Lighthouse culminates historic season with a state championship; basketball roundup

NAMPA, Idaho (KMVT/KSVT) The 2019 boys basketball state championships came to a close Saturday night at the Ford Idaho Center in Nampa, but not before some exciting wins and broken state records.

We had four teams alive and three of them will head back to the Magic Valley with trophies.

Let's begin with Lighthouse Christian School playing for the 1A Division II championship against Covy Kelly and Garden Valley. If that name sounds familiar, it's because Leighton Vander Esch of the Dallas Cowboys mentioned him the other night.

"That kid is a heck of a ballplayer, fun to watch. he plays in the Long Pin League, so you got to support him," explained Vander Esch.

Kelly nearly broke the Salmon River's grad single game scoring record of 37 when he had 34 points against Carey on Thursday. Lighthouse knew the sophomore wasn't going to shy away from an opportunity to shine on the big stage, Kelly scored a game-high 38 points, breaking Vander Esch's record in the final minutes of the game.

But the Lions had their own weapons, try Casper Block. He pulled down rebound after rebound for a total of 15. to go along with a team-high 24 points.

The Wolverines had no answer for him or Peyton Lookingbill under the glass and Tyler Munsee, had another big performance with 19 points. Alex Shetler added 14 points in the efforts as well.

Lighthouse led by as many as 13 and never looked back, winning their first ever state championship, 83-74. This marks the third sawtooth conference team to win the title since 2015.

Head coach Tony Standlee said, "we've lost to the Carey's and Dietrich's, monstrous teams. "Losing to them in the past taught us and we played in three close games and we were able to come out on top."

Casper Block, a junior forward who had 24 points and 15 rebounds added, "we were really calm, settled down, got our rebounds and scored points."

With nine in the junior class, three sophomores and a freshman, the team will be loaded next year. If there's one thing about this unit, it's that they're like a family.

"We've been playing since seventh grade. we have a good life, playing football and basketball," sophomore Collin Holloway explained, who had 11 points in the game.

The Lions complete a perfect 26-0 season, becoming the first 1A Division II team in state history to have an undefeated campaign, culminated by the title.

"The hotels with your friends, shoot-arounds at Boise State, it's just awesome," Block added.

3A:

Moving over to Meridian High School, Kimberly looking to bounce back from Friday night's loss to Sugar-Salem.

The Bulldogs faced Marsh Valley in the third place game. Kimberly boasted a 12 point lead at halftime and won this one 52-45. Braxton Hammond and Brant Etherington combined for 24 points in the victory to claim third place for Kimberly.

1A DI

In a rematch of last year's 1A DI state championship game, Valley looked to get revenge on Lapwai. But Titus Yearout went 11 of 13 from the field for a total of 36 points and the Vikings trailed from the start.
Lapwai will bring the third place trophy up to northern Idaho after winning 70-61.

Prior to 2019, the Wildcats had won the previous two titles. In the loss, Zane Mussman posted 18 points, while Nic Anderson had 14 and Jason Hardy scored 10.

4A:

Twin Falls bounced back from a first round loss to Idaho Falls, to win its final two games and claim the consolation title over Columbia, 74-54. Mitchell Brizee led all scorers with 22 points and 16 rebounds. Faust Ystueta added 16 points as well.



 
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