Star Valley and Jackson renewed their long-time basketball rivalry this past Friday with the Braves collecting their fifth consecutive win in the series 61-43.
It was a barrage of three-point baskets to begin the game as Jackson’s Gatlin Top, Jeremy Shockley and Curran Nicks all connected from the land of plenty. Star Valley answered with five three-point baskets of their own in the first half as Kohl Battleson, Wyatt Shinaver, Byron Anderson and Dalton Passey paced the team to a 27-18 halftime lead.
“I think we’ve played better the last few games,” stated head coach Tony Saras. “Every game has been a little better. We’re at that point in the season that it gets a little long for the kids and so we try and rejuvenate them with some different things or give them some time off. I’m happy with the way we’ve been playing and the progress.”
The Braves made life difficult for the Jackson guards in the second half as Shinaver scored 16 of his game-high 22 points in the final two periods. It’s the ninth consecutive game the 6’ 2” senior has scored at least 15 points and the fourth time in the last eight that he has scored at least 20. He also led the team with five assists.
Byron Anderson also chipped in seven points and he and Trace Haderlie battled Joe Caesar with a combined nine points and eight rebounds in the paint.
Up next is a double-header on the road in Mountain View (6-7) and Lyman (9-3) this Friday and Saturday respectively. The Eagles return their two top scorers from last season and appear to be the primary threat to the Braves in the conference. Both teams will be looking to avenge season sweeps at the hands of Star Valley last year.
“The kids might look ahead [to Saturday] but if we let them do that we might have a heck of a time Friday night and we didn’t play all that well in Mountain View last year,” Saras added. “We gotta be ready for Friday and hopefully we’ll shoot the ball a little better. Lyman has some really good kids and they gave us three tough games last year. Their guard line is tough and they had a good JV team so they’re balanced.”