By Piper Banning
The Eureka Lions boys basketball team made that long 120-mile trip to Bonners Ferry Monday, January 29, and while the bus did just fine, the Lions ran out of gas early and rode the bus the two-plus hours home suffering a 76-45 beating at the hands of the Bonners Ferry Badgers.
On Tuesday night, it was the Badgers on the bus, but they arrived in Lakeland in fine form and with plenty of gas in the tank, cruising on home with a big 86-53 win, putting them at 1-0 in league play and 16-3 on a season with just three games left.
The Lions put up a fight in the opening quarter, with Tristan Butts and Caden Vaughn keeping the game in range, scoring nine of the team’s 11 first quarter points. The Lions tied it up at 4-4 with four minutes left and 6-6 with two.
But the Badgers warmed up and started hitting on all cylinders while the Lions continued to sputter. Six Badgers put first quarter points on the board, compared to just three Lions and the Badgers, led by Asher Williams with seven points, including a beautiful jump shot at the two minute mark, and Trey Bateman put in five, including a nice three pointer off a steal, went into the second quarter ahead 21-11.
It was Senior Night for the Badgers, and Chago Jimenez, Trey Bateman Wyatt Smith and team manager Tyson Tadlock were all honored at halftime as their high school basketball careers draw to a close.
They added 26 in the second to end the half with a 22-point lead, 47-25. The Lions were a spent force in the second half, and the Badgers coasted along cool for the 31-point victory, 76-45, with Brody Rice going two for two from the line and Soule Abubakari nailing a three-pointer to close the game.
The Badgers are on the road tonight at 7 p.m. to face Timberlake, the only other team in the 3A Intermountain League, for the second and final time in the regular season. The Badgers trounced the Tigers, 5-12 and 0-1 for the season, 84-45 at the Backwoods Brawl January 19.
The Badgers are at home for their two final regular season games. They face Lakeside at 7 p.m. Tuesday, February 6, and again at 7 p.m. Friday, February 9.
They’ll travel to the 3A Idaho State Tournament February 29 – March 2, to be played at Meridian High School, Meridian.