vale 42, Fruitland 38
Melba 49, Vale 34
The Lady Viks split a pair of early season games last week. Against Fruitland Thursday, Matyson Siddoway paced the Vikings with 11 points while teammate Rachel Wolfe chipped in 10.
Friday night, Melba proved to be too much for Vale as it coasted to a 49-34 victory over the Vikings. The Vikings (1-1), face Marsing in Marsing Thursday.