Mountain Home opens basketball season against top foes
The Mountain Home Tigers open their 2006-2007 boys basketball season tonight against the Timberline Wolves at Timberline High School in Boise.
The Tigers will be out to improve upon last year's 4-18 season that saw them drop their last 14 games, and 18 out of their last 19 games.
Mountain Home Tiger varsity boys basketball coach Tony Kerfoot is optimistic about his Tiger squad.
"I like our athleticism. Once we get after it -- it's still early in the year and we've got some things to go off of -- I think we've got some kids that are a little bit more experienced. I'm hoping we can shoot the ball a little bit better, and defensively we'll be a little bit better."
With a couple moves and another player kicked off the team, Coach Kerfoot has just one player back from last year's squad.
"That's Berto (Robert Moss), and he returns from last year and we're going to have to kind of mold around him, and probably early, as he goes, we'll go.
"That's kind of what was indicated at our jamboree the other night. He had 13 (points) in the half against Wendell, and we did quite well, and the second half against Twin Falls, they shut him out and we didn't do very well either -- I think we had 10 points against Twin, but they're the defending 5A state champs and they got after us defensively and kind of took us out of our offense, so we're going to have to get back to the grindstone and get a little bit more determined on running our offense."
Coach Kerfoot sees Skyview again as the team to beat in the SIC 4A, along with Nampa and Bishop Kelly.
"With (Matt) Ballenger, until he's out of there, and they've got some other kids, too -- Maxwell's an awfully good ball player, and between those two, they're going to be right in it. Nampa's sitting there with the (Trevor) Morris kid that's already signed at Weber State with a full-ride, and then with Quintana at the point, that gives them two pretty good ones to start off with.
"BK (Bishop Kelly), they return five kids that played a lot on their varsity last year, so they come back with a lot of experience and I would say that those three are probably the top three in the league.
"I think everybody else is going to be kind of in a jar battling to see who can jump in and contend against those guys."
Kerfoot thinks this week's first three games are as tough as any they will face this year.
"It's going to be three tough ones. That's a pretty tough way to open up the season. Timberline on the road, Vallivue's probably one of the best 5A schools in the state, and they're coming in here -- we've got Wednesday, Friday and play again on Saturday (at Buhl) -- I don't think we'd see that level of competition if we made the state tournament. Three in four days, and that's a heck of a way to start it out, but we'll see where we're at. Hopefully we'll know a little bit more about ourselves after we get done with those three."
Mountain Home JV boys basketball coach Brent Keener also has been hit by recent moves, which has left his numbers down, but he remains optimistic.
"We've just got eight kids on the roster, but I think we will be okay. (Ryan) Carlen moved up to the varsity and Trevon Pauley moved to Texas, so we have eight kids, but I think we have more balance than I've ever had, so that's nice to see."
Coach Keener indicated it is "way too early" to try and pick how the conference race will go this year.
"That is a good question. I'm trying to remember -- I think Skyview won the sophomore tourney last year, so they should be decent, but I'm guessing the rest of the JV teams in the conference are like me and don't have anyone returning, so I have no clue."
Tiger sophomore boys basketball coach Matt Bundy indicated he has 11 kids out for the sophomore team.
"Actually we've got 12, but one with a broken hand, and he'll be out for six to eight weeks. I think we're going to be scrappy. We've got a couple kids over 6', but we're going to have to rely on hard work and defense I think to be successful this year."
Coach Bundy said at this point it is hard to know just how the conference race will be, "but I think we should be competitive. Obviously, we'll go out every game to win, and I think we're going to have our share of success this year."
Boys action gets underway tonight at Timberline. Sophomore action start at 4:30 p.m. with the JV game to follow around 6:15 p.m., and the varsity game to follow that at approximately 8 p.m.
Friday night the Tigers are at home against Vallivue, and Saturday night the Tigers travel to Buhl to face the Indians in non-conference play.