NAMPA — Austin Bolt decided to bust it out.
The Borah High School boys basketball senior forward’s state championship ring from last season that is.
“I’m expecting one on the same hand,” Bolt said. “But I’m expecting all these other guys to get a ring because everyone on this team deserves it. We’ve put in the work and the hours, day in and day out, just to get another one of these.”
His team is now two wins away from doing just that after a 58-38 dismantling of Lake City in the first round of the 5A state tournament Thursday at the Ford Idaho Center.
No. 4 Borah (20-5) will play Eagle (16-8) at 8 p.m. Friday in the semifinals.
“I’m proud of the kids,” Borah coach Jeremy Dennis said. “They’ve worked hard and they’ve done the little things to put themselves in the best position. So I couldn’t ask for better kids.”
Bolt led the way with a double-double of 20 points and 15 rebounds. Luke Hoetker added 14.
The Lions are in the semifinal round for the third straight year. That fact was never really in doubt too.
They never trailed and jumped out to 10-3 lead midway though the first quarter following six quick points by Isaac Dewberry. It all led to a 22-10 first-quarter lead.
But Borah’s lead did dwindle under 10 points at 24-15 after scoring just two points in the first half of the second quarter. Bolt and Dewberry also got into foul trouble with two and three, respectively.
However, following a timeout by Dennis, the Lions responded with a 14-3 run to close the half. Hoetker capped it with a corner 3-pointer at the buzzer for a 38-18 halftime lead. It was a part of his 14-point first half.
There were many dramatics after that.
Well, Bolt did rile up the Borah student section with a steal and two-handed slam to extend the lead to 47-24 midway though the third quarter.
“I get told every game by all the rowdies to give us at least one dunk,” Bolt said. “So right when I saw that steal I was like, ‘don’t miss this dunk or I’m going to (hear it).’”
That was about it, though.
The Lions led by as many as 28 points on two separate occasions. The last of which was at 56-28 after a Tanner Nett putback with 5:15 to go. It was in large part to them being plus 24 on the boards. They outrebounded the Timberwolves (16-9) 48-24.
Jack Kiesbuy had a team-high 11 points for Lake City. Zach Johnson chipped in with 10.
Borah, meanwhile, will play Eagle for the third time this season. The Lions beat the Mustangs 38-34 on Dec. 12 and 61-47 Jan. 25.
“Wipe the slate clean,” Dennis said. “Humble the kids in film. Understand that we’re not where we need to be and that it’s going to take our best effort.”
EAGLE 51, RIGBY 43: The Mustangs had been searching for a signature win all season long.
They finally got one in the form of the second-ranked team in the state that had won its last 18 games.
Eagle upset Rigby to advance to the state semifinals for the first time in a decade.
“We were beating all the teams we needed to beat this season, but we never broke through and beat one of those top three,” Hayhurst said. “But beating the No. 2 team in the state is really big for us.”
Hayhurst tallied a game-high 24 points with six rebounds and three assists for the Mustangs (16-8), who rallied from a nine-point halftime deficit in order to finally earn that win too.
They entered the final quarter down 34-29. Eagle had only led once and that came in the first minute of the game at 3-2 following a trey by Gage Jones. And Hayhurst, a favorite to be the Southern Idaho Conference Player of the Year, had been held to 10 points on just 3-of-13 shooting (23%) from the field. He didn’t even have a field goal in the third quarter.
But he and the rest of the Mustangs woke up when it mattered most.
Jones hit a running layin 28 seconds into the fourth quarter before Hayhurst scored the next seven points to give Eagle its first lead in nearly 27 minutes.
Hayhurst did so by taking the ball away from Rigby’s Keegan Thompson and going coast-to-coast for a layup. It gave the Mustangs a 38-36 lead with 4:25 remaining.
Eagle never gave the lead up.
“Usually when people talk about me, they’re just like, ‘Oh he scores a lot, but he doesn’t do anything else,’” Hayhurst said. “I really pride myself this year on trying to effect the game in other ways.”
Hayhurst went a 3 for 3 from the field and made 8 of 9 free throws alone for a 14-point fourth quarter.
For comparison, Britton Berrett had a team-high 15 points for the Trojans (23-2).
“We had to have patience with Tanner,” Eagle coach Dennis Kerfoot said. “He’s in a big setting, everybody’s after him. And he missed a lot of shots early, but found a way to get them down finally. “
The Mustangs were also able to complete the comeback with their defense.
Rigby shot 50% in the first half for a 29-20 advantage at the break. That number dropped all the way down to 13.6% in the second. The Trojans went just 3 of 22 from the field. They also committed eight turnovers.
“We’ve been telling our guys all year, ‘We’re gonna win with defense, especially at the end of the year,’” Kerfoot said. “And our guys really want to win bad and they know it’s going to be a defensive battle and they know they gotta grind on the offensive end, and that’s kind of what it turned out to be tonight.”
Eagle will now seek its first state championship game appearance since 2010.