BOISE — The Owyhee boys basketball team avenged its only 5A Southern Idaho Conference loss of the season Thursday in the 5A District III conference championship game.
A rubber match next week could help decide which one gets to challenge undefeated Lake City for the state title.
Owyhee came away with a 58-51 win against Mountain View Thursday, seven weeks to the day that the Mavericks handed the Storm their only conference loss of the season a 66-65 Mountain View win on a basket in the final seconds of the game.
“More than just the district championship was the fact that we lost to them earlier in the year,” said Owyhee coach Andy Harrington. “We’re getting everyone’s best shot in this valley every single game. So, we knew they were going to play very well. But it was definitely a motivating factor for our team.”
For second-year Owyhee it’s the second straight district title. The Storm (19-5) will be the second seed at the 5A State Tournament, which begins next Thursday at the Ford Idaho Center.
Owyhee is also the defending state champions.
“Going back-to-back, that’s what we’ve been wanting to do,” said junior Liam Campbell, who had 19 points and nine rebounds. “It was a good team win. Mountain View is a tough team, we had to stay locked in and I think defense was the key to that game. We had to be the tougher team to overcome Mountain View.”
On the slate during the tournament could be yet another matchup against the Mavericks (19-5) for the best-of-three season series between the two teams. Mountain View will be the No. 3 seed at the tournament, meaning if both teams win their first-round matchups, they would meet again in Friday’s state semifinals.
On Thursday, Logan Haustveit scored the first nine points for Mountain View, as the Mavericks took an early 9-4 lead. The Mavericks led 13-11 after the first quarter, but Jackson Rasmussen opened the second quarter with a 3-pointer, one of three hit by the Storm in the quarter.
Do you LOVE local news? Get Local News Headlines in your inbox daily.
Owyhee scored 21 points in the frame and took a 32-27 lead into halftime.
Mountain View tied the game at 34 midway through the third on a basket by Camden Hyde. But the Storm responded with a Campbell jump shot to take the lead. Campbell added another basket and three free throws to extend Owyhee’s lead to 41-36.
The Storm led 45-38 late in the third quarter, but Mountain View staged another run to tie the game. Hyde once again had the basket at 45.
And just like before Campbell broke the tie, this time with a layup. That sparked a 6-0 run for the Storm, and Owyhee never surrendered the lead.
“I think Liam is really clutch, he’s hitting all these crazy shots that keeps us in the game,” said sophomore Jackson Rasmussen, who had 10 points for the Storm. “He’s just super confident and all of us believe in him.”
A steal and fastbreak layup in the closing seconds by Jayce Allen, who finished with eight points, secured the victory for Owyhee.
“Jayce definitely stepped up to the plate today,” said Campbell. “He had some key plays when we needed them and I think that’s what set the momentum for our team.”
Haustveit led the Mavericks with 16 points, while Hyde scored 12 and Dyson Judd had 11.