NAMPA, Idaho – There will be a new state champion in 5A this season as Meridian defeated Owyhee in the first round of the Real Dairy Shootout at the Ford Idaho Center in Nampa.
On Friday, Meridian faced Mountain View in the state semifinals in a game that featured 53 points in the fourth quarter.
Ryan Baker comes out hot for Meridian. Baker scored 28 points in their opening round win and led Meridian with 17 points as the Warriors jumped out to an early lead.
Mountain View would answer behind Dyson Judd, who scored a game-high 15 and had an old-fashioned three-point play and a long-range three-pointer to cut the lead in half.
However, the third quarter belonged to Meridian as they would get out to a high 11-point lead. Josh Christensen played really well in the second half, scoring a game-high 15 as Meridian had four players score in double figures and another player with eight.
Mountain View would not go down without a fight and they would come out firing in the fourth quarter. Mountain View had three players in double digits, including their outstanding freshman, Logan Houstveit, who led the team with 23 points.
Even though Mountain View would get closer to two points on a steal and lay-in by Hostwit, Meridian was very close down the stretch.
There were some close calls that could have gone either way for both teams, but Meridian hit it off at the line, making 15 of 17 to take a 71–68 victory and a spot in the state championship.
Meridian will play Lake City on Saturday night. Lake City crushed Highland 62–25 in the first round, and they defeated Madison 58–49 in the semi-finals.
The Lake City of Coeur d’Alene has Blake Buchanan, the 6’9″ senior who will play collegiately at the University of Virginia next year and has been nominated for the McDonald’s All-American Game.
On Saturday there will be championship games all day starting with 1A Division 2 at 9:30am and ending with 5A at 8:00pm.
is here Add for brackets.