NAMPA, Idaho — The Middleton Vikings won their first state championship since 1965 defeating a familiar foe in the title game 47-45.
Middleton did it as a team in front of their loud fans at the Ford Idaho Center in Nampa.
"We worked so hard to get here we have been doing this since we were kids, it’s just a dream to be here," said forward Tyler Medaris. "We couldn’t be happier they fought so hard, but the toughest team wins."
Middleton trailed at the half, but they came out of the locker room with intensity and they were able to hold off Preston down the stretch to win the state title.
Preston has made it to the state championship six years in a row, winning it all four times, and they knocked Middleton out in each of the last two years.
“It’s all about grit, we knew we were down and we had to come out firing because they are a super good team," said Medaris. "I’m just so happy right now.”
Middleton Coach Andy Harrington called Preston's coach Tyler Jones the best coach in the state of Idaho after the game and here's what Jones said after the tough loss.
“Coach Harrington congratulations to you and your staff and your community," said Jones. "You guys are a class act, great team this year, great job.”
The mutual respect these teams have for one another and the sportsmanship shined through in this hard-fought game, but one Middleton is happy to be walking away from as the winner.
“It was a crazy year and we found a way through the adversity," said Andy Harrington. "I’m really proud of these guys.”
Meridian ended their own 29-year drought as they won the 5A state championship over Lake City.
In the 3A McCall-Donnelly lost in the state title game to Marsh Creek.
In the 2A Meridian's Ambrose School lost in the championship to St. Maries.
In the 1A D2 bracket Garden Valley won the state championship defeating Dietrich.