BEAR RIVER HIGH - By Justus Wise, Headliner Sports Editor, December 8, 2021
The Bear River High boys’ basketball team kickstarted their 2021-2022 season with the annual Winter Classic tournament on their home court. This, proceeding the Bear’s 78-61 loss to Kearns just before Thanksgiving, was where the Bears wished to make their mark on the season and to, no doubt, begin their reign of terror on Region 11.
The Bears began the tourney taking on the Union High Cougars on Thursday, December 2. The Bears dominated the Cougars in the first half, maintaining a considerable lead thanks to incredible offense and a defense that held the Cougars to only four points in the second quarter.
The Cougars, propelled by a fiery half-time speech, came out of the half with a vengeance and outscored the Bears in the third and fourth quarters. This, however, was a case of too little too late as the Bears beat the Cougars 61-52.
Denver Reese, a junior at Bear River High, was the top scorer of the evening with 14 points overall with 12 of those points coming from 3-pointers. Both Daxton Sorensen and Gehrig Marble, a senior and sophomore, respectively, put up 10 points against the Cougs.
Bear River took on the Marsh Valley High Eagles during the next day of the tournament on December 3. It looked as if the “Battle for the Border of Utah and Idaho” would be a brutally tight one. The first quarter remained tied at 12.
Despite this great start the Bears would fall behind considerably in the second quarter, scoring only four points compared to Marsh Valley’s 19. Bear River High’s head boys’ basketball coach Reggie Shaw no doubt lit some eyebrows aflame in his halftime speech, as the Bears returned and scored 42 points in the second half. This wouldn’t be enough to clench the victory as the Eagles beat the Bears 63-58.
The Bears, now sitting on a 1-1 record for the tourney and 1-2 overall, sought vengeance against the natives of Vernal themselves the Uintah High Utes. Senior Caleb Barfuss led the Bears’ offensive clinic with 20 points, followed closely by 19 points from sophomore phenom Gehrig Marble.
Senior Easton Potter gave Dennis Rodman a run for his money with nine total rebounds giving the Bears’ 40 rebounds total on the evening. The Bears would take it to the Utes 66-47.
“The Bear River Winter Classic was a great experience for our team this year. We were able to see some great talent that challenged us as a team in different ways. The most encouraging thing about the tournament was that we have continued to improve in each game that we have played, and we hope that is a trend that continues over the next few games,” said Shaw.
Shaw also praised efforts on the court for the Bears.
“We had a few great performances over the weekend, and I have been really impressed with our team. A lot of our guys did a lot of great things, and we had a couple players really stand out. In particular Caleb Barfuss had a great weekend averaging 15.7 ppg and 8 rpg while Gehrig Marble averaged 15.7 ppg and 6 rebounds,” he said.
“Moving forward we will continue to work on our stuff and continue to improve on our stuff and our style of play,” Shaw added.
The Bear River High boys’ basketball team eagerly awaits their next opponent when they host the winless Roy High Royals on December 8, starting at 7 p.m.
Watch the game live-streaming courtesy of Bear River Live on the link below.
Photos by John Fronk