MERIDIAN –– Its starts with an emphatic clap from Brennan Atkins.
Followed by a visceral scream from Brandon Miller.
And usually ends with an, “you’re alright kid!” from coach Jeff Nearing.
The Wildcats probably didn’t need all of that intensity or motivation, but it was a lot of fun to watch as they ran all over Snake River to get to the 3A Consolation Championship Game tomorrow.
The 63-46 win was as dominant a win as the Wildcats have had all year and easily the biggest, but through three quarters it was anything but a sure thing.
Both teams were neck and neck through the first frame, but the Wildcats began to pull away in the second, pushing their lead to seven by halftime.
The third quarter saw the Panthers close the gap, but a three from Miller to end the quarter sparked a 26-11 run that effectively put the game out of reach for the Wildcats.
Graden Nearing was marvelous for the Wildcats, scoring a game high 15 points to go with five assists, while Raiden Rickets chipped in 10 points and seven rebounds.
“I thought Graden played a hell of a game for us,” Jeff Nearing said. “He scored the ball well today. Raiden really got us going. Loved his energy, especially on the glass.”
Gavin Luna had another good game for the Wildcats as well, scoring 12 points while playing the role of defensive anchor.
“Gavin was big us for us,” Nearing said. “He does all the little things and sometimes they don’t show up in the stat book, but they are important for us.”
Kellogg shot 22/30 from the free throw line (73 percent), and then 7/14 from 3-point land.
“It’s nice when you’re hitting shots,” Nearing said. “This game wasn’t about just about winning and losing today. The finality of it really set in I think and we had something to prove. I’m proud of the way this team responded after yesterday.”
Kellogg will now take on Parma this morning 9:15 a.m. (MST) for the Consolation Championship (fourth place) in a game that has become a rivalry of sorts as Kellogg has gone 3-1 against Parma in the four meetings that have happened in the last five years.
“This will be our fifth game in six years with them,” Nearing said. “We know them, they know us, it should be a fun game.”