Friday, February 27, 2009

Sugar ends Shelley's reign

Sugar ends Shelley's reign

Sugar ends Shelley's reign

Published: Thursday, February 26, 2009 11:29 PM MST
Idaho Falls -- The Sugar-Salem Diggers set the tone right from the tip off, beginning the game with a strong offensive surge that secured a lead they would hold the entire game in a 73-57 win to wrest the district title away from the Shelley Russets.

The Russets had won the district championship five years straight, until now.

This was the third time in a week that the two teams had meet, Shelley won last Friday's game and Sugar's victory tonight was their second in as many nights against the Russets.

"We played balanced ball all game," said Diggers' Coach Jay Miller; "We played really well as a team, and did a great job or working the ball inside and out."

The game was actually closer than the score suggests. After taking a 42 to 29 lead into half time the Russets cut the lead to single digits part way through the third quarter. Sugar responded with another offensive run led by guard Kevin Walker and Forward Caleb Brown -- who led the Diggers with 15 points.

Shelley didn't give up and continued to put a lot of pressure on the Sugar offense with a stubborn full court defense they used for nearly the entire game. The Sugar offense took their time especially in the fourth quarter and did a good job of sharing the ball and being patient. Walker orchestrated the Digger offense through a number of key possessions leading all players with 8 assists.

Sugar was also able to get to the free throw line with regularity in the fourth quarter. Although their free throw shooting wasn't stellar at 66%, they were able to build on their lead and stayed focused on the defensive end forcing a number poor possessions and turnovers by the Russets. The game concluded with a 73-57 Diggers victory and district championship.

"The Russets are a quality team," said Miller emphatically during his post game acceptance of the district championship trophy. Shelley gave the Diggers great competition to build off of heading into the state tournament.

Miller Added, "It feels great to win the district, it has been awhile. We've worked really hard all season, and I'm proud of how our boys played."

Upon the final buzzer Sugar fans and students rushed onto the court to embrace their victorious players. The players as well as the coaching staff then took turns ceremoniously cutting down the net as a memento of their so far very successful season.

The Diggers head into the state tournament next week riding great momentum and in a position to stir thing up against their competitors. will have live online coverage for all state games.

Shelley 14 15 12 16 57

SS 22 20 14 17 73

Shelley -- Kabe Call 0, Lakoda Stommel 2, Gabe Nii 0, Tanner Higham 15, McCabe Bono 4, Jason Christensen 4, Mason Higham 18, Tommy Higham 14, Cody Andersen 0, Chase Hanson 0.

Totals 20-56 12-21 57.

Sugar-Salem -- Brett Miyasaki 2, Kyle Andrews 12, Tyler Beddes 0, Tyler Rhoton 2, Brennan Bean 12, Kevin Walker 8, Jordon Ostermiller 6, Thomas Johansen 2, Bryden Morris 6, Cameron Hastings 6, Fletcher Rydalch 2, Caleb Brown 15.

Totals 23-43 21-33 73.

3-pointers--Shelley 5 (To. Higham 4, T. Higham 1), SS 4 (Walker 2); Fouls--Shelley 27 (Fouled out: Lakoda Stommel), SS 18 (Fouled out: None); Rebounds--Shelley 37 (M. Higham 11), SS 32 (2 tied with 5); Assists--Shelley 7 (T. Higham 5), SS 13 (Walker 8); Technicals: None.


Sugar-Salem claims 3A district crown

The Sugar-Salem Diggers beat the Shelley Russets handily for the second time in two days Thursday night to secure the 3A District 6 championship.

The Diggers' last district championship was too long ago for coach Jay Miller to easily recall. Then again, it takes some doing to remember anybody other than Shelley cutting down the nets. The Russets had won the past five district titles.

"Everybody is always out to get Goliath," Miller said. "We're just happy that it was our turn this year."

Sugar-Salem (22-3) returns to the state tournament for the first time since 2000. That happens to be the same year Shelley (13-11) did not advance to the state tournament.

The game was in many ways a repeat of Sugar-Salem's 57-42 win over Shelley on Wednesday. In both games, the Diggers doubled Shelley's leading scorer, point guard Tanner Higham, anywhere he touched the ball. Though the senior capably slung the ball to open Russets down the floor, Shelley seldom capitalized on its numbers advantage for easy baskets.

Center Mason Higham led Shelley with 18 points and 11 boards. Tanner Higham scored 15, and Tommy Higham hit four 3s and scored 14. But Sugar-Salem achieved its goal by holding Tanner Higham to only 15 shots and the Russets to 36 percent shooting.

"Tanner Higham is the best player in the state, I think," Sugar guard Kevin Walker said. "We had to double him to get the ball out of his hands."

Meanwhile, Sugar-Salem shot a scorching 56 percent from the field. Reserve forward Caleb Brown led the Diggers with 15 points on 6-for-8 shooting, and reserve guard Kyle Andrews scored 12 on 4-for-6 shooting. Starting guard Brennan Bean also scored 12.

"They hit shots," Shelley coach Dave Hadley said. "Every time we started to put together a run, they'd come right back and make big buckets. They outplayed us."

Thursday, February 26, 2009

District championship Sugar vs. Shelley

When they announced Kevin Walker, the announcers said "that is the player they will be missing next year."

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District championship Sugar vs. Shelley

Text message from Jen

What a game! That was the sweetest thing i have ever seen!
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District championship Sugar vs. Shelley

Text message from dad:

3 minutes left. Up by 17.

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District championship Sugar vs. Shelley

They're ahead by 15 at the beginning of the 3rd! Go Diggers!
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District championship Sugar vs. Shelley

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Subject: District championship Sugar vs. Shelley
Sent: Feb 26, 2009 10:07 PM

Text from Jen

They are going to he something going here!
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District championship Sugar vs. Shelley

Oops forgot to send this to the right address

------Original Message------
Subject: District championship Sugar vs. Shelley
Sent: Feb 26, 2009 10:05 PM

Text from Dad

Kevins team is ahead at half time by 42 to 29. He has a couple of 3s and a bunch of assists. Should be am intense 2nd half.

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District championship Sugar vs. Shelley

Kevin is rocking and so is his team in the first half of this game. I hope they can keep it up in the second half.

Yay for the internet and eisnlive!

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Thursday, February 26, 2009

Sugar-Salem tops Shelley to force second 3A title game
The teams will meet tonight to settle the score.
By Michael Lycklama

Sugar-Salem’s Kyle Andrews (4) and Kevin Walker (22) double team Shelley’s Tanner Higham during Wednesday’s 57-42 win for Sugar-Salem.
n its fourth matchup against Shelley, Sugar-Salem employed its fourth defense to slow Russets point guard Tanner Higham. Sugar-Salem doubled Higham whenever he got the ball, no matter where he was on the court, and held him to 12 points in a 57-42 3A District 6 win Wednesday at Skyline. "When you stop Tanner, you stop their team," Sugar-Salem's Cameron Hastings said. "He's a great player. We just had to double him to get the ball out of his hands as much as we can."
The win creates a do-or-die conference title game at 7 tonight at Skyline. The loser will play the second-place team from District 5 in a state play-in game Saturday.
The two teams traded five leads in the first quarter before Sugar-Salem (21-3) broke off a 13-0 run between the end of the first quarter and the start of the second. Meanwhile, Sugar-Salem's defense held Higham without a shot in the first quarter. Higham still finished the first half with seven points and his 12 led the team, but that was off his season average of 19.9 points, which leads the area.
Despite committing two defenders to Higham in the backcourt, Shelley couldn't take advantage of numbers and run a four-on-three break. Shelley coach Dave Hadley spoke to his team about attacking the outmanned defense at halftime but it didn't translate to the floor. "I think the biggest thing is our guards have to play with more confidence once they get (the ball)," Hadley said. "If they are going to put two guys on one (guy) full court, we've got to make it a four-on-three game."
While Shelley (13-10) struggled on offense -- it shot 37.5 percent from the field -- Sugar-Salem shot 53.8 percent from the floor. "Offensively we had the looks that we wanted -- inside and outside," Sugar-Salem coach Jay Miller said. "If they tried to shut us off inside, we had some outside stuff going on and vice versa."
Kevin Walker, who switched off with Tyler Rhoten face guarding Higham, scored 10 points for Sugar-Salem.

MATT EICHNER/Standard Journal -- Sugar-Salem's Kyle Andrews (4) and Kevin Walker (22) double team Shelley's Tanner Higham during Wednesday's 57-42 win for Sugar-Salem.

Diggers force another title game tonight

Diggers force another title game tonight

Published: Thursday, February 26, 2009 11:28 PM MST
IDAHO FALLS -- The Sugar-Salem offense and defense sizzled Wednesday night in a 57-42 victory over Shelley, setting up a winner-take-all district championship game against the Russets tonight at 7 p.m. at Skyline High School in Idaho Falls.

The Diggers' offense shot 52 percent from the floor on Wednesday, while defensively Sugar-Salem held Shelley's top scorer, Tanner Higham, to just 12 points on the night. Mostly the Diggers employed a double team as soon as Higham touched the ball over half court.

"We did better job to not let him get so many 3-point shots off on us," Sugar-Salem coach Jay Miller said of the defense on Higham. "Everybody played some really good defense, and we're proud of that."

The Diggers also had the full-court press on, creating turnovers.

On offense, Brennan Bean lad the Diggers with 17 points, including a dagger of an old-fashioned three-point play in the fourth to give the Diggers their biggest lead of the night, 55-36 with about four minutes remaining in the game.

Kevin Walker also hit a big 3-pointer as time was winding down at the end of the third quarter. Walker finished with eight points.

Sugar-Salem (21-3) held the lead throughout most of the game as the inside and outside players were hitting shots.

Inside Bryden Morris had 10 points and Cameron Hastings finished with 8.

In today's game, Miller said he will look for any adjustments Shelley will make, but it will be anyone's game.

"It's hard to say. Who knows what kind of adjustments they're going to make?" he said. "We're going to worry about what we're going to (do)."

Shelley (13-10) is the five-time defending district champions. The winner has an automatic berth in the state tournament, while the loser must play a play-in game to get to state.

Sugar-Salem 57, Shelley 42

SS 17 19 12 9 -- 57

Shelley 12 16 7 7 --42

Sugar-Salem -- Brett Miyasaki 1, Kyle Andrews 5, Brennan Bean 17, Kevin Walker 8, Jordan Ostermiller 5, Bryden Morris 10, Cameron Hastings 8, Fletcher Rydalch 1, Caleb Brown 2 Totals: 21 11-16 57

3-pointers: Andrews 1, Walker 2, Ostermiller 1.

Shelley -- Kabe Call 2, Jason Christensen 4, Lakota Stammel 2, Tanner Higham 12, Nathan Higham 9, Tommy Higham 11, Cody Anderson 2. Totals 15 8-12 42

3-pointers: Ta. Higham 1, To. Higham 3.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Sugar-Salem rallies past Salmon

The Sugar-Salem Diggers overcame an early 10-point deficit Monday to beat the Salmon Savages 57-49 and stay alive in the 3A District 6 tournament.

Sugar-Salem (20-3) will play Shelley (13-9) in the district championship game at 7 p.m. Wednesday at Skyline High School. Salmon (13-10) saw its season end.

Sugar-Salem forward Jordan Ostermiller said the Diggers weren't ready to let their strong season slip away.

"It's do or die right here," Ostermiller said. "We live to play, we play to live. We knew we were down, and no one wants to end their season early, so we picked it up."

Salmon used a sticky 2-3 defense and a strong post game to dominate the first quarter and jump to a 16-6 lead. Sugar-Salem didn't have an answer for 6-foot-7 Mark Hobbs, who scored Salmon's first six points and blocked three shots in the quarter.

Hobbs finished with a game-high 19 points on 8-for-16 shooting 12 rebounds and six blocks. However, after the first quarter, Sugar-Salem effectively denied him the ball in both man and zone defenses, sometimes by fronting with small, quick forwards.

"We just tried to body them up harder," Ostermiller said "They are a little bigger than us, so we tried to get up on them, especially their right hand."

With the Salmon offense bottled up, Sugar-Salem caught Sugar-Salem rallies past Salmon

fire in the second quarter. The Diggers finished the quarter on a 13-3 run highlighted by a two-hand flush by Ostermiller after a steal and 3-pointer by reserve forward Fletcher Rydalch with five seconds left to give Sugar-Salem its first lead.

Rydalch also hit a 3 as the final buzzer of the third quarter sounded to cap a 7-0 run. He finished with only six points, but Sugar-Salem coach Jay Miller said Rydalch did wonders for the Diggers' momentum.

"Those were very critical," Miller said. "It feeds you for the next three to four minutes when you need it.

Salmon coach Rick Sessions said Sugar-Salem's strength is its depth. Salmon's game plan revolved around stopping guards Brennan Bean and Kevin Walker. Salmon succeeded, holding the duo to nine points. But bench players like forward Cameron Hastings (a team-high 12 points) and forward Caleb Brown (nine points) picked up the slack. Sugar-Salem's bench outscored Salmon 35-7.

"That's a great team," Sessions said. "Cameron Hastings came in and went against Hobbs all night and had some huge buckets. He hadn't scored more than four points against us all season. They were prepared and found the kids to get the job done. They just beat us."

Friday, February 20, 2009

Russets rally for win over Diggers

Tanner Higham scored 22 points and Mason Higham chipped in nine points and 12 rebounds in a 51-43 3A District 6 tournament winners' bracket game against top-seeded Sugar-Salem on Friday at Skyline High School

Shelley earned the right to play in Wednesday's District 6 championship game against the winner of the Monday game between Sugar-Salem and Salmon.

Friday's game was a low-scoring affair early, as the Diggers held Shelley to six first-quarter points on 2-of-9 shooting and forced six turnovers. Sugar's defense was led by forward Jordan Ostermiller, who finished with nine rebounds and seven blocks.

Ostermiller limited Shelley post Mason Higham to 1-of-5 shooting in the first half, and the Russets shot 27 percent from the field as a team.

However, Sugar-Salem couldn't capitalize on its defensive domination, and shot 26 percent in the first two quarters.

"Defensively, we came out with a good focus," Shelley coach Dave Hadley said. "I loved the grit and determination we showed."

Sugar-Salem came out firing in the third and Kevin Walker hit a 3-pointer with 30 seconds left in the quarter to give the Diggers a 38-31 lead going into the final eight minutes. Walker hit five 3-pointers in all and finished with 22 points.

The Diggers' lead was cut in the first play of the fourth as Shelley guard Tommy Higham hit a 3-pointer from straightaway.

"Our defensive energy came in on offense, and our shots just started falling," Tommy Higham said.

With the game tied at 38 with less than five minutes left in the game, Walker hit another 3-pointer to give the Diggers the lead, but Tanner Higham responded with a shot of his own from deep behind the line to knot the score again with 3:15 to go.

From there the game became a free-throw shooting contest, and Shelley won handily. The Diggers hit 8 of 10 from the charity stripe, while Sugar connected on 0 of 5 attempts. Shelley also forced two turnovers late to earn the win. Tanner Higham was instrumental in the Shelley success at the line, and he scored nine of his team's final 10 points.

"Tanner's been on this stage for three years now," Hadley said. "He didn't let anyone lose focus on defense, and I think that was as big as his contribution on offense."

Sugar-Salem scored five points in the final quarter despite having several open looks at the basket late.

"Congratulations to Shelley. They played a great game," Sugar-Salem coach Jay Miller said. "We're focused on our game against Salmon now."

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Diggers bury history

SUGAR CITY -- The Sugar-Salem Diggers already had their hands full before falling behind 11-0 to the Shelley Russets.

After all, Shelley had won 62 of its last 63 conference games, including district tournaments. Not only that, the Russets' Tanner Higham, the leading scorer in eastern Idaho, hit four 3-pointers in the first quarter and was on his way to a big game.

But Sugar-Salem played masterful team basketball, dominating the final 29 minutes and running away with a 68-54 win at home.

Brennan Bean led Sugar-Salem with 19 points. Generously listed at 6-foot and not particularly long-limbed, Bean played beyond his dimensions, scrapping for rebounds and position to score in the paint.

"It's a huge win," Bean said. "They are a great team. That win gives us the confidence to go after it at districts, to be the aggressors."

Sugar-Salem and Shelley split its conference games. If Sugar-Salem (17-2, 6-1) beats Teton and Shelley (11-8, 6-1) beats South Fremont on Friday, the tie for the top seed in the district tournament will be determined by a coin flip.

Tanner Higham lit up Sugar-Salem for 23 points in the first half on 6-for-9 shooting from the 3-point line. Sugar-Salem sent Tyler Rhoton and sometimes a second defender to hound Higham the length of the floor. Higham, who finished with 28 points, spent the second half rotating the ball.

Shelley coach Dave Hadley said the rest of the team failed to be assertive when Sugar-Salem forced the ball from Higham's hands.

"They had great composure, and we lost some of our composure," Hadley said. "We were very, very passive. They put two guys on Tanner to not allow him to bring the ball up, and we didn't do a good job of attacking."

All of the Diggers contributed. Guard Kevin Walker hit three 3s and finished with 11. Bryden Morris loomed large in the paint, scoring 17 and leading the team with six rebounds. Forward Caleb Brown scored 11. Sugar-Salem's primary ballhandlers, Brett Miyasaki and Kyle Andrews, combined for 13 assists and two turnovers.

Often, bench production manifests in hustle plays that don't show up in the box score. Against Shelley, the bench's contribution was tangible, outscoring the Shelley reserves 36-2.

Hadley said his team started dragging its heels when Sugar-Salem surged and took the lead in the second quarter.

"When things are going well, it's easy to fight through those little mistakes," Hadley said. "Tonight, we felt sorry for ourselves. Sugar outplayed us and outcoached us tonight."

The first thing Sugar-Salem coach Jay Miller had to say after the game had nothing to do with basketball.

Sugar-Salem is collecting money for a scholarship to honor Darla Miyasaki, a teacher and the mother of Brett Miyasaki, who lost her life to a stroke over winter break.

Before the game, Hadley presented Brett Miyasaki with a brown bag containing $214 the Shelley team had scraped together that day to contribute to the scholarship fund.

"What an absolute class act by Dave Hadley the team and the Shelley fans," Miller said. "What a neat deal to come up like that."

"This is what we've expected from the beginning. There are several teams that can battle. It's going to be a crazy tournament come next week."

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

catching up on football...

I had a great opportunity this past fall to coach Kevin's high school football team, SUgar Salem High school. They were underdogs going into the season because they only had nine seniors on their team but they were very committed to a good year. We played an eight game schedule, starting out with two wins against West Side and Filer. Kevin was playing strong safety on defense and was our leading tackler both those games. Against West Side he turned the game around by recovering a muffed punt inside our five yard line which turned into six quick points, putting us ahead to stay in the fourth quarter. It was fun to watch him step up and be the defensive team leader with his hustle and effort on every play in practice, and it carried over to his game performance.
He was playing with some of his best friends, which made it more fun for him and them: Sean Pope (injured early-foot- but played later in the season), T Clark, Hadley Wright, Fletcher Rydalch, Wilson Rydalch, Ian Checketts and Justin Garner to name a few. Kevin inspired them all by being the "little guy" who made all the plays and wasn't afraid to come up and hit anybody.
The third and fourth games of the season we ran into some problems, losing to Aberdeen and Marsh Valley. We were soundly beaten by Aberdeen but should have won the Marsh game. Kevin again recovered a muffed put inside our ten, this time in the first quarter, but the official blew the call (he later admitted such) and instead of us going up by 14 points, they drove down and scored and took the wind out of our sails. It ended up being a close game and that play turned out to be a key deciding factor. I will write more later...

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Birthday Tributes

Baby Brother By: Jax
Today my baby brother turned 19. He is an amazing person. He is a hard worker and has great determination. He is very focused and knows how to get things done (the things he wants to get done). He is an amazing uncle. Jake always wants to go to Kev's house. He is always willing to help with babysitting or just being with his neices and nephews. He is very caring and understanding. I know in a few months he will be a great missionary too. I love him so much and know that he is going to acheive great things in life because of his determination and positive outlook.Love you Kev!!

19 Years By: Jill
On this day 19 years ago my mom checked into the hospital in Salt Lake City (refusing to stay in Rexburg, where we lived) and gave birth a baby brother. I remember very little about that day, except that my dad came and picked me and Jen up at Adams Elementary (Go Eagles!), and we got out of school early, which I was excited about. My first memory of Kevin as a baby is when we were in Hawaii, he was 6 months old. He was really sick, but whenever we turned on music he would dance around on his bum. He would just bump up and down and it was the cutest thing. I remember being obsessed with holding him. Whenever Mom would let me I loved to hold him, and when he switched to bottles I loved to feed him. Of course, with four older sisters he had no shortage of women who wanted to snuggle him. I remember he had this awesome bottle that I am sure my dad was very proud of. It looked like this:(Okay I was going to put a picture in, but after 20 minutes I couldn't find any football shaped baby bottles)Anyway, that baby has grown up to be the best brother someone could ask for. He is kind and sweet. He is a great listener, and at least with me he is good at talking on the phone. He is my favorite sibling. (Sorry guys, but Kevin called me first on my birthday - When most of the rest of you forgot - he won this year.) I can't believe what a great man he is becoming. And I really can't believe that this summer he will leave on his mission. I remember when we used to talk about him leaving and there was 12 years left to wait...Two years ago Kevin had a really bad health scare. Jeremy would always tell me not to worry, that everything would be okay, but I would at times just cry and cry and say "but what if he doesn't get better." Thankfully he has fully recovered, but I know now why I was so upset - because I can't imagine life without him. I love you kid. Happy Birthday.

Baby Bro- By: Jen
Kevin turned 19 yesterday and Jill wrote a moving tribute~ I loved it so here is one of my own. Not as eloquent as hers- but still a tribute.19 years ago my little brother was born. I was only six but I too remember walking out of good old Adams elementary. I think I was wearing my purple puffy coat. I remember looking at mom laying the hospital thinking I don't ever want to do that. Everyone was so excited though because Dad FINALLY got his boy.Kevin had no chance of being a "normal" boy with four older sisters. His favorite song when he was about 5 was Shania Twain's "Man, I feel like a woman!" Along with the Lion King soundtrack- especially I just can't wait to be king. We couldn't get all the boy out of him though because he definitely had a TON of energy and loved to fight! He would be in the tub and we would say do tough guy and he would grit his teeth and put his arms up and flex them. It was so cute! He had the chubbiest cheeks with bright blue eyes and blonde hair.He always wanted to come and play with me and my friends- which I hated at first but then really started to like him coming along. I had watched my older sisters protect me and lift me up and I felt like I could do that for Kev. I especially loved it when he came and played basketball at the college with me and everyone thought he was to little to play so I said he could be on my team and then he showed them up (and still does).I have always been proud of him as my little brother but I am more so now than ever before. As basketball player, he has become better than I ever imagined him being, but more importantly, I am proud of the person he has become. Landen said just a few days ago, "wow kevin has really grown up!" I completely agree (well, except for when he tries to tackle me, then I realize he is still just a little kid). I am excited for him to go on his mission and show the world the gospel. He will be great wherever he goes.I know I haven't always taught him the right things by my example, but I hope he knows how much I love him and how proud I am of him. I know he will make the right choices in his life because he has learned the right principles.Love you The playlist is Kev's. I had papercut on there but couldn't justify it... the whole good example thing.