Ririe boys win district, off to state

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The Ririe Bulldogs celebrate a district championship after winning Firth at South Fremont Feb.21. The boys are heading to State March 2.

The Ririe Bulldogs have won their first boys basketball District championship in 13 years, to put an exclamation point on an impressive 22-2 record.

Coach Eric Torgerson, in an interview with the Jefferson Star, said that his team would enter the 2A State tournament March 2 with quiet confidence, even after the big district win over Firth.

“I think they’re up for the challenge. You could tell (after winning district) they were happy, but they still know there’s more work to do,” he said.

Ririe went undefeated in the tournament, winning Salmon 71-34, Firth 60-46, and Firth again 56-50.

“The post-season has been a blast—a stressful blast,” Torgerson said. “We knew we were the best team in the league, but in districts you have to prove it again.”

Firth had won the district championship 10 years in a row. Torgerson was the coach the last time the Ririe Bulldogs took the title. The 2004 team ended up losing in the district title game.

The team defeated Firth three times this year. They will play Nampa Christian/Grangeville at 3 p.m. March 2 at Capital High School in Boise.

Torgerson explained that even though the team is unfamiliar to the Ririe players, he knows that they are prepared to take on all-comers. The boys participated and won a tournament prior to the regular season in Parma.

In that tournament the boys competed and won against unfamiliar teams, as well as teams from 3A and 4A size schools.

“It’s been a special group of boys that have shown dedication and have prepared in the off season,” he said.

As for the 2004 team, Torgerson said that he is still in touch with some of the players who ask about the 2017 team. The coach said that in talking to those players, he said that he thought the 2017 team might not be as good of scorers, but they’re better defenders.

“I don’t want to say we’re better than the 2004 kids. I want to prove it,” Torgerson said.

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