Courier sports staff
TWIN FALLS, Idaho —
Barret Peery will always look back fondly at the good times he had coaching the home team at the College of Southern Idaho Fieldhouse.
On Saturday night, he got to experience what it was like on the other sideline. Not surprisingly, it wasn’t quite as friendly.
“We knew it was going to be hostile and tough,” Peery said. “There was no secret we were going to be tested by the atmosphere.”
The first-ever trip to Southern Idaho (CSI) as a visiting head coach ended with another unique experience for Peery, who led the Golden Eagles to several home wins over three successful seasons as head coach. On Saturday, Peery walked out on the losing end of the scoreboard as CSI handed No. 4 IHCC their first loss of the season in a thrilling 96-87 overtime affair to close out the Boise Office Equipment Invitational.
The loss brings IHCC’s first road trip to an end with a very respectable 2-1 mark. The Warriors battled a tough slate of opponents, that included taking two fellow national tournament hopefuls into overtime on their home floors.
“It was a long week. We were a tired team that had to deal with some different health issues,” Peery said. “We played two national championship-quality teams.”
The Warriors were not disappointed in their expectations that the national tournament rematch with the Golden Eagles would feature an intense, hostile environment inside the CSI Fieldhouse. Southern Idaho wasted little time giving their home fans something to cheer about, using a seven-point surge to open a 13-4 lead right away.
IHCC fought back within a point with eight straight points, but CSI counted with three straight layups to rebuild a 20-12 advantage.
Frank Williams gave the Warriors their biggest boost of the first, scoring seven straight points of his own as IHCC caught and passed CSI before the half to take a stunning 38-31 lead into the break.
The second half featured incredible swings of momentum, most of which favored the Golden Eagles. A 15-1 run early in the half gave CSI the lead back before Jaysean Paige scored five of his game-high 24 points to kick off a 13-4 surge that seemingly gave CSI control late in the contest.
Down 78-65, Ronald Ross refused to let IHCC go down easily. The former Vincennes star buried three 3-pointers in the final three minutes, including a game-tying tray with 33 seconds left to send the game into overtime tied at 80 as the Warriors closed regulation with a 15-2 run of their own.
“(Ronald) had a tough night early, but he hung in there and hit some big shots when we needed them,” Peery said. “I’m proud of him. I’m proud of all of our guys for battling back to get us into overtime.”
Jameel McKay, who finished with a career night on the glass, scored three of his team-leading 19 points in the first two minutes of overtime to give IHCC an 83-82 lead. But after missing the potential game-winning shot at the end of regulation, Montigo Alford buried a go-ahead 3-pointer with 3:25 to go in overtime that would put CSI ahead for good.
McKay missed two foul shots and Paige forced a steal that turned into a breakaway slam dunk as the Golden Eagles scored six straight points to open an 88-83 lead. IHCC never got closer than four, suffering their first loss of the season.
“We got a couple unlucky bounces and couple things that didn’t go for us,” Peery said.
The losing effort for No. 4 IHCC came despite an incredible double-double by McKay, who snared a career-best 20 rebounds for his sixth double-double of the season despite continuing to battle illness.
“Jameel’s been sick all week. He had to play through a lot of contact,” Peery said. It was definitely a road whistle.”
Paige added a dozen rebounds of his own to go along with 24 points while Juwan Newman also had an 11-point, 11-rebound double-double effort. CSI (7-2) became the first team this season to beat IHCC on the glass, outrebounding the Warriors 53-49 in the win.
Fourth-ranked Indian Hills (7-1) will look to bounce back with a return to the Hellyer Student Life Center on Friday night against Ellsworth. Peery felt his team learned a lot about themselves in their first of two trips to the west this season despite a disappointing end to the week.
“I think we’ll tell the guys we’ll keep our heads held high. We had to battle through a lot of adversity this week,” Peery said. “We gained a lot from this trip. We can’t win a national tournament in November, but this can help us win one in March.”
College of Southern Idaho 96, No. 4 Indian Hills 87 (OT)
IHCC (87) — Jameel McKay 19, Justin Moss 19, Ronald Ross 11, Dustin Hogue 9, Frank Williams 9, Trinson White 7, Jelan Kendrick 5, Richard Amardi 4, Ronnie Stevens 4. Totals 30-75 22-36 87.
3-point goals — 5-24 (Ross 3-7). Fouled out — Hogue. Rebounds — 49 (McKay 20). Assists — 14 (Hogue 3, Kendrick 3). Steals — 10 (Kendrick 5). Blocks — 3 (Moss 3). Total fouls — 29. Turnovers — 25.
CSI (96) — Jaysean Paige 24, Kareem Storey 18, Juwan Newman 11, Montigo Alford 10, Billy Reader 10, Darius Johnson 8, James Reid 6, Jon Pulsifer 5, Kennedy Esume 4. Totals 36-78 20-39 96.
3-point goals — 4-14 (Reid 2-9). Fouled out — Reader. Rebounds — 53 (Paige 12). Assists — 13 (Storey 7). Steals — 15 (Paige 6). Blocks — 6 (Reader 3). Total fouls — 25. Turnovers — 19.
Halftime score: IHCC 38, Southern Idaho 31.
Regulation score: IHCC 80, Southern Idaho 80