Wolverines taking long way around for chance at state berth

Kailee Lerew (2) takes the ball to the hoop in the close game against Fruitland. Evie Dolton (4), Hailey Eames (15), and Ellie Shirts (23) are also pictured. Photo by Michelle Estes
Michelle Estes
On Saturday, Feb. 3, the Weiser Wolverines and Fruitland Grizzlies met in the semi-finals of the SRV District Tournament to determine who would advance to the championship game and secure a spot in the state tournament.
 Weiser had a slow start in the first quarter, allowing Fruitland to take a 14-1 lead. However, the Wolverines fought back and took the lead in the third quarter. In a hard-fought battle, the Wolverines were down by only 2 points at the end of the third quarter. The fourth quarter was intense with both teams trading baskets and playing strong defense. The close and intense game went to the Fruitland Grizzlies winning by a score of 50-45.
 The game started with Fruitland scoring first, and Kendall Rynearson of Weiser making one of two free throws. However, for the next six minutes, Weiser was unable to score as Fruitland added 12 more points. With two minutes left in the first quarter, Rynearson scored a 2-point shot for Weiser. Soon after, Paisley Noyer, inside passed the ball outside to Kailee Lerew, who made a drive to the basket and scored with a Euro step.
 At the end of the first quarter, the score stood at Weiser 5, Fruitland 16.
 With the first possession, Weiser scored when Hailey Eames had a rebound put back. This seemed to give the Wolverines an extra surge as they worked hard to reduce the Grizzly lead. 
 Notably, Lerew continued to score on lay-ins with her drive inside and Euro step finish. Eames and Noyer played strong defense and rebounded with purpose. Rynearson and Lerew both drained crowd-pleasing 3-pointers. With just under 3 minutes to go in the half, Lerew connected with Trista Buescher. Buescher made a nice deep bucket bringing Weiser to within 3. Weiser 17, Fruitland 20. 
 Going into the locker room, Weiser was down by 4, 20 to 24.
 In the third quarter, the Wolverines applied great pressure on the Grizzlies, which led to turnovers and missed shots for Fruitland. Ellie Shirts made multiple steals and converted them into lay-ins, often drawing a foul as well. Lerew scored multiple times when she drove to the basket.
 With 2 minutes and 30 seconds left in the third quarter, Lerew tied the game at 31-all with a rebound put-back. Shirts then stole the ball, dribbled the length of the court to score on a lay-up, putting Weiser ahead 33-31. After a couple of Fruitland free throws, Weiser regained the lead again with Buescher’s made basket, thanks to a give-and-go between Buescher and Rynearson. This was the last time Weiser would lead in the game. 
 At the end of an intense third quarter, Weiser was down by 2, 35-37.
 The game remained tight for much of the fourth quarter. Weiser’s defense had multiple stops, but turnovers cost the Wolverines; as well as, towards the end of the game, Weiser missed five out of six free throws. With less than 10 seconds remaining, Shirts had another steal for Weiser and scored a lay-up. Despite this effort, the Wolverines suffered a 45-50 loss.
 With the loss, Weiser dropped to the consolation bracket. On Tuesday, Feb. 6, they hosted Payette in a loser out winner advances. No score was available at the time of printing.
 Lerew led Weiser with 17 points, closely followed by Shirts with 14. Rynearson had 6 points and Buescher and Eames both added 4. 
 Scores at the end of quarters:
Weiser Fruitland
1st: 5 16
2nd: 20 24     
3rd: 35 37
4th: 45 50


Signal American

18 E. Idaho St.
Weiser, ID 83672
PH: (208) 549-1717
FAX: (208) 549-1718

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