MERIDIAN, Idaho — Owyhee High School is brand new, West Ada School District's newest school opened its doors this fall and its basketball team has already emerged as a contender at the 5A level.
Most high school basketball teams have played together for a number of years, but this team came together for the first time this summer, and currently, they are on an eleven game winning streak while riding a wave of school spirit.
A quick shoutout to our student section for showing up rain or shine, home or away! You guys are the best! Thank you for all of your support! pic.twitter.com/a4O6T9F4Oz— Owyhee Storm Basketball (@OwyheeMensBB) January 31, 2022
"We have a lot of club kids that play a lot of basketball," said head coach Andy Harrington. "They are experienced even though they are not playing together all the time, so that has really helped us a ton and we got guys that work super hard and are super coachable."
The Owyhee Storm is 15-3 on the season, and if you watched them play without knowing they haven't been a team very long, you wouldn't be able to tell with the way they move the ball.
A trip to California where the team went 3-1 between Christmas and New Year's Eve helped them bond even more.
"That helped too," said junior Titus Bailey. "It showed we can’t be selfish with the ball if we want to beat teams from the top ten schools in California, you can’t go one on one with teams."
The Storm have only lost one game to a team from Idaho and that was a four-point loss at Eagle (who is 16-2) on December 21, but this team believes they can continue to get better.
"Coach has been saying just keep improving, keep on getting better every day," said Bailey.
Owyhee has a young team as well they only have two seniors, but it does help that one of those seniors is Jack Payne who hammered home two dunks in their 71-46 win over Centennial High School on Wednesday night, Payne will play college basketball at Colorado State.
"Even though he’s going to Colorado State he’s never been about the stats," said Harrington. "He’s about stuffing the stat sheet and getting his teammates involved."
Different angle with the sound! @jackpayneee11 @MachaonSavedra @espn @Ballislife @HoHighlights @coach_H92 @MarcusGGraham @IDundergroundSN @media_ebc @boisesportstalk @michaellycklama @idahosports @IdahoStatesman pic.twitter.com/27palw7bjp— Owyhee Storm Basketball (@OwyheeMensBB) January 21, 2022
Owyhee High School has also built an intimidating home-court advantage led by a rowdy student section who was involved in the game from the beginning to the end.
"We have the best student section in the state," said Harrington. "They have been traveling every game this year, it is crazy how much support we have gotten from them, they are loud, they have been engaged it is phenomenal and Dane Roy our athletic director, and Cliff Rice our principal have been really pushing that so it starts on the top."
The Storm plays their final home game on Friday when they welcome in Capital, then they finish out the regular season next week with road games against Mountain View and Borah High.