Bonners Ferry’s huge first quarter sinks Priest River

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(Photo by KYLE CAJERO) Bonners Ferry’s Dylan Hines steals the ball from Priest River’s Keegan Hegel in transition on Friday night.

Bonners Ferry’s Seth Bateman scored 12 of his game-leading 29 points in the first quarter in order to propel the Badgers past Priest River on Friday night. The Badgers controlled the game from the get-go by smart passing, finishing at the rim and finding their open shooters against a hobbled Priest River man-to-man defense.

“Bonner’s Ferry was hot in the first quarter, and that’s how they got us,” Priest River head coach Kevin Wylie said. “We switched to a zone and that seemed to be effective for a while, but they’re a good team.”

Priest River tried staging a comeback in the second quarter that was spurred by the defensive efforts of Caden Brennan. Brennan harassed Badger guard Dylan Hittle into turnovers on three consecutive possessions to start the frame. Around the same time, Brandon McCracken finally got on the board after a rough first quarter. Brennan’s 16 points and five steals were team-highs for the Spartans.

But although the Spartans’ offense showed up in the second quarter, it wasn’t without its hiccups. Point guard Robert Anselmo’s return from injury helped the Spartans’ transition offense, but the rust showed. The Spartans routinely beat the Badgers back on offense, yet their errant passes and inability to finish at the rim squandered a prime comeback opportunity.

“He’s a huge difference for us,” Wylie said. “Just the energy and effort he brings is tremendous. Now that we have some time, we’ll put in some work this week and keep plugging away.”

Priest River (0-8) will look for its first win at Sandpoint on Jan. 8. Bonners Ferry moved to an even 5-5 with the win.

Priest River 12 11 20 11 — 54

Bonners Ferry 29 11 21 21 — 82

PRIEST RIVER — Anselmo 0, Hegel 13, Brennan 16, Lucas 8, McCracken 14, Bell 1, Kreager 0, Matthews 0, Zapfe 2, Parks 0.

BONNERS FERRY — Hittle 17, T. Bateman 14, S. Bateman 29, Durrette 2, Stockton 8, Morgan 4, Hines 0, Foster 0, Petersen 8.

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