Ririe girls win state hoops championship

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Ririe High School will finally get to hoist a State Champion banner for girls basketball in their gymnasium.

After years of almost making it, or falling just short, the Ririe Lady Bulldogs defeated Malad soundly, 56-34, to take the State 2A Champion trophy at the Idaho Center Feb. 18. For Coach Damian Smith, the trophy is the product of the girls’ determination to finish on top.

“For the program, it means that all the hard work that the put in was worth that, to hold the trophy,” he said.

He thanked the community for its support and said that each person involved in the program owns a small part of the trophy.

“It’s awesome for the program and great for the community,” he said.

The team will sign the banner to be hung as part of an assembly this week. Smith said he believed it would be Feb. 22.

The Lady Bulldogs finished 25-2, for their best finish ever, and their first state championship. The girls won every game in the post season, and did not lose a game since a Dec. 20 loss to Sugar-Salem.

They were on a mission, defeating 21 teams by more than 10 points, and put together some gaudy wins over Bear Lake (62-16), twice over Salmon (77-19, 75-17) and they handled rivals West Jefferson and Firth by over 20 points every time they played them.

Smith said that the girls pushed each other in practice, and believed they would end as champions.

“They said, ‘We want to do this. We’re going to do this.’ They believed they could do it,” he said.

For the seven seniors on the team, the trophy represents the end product of years of playing together.

“It’s going to be hard to replace the seniors that carried this team,” Smith said.

The seniors are: Haddi Williams, Bianca Gaxiola, Cassidy Griffith, Kaylee Brown, Ashley Larsen, Audrey Ulrich, and Katie Park.

The other championship team members are: Kenadee Coles, Cassidy Parkinson, Brynlee Torgerson, Anna Boone, Eden Griffith, Madalyn Johnson, Indee Williams, and Ashley Smith.

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