Badgers No. 1 seed for playoffs after winning championship
By James Tilson
EPHRAIM—By curing the recent “voodoo” of bad shooting games against the Golden Eagles, the Snow College men’s basketball team not only won the game last Thursday against Southern Idaho 83-72, they clinched the Scenic West Athletic Conference regular season championship.
Southern Idaho won both of its previous meetings against the Badgers, and in both cases the Badgers had extremely “off” nights, missing shots they usually make and in general looking discombobulated. And when the game Thursday night started, it looked like it might be more of the same.
In fact, with nine and a half minutes remaining in the first half, the Badgers trailed by 13 points. But then, the Badgers got hot. Stockton Shorts began driving to the hoop, and Logan Hokanson started drilling long 3-point buckets. By halftime, the Badgers had taken the lead, 40-38, and never relinquished it.
“Great game for our team,” said Head Coach Rob Nielson. “Very happy with our defense against a very good CSI team; it was nice to shoot it well against them.”
Hokanson lead all scorers with 27 points, including 6-10 from 3-point range. Shorts also had 19 points, and Nick Huston scored 21 points on a very efficient 5-8 (5-7 from behind the arc) shooting, as well as grabbing a team-high 8 rebounds.
Coach Nielson pointed to a change in defense that may have helped his team defensively against the Golden Eagles. “We played more zone against them than we usually have.”
With the victory, the Badgers ended the regular season with a 24-6 overall record, and 9-3 in the conference. As the No. 1 seed for the Region 18 Tournament in Price, the Badgers will play on Friday at 7:30 p.m. the winner of the CNCC and USU-E game from the day before. “They will be playing their second game in two days so we will try to have an up-tempo game,” Nielson said.
If the Badgers win on Friday, the championship game will be on Saturday at 7:30 p.m., facing the winner of the SLCC and CSI game.