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Ure gives Ririe 49-47 win in 2A opening round over Aberdeen

Ririe High School boys basketball players and coaches celebrate after their 49-47 win over Aberdeen in the first round of the 2A state tournament Thursday at Capital High School in Boise. Photo by Stan Brewster

Idaho State Journal

BOISE – Ririe had no choice but to go to Michael Ure.

The junior is the Bulldogs’ top scorer, towering giant and do-everything forward.

Thursday, he was their savior.

With his team trailing Aberdeen 47-45 with less than a minute left in the game, the 6-foot-7 post scored four unanswered points to give the defending 2A state runners-up a 49-47 comeback win in the first round of the 2A state tournament at Capital High School.

Aberdeen’s lead was as large as 16 at the start of the second quarter. The Tigers (14-12), however, tried holding on for dear life in the final minutes of the game instead of continuing to be the aggressor like they were at the start of the game, and Ririe (21-3) pounced.

“It shows we’re resilient, and we don’t give up and we make sure we keep doing what we do and attack the rim and stay aggressive,” said Ure, whose team faces St. Maries in the semifinals. “We played hard with energy toward the end of the game, and we really came together.”

Ure kicked the ball out to Daeton Wheeler for a 3-pointer, trimming the Bulldogs’ seven-point deficit to a manageable 45-41 with 2:32 left in the game.

Fast forward to the 45-second mark with Ririe down 47-45, Bulldogs coach Eric Torgerson called a timeout. Ure received a pass down low, went up with two hands on the ball to endure contact and scored while being fouled to tie the game with a half-minute remaining.

After Ure missed the free throw, teammate Stockton Johnson collected the offensive rebound and they started a new possession. Ure received a pass on the right block against one defender before scoring from the right block with 5.6 seconds left in the game to put his team ahead for the first time, 49-47.

“He’s just so fundamental. He does such a good job getting to the basket,” Torgerson said. “If we didn’t go to Michael, it would’ve been the wrong thing.”

Ure scored a team-high 18 points, all coming in the second half. Ririe had four field goals and a 15.4 shooting percentage in the first half, in which Ure was 0-for-7. From the sideline, Torgerson was audibly pleading to the Bulldogs to keep shooting.

“It was terrible,” Torgerson said. “You know you’re not going to have four bad quarters, but you get to the point where. ‘Are we ever going to turn it on, or are you just going to lay an egg like this? And put all that hard work into the season and have a terrible first game at state?”

While Ririe was struggling, Aberdeen was on fire, especially in the first quarter capped by a last-second triple by Dallon Elliot, who had 18 points. Teammate Jake Hall, who led the team with a game-high 19 points, had his own memorable moment, sending his defender to the hardwood on an ankle-breaking move before nailing an off-the-backboard 3 to put his team ahead 41-35 with five minutes left in the game.

Another Aberdeen 3-pointer — this time by Bo Knittel at the final buzzer — missed off the front rim to seal the Tigers’ fate. But that Aberdeen was at least going toe-to-toe with the 2017 2A state runner-up in their first state tournament appearance since 2009 is an indication the Tigers were “a hell of a lot better than people thought,” said Tigers coach Joe Ingersoll.

Aberdeen 17 8 13 9 — 47
Ririe 3 9 19 18 — 49
ABERDEEN (47) — Jake Hall 19, Jacxson Wahlen 3, Dallon Elliot 18, Bo Knittel 2, Alec Feld 1, Daxton Wallace 4. FG: 15-46. FT: 13-21. 3-pointers: 4-17 (Hall 2-5, Elliot 2-8). Total fouls: 16. Fouled out: Hall.
RIRIE (49) — Larz Sutton 8, Daeton Wheeler 9, Jace Johnson 11, Ryker Parkinson 1, Jonathan Scott 2, Michael Ure 18. FG: 19-56. FT: 7-11. 3-pointers: 4-26 (Wheeler 3-12, Johnson 1-60. Total fouls: 18. Fouled out: Parkinson.

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