The Mountain Home Tigers went from the frying pan into the fire. After opening the regular season against two quality 5A schools schools in Rocky Mountain and Mountain View, the Tigers opened their conference schedule against Skyview and Bishop Kelly, tabbed as the teams to beat in the 4A SIC.
The result were two more losses for the young Tigers.
Skyview 73, Mountain Home 20
A gym full of noisy Skyview fans and the Hawks' full-court press had its effect on the Mountain Home Tigers last Wednesday night, as the Hawks rolled to a 46-5 lead at half-time on their way to a 73-20 conference win over the Tigers.
Mountain Home played with more intensity in the second half, and were only outscored 27-15, but the damage was done and the Hawks breezed to the win.
"We ran into a buzz saw and the kids kind of panicked, and the loud crowd on the road, it was a perfect storm," said Tiger head coach Brion Bethel.
"What it boils down to was, as a coach, we failed to prepare them for what they were going to see," the coach added. "We showed them on some film, but we didn't do a good job of preparing them, to tell the truth, so most of the blame for that game falls strictly on us coaches.
While the Tigers should have made adjustments, "we should have had them practice some different things in case our main game plans didn't work, so we just didn't prepare them well as coaches," Bethel said. "We're trying to make sure we do a better job for the kids next time, because they have the athletic ability. That was just poor coaching on our part."
Michael Daniels led the Tigers scoring with six points. Jeremy Hopper added five, Christian Riedel and Doug Long both scored three, Daniel Calvert two and Devin Wright one.
The Tigers shot a frigid 17 percent from the field, hitting just one of six three-point shots. They connected on 11 of 18 free throws.
The Hawks shot a blazing 55 percent from the field, including eight of 13 treys. They were a perfect seven-for-seven from the foul line.
Bishop Kelly 60,
Mountain Home 44
The effort was definitely there, but the shots would not drop for the Tigers Friday night as they lost to the Bishop Kelly Knights 60-44 in Lloyd Schiller Gymnasium at Mountain Home.
The Tigers grabbed an early lead but trailed 16-9 after a quarter. They were down 29-20 at the half.
Mountain Home managed to cut the deficit to five, 34-29, on a three-point play by Jeremy Hopper with 4:13 left to go in the third quarter before they went cold and Bishop Kelly pulled away to lead 44-29 after three.
The Knights stretched the lead to 21 points before the Tigers came back to make it a 60-44 final.
Coach Bethel was pleased with the efforts of improvement his team made in the Bishop Kelly game.
"That's the cool thing, the guys we've got, they work so hard, and they believe in what we're doing," the coach said. "Everybody's on board, they're a cohesive team and everybody's looking out for each other.
"We're a young team, and they haven't really played together -- this is just their fourth game playing together -- so when they get seven, eight, nine, ten games under their belt, they'll start trusting each other more and know exactly where each other's at (and) we'll start winning some ball games," Bethel said.
Several Tigers had new season highs in scoring in the game. Christian Riedel led the way with 14, a new season-high for the six-foot sophomore. Jeremy Hopper tied his season-high of 10 points, Doug Long and Devin Wright both had new season highs with seven points apiece and Michael Daniels and Jose Rodriguez both scored three points to round out the scoring.
The Tigers shot just 27 percent from the field and hit four of 18 three-point shots. They shot 59 percent from the free-throw line.
Bishop Kelly shot 38 percent from the field for the game, including four of 14 on treys. They hit on 14 of 23 from the foul line.
The taller Knights controlled the rebound battle 45-22. Doug Long led Mountain Home with six rebounds and Devin Wright brought down five.
Mountain Home hosted Jerome in a non-conference game Tuesday evening. They travel to Middleton High School on Saturday for a conference game.