By JOSH MCDONALD
MERIDIAN –– The Kellogg Wildcats couldn’t have asked for a better first round matchup at the 3A State Tournament than Marsh Valley.
Unlike most of their matchups this season, Kellogg had a size advantage at pretty much every position, but they couldn’t capitalize on it as they fell to the Eagles 64-52 at Meridian High School.
The game began at a torrid pace as both teams showed their offensive chops, knocking down deep shot after deep shot.
At the end of the first quarter the ‘Cats were leading 22-17, but Marsh Valley would rally with a 19-6 second quarter to take a lead that they would never give up.
Both Raiden Rickets and Gavin Luna finished with 11 points apiece, meanwhile Logan Jerome and Graden Nearing each chipped in 10.
The Wildcats finished the game with 12 turnovers, but it was the amount of time it took to get those turnovers that concerned coach Jeff Nearing
“We had 0 turnovers at the end of the first quarter, but then we had about five in a row during that run in the second quarter where they pulled away,” Nearing said.
Kellogg’s aggressive defense lead to many clean weak side looks, but Nearing was pleased how his hard his team worked.
“We played hard. I’m proud of the effort,” Nearing said. “From where we began the season, to where we are right now. I think we proved we belonged down here.” Kellogg will now take on Snake River today in a consolation semi-final game at 3 p.m. (2 p.m. PST) at Meridian High School.