Amari Whiting didn’t forget when the Middleton student section chanted, “Over-rated” in the first half.
So when the Burley High School sophomore sensation drained a buzzer-beating 3-pointer at the end of the third quarter, she turned and blew them a kiss. It ended up being a kiss goodbye as Whiting sent the top-ranked Vikings packing early with a state-tournament record 37 points in a 57-48 win in the first round of the Idaho 4A Girls Basketball State Tournament Thursday evening at Mountain View High School.
Burley (18-5) will take on Blackfoot (20-7) at 7 p.m. Friday at Mountain View High School.
“I had to let them know,” Whiting said while laughing.
The chants of “Over-rated” seemed a bit odd. Whiting, an All-Great Basin and All-State first-team selection from last season, had 11 points on 4 of 9 shooting (44%) in a back-and-forth first half that featured five ties. The third quarter was also really competitive with two more ties and lead changes with no team leading by more than four points.
It was to be expected from a game that most pundits thought could be a state championship matchup.
“We’ve played Century, Preston, Coeur d’Alene, so I feel like my girls were ready for that challenge,” Burley coach Amber Whiting said. “We get in those big games and we don’t shoot great, but they rose up to it tonight and found their identity in the process.”