Hard to believe that the defending 5A girls basketball state champion Coeur d’Alene Vikings had redemption in mind, but they did Tuesday.
Post Falls knocked off Coeur d’Alene at Elmer Jordan Court in the Region I title game a year ago, and the Vikings were determined not to let it happen again.
Top-ranked Coeur d’Alene fought off the Trojans 61-46 to secure a state berth before an estimated crowd of 800.
“We talked about the fact that they took one away from us (last year) and we shouldn’t have let it get away,” CdA coach Dale Poffenroth said.
The Vikings (22-0 overall) advance to the Idaho Center in Nampa, where they’ll face Eagle (13-11), the District III fourth-place team, when state begins Feb. 19.
Post Falls (16-6) and Lake City (13-8) meet Thursday in a loser-out game at Post Falls. The Trojans swept LC in league. The winner will advance to a play-in game for a state berth against the District III fifth-place team, either Capital (12-11) or Mountain View (13-10), Saturday at Grangeville.
LC stayed alive by knocking off Lewiston 53-49 in a loser-out game at Lewiston (13-8).
5A Region I
Coeur d’Alene 61, Post Falls 46: Although the Vikings won both regular-season games by 18-point margins, this game was much tighter until the late stages of the third quarter.
Both teams played well on defense. The difference was the Vikings had more offensive balance.
Had they not missed four free throws in the third quarter, the Trojans probably could have hung around longer and put more of a scare in the Vikings. A 3-pointer from Katelyn Loper allowed Post Falls to pull within 38-31 with 3:33 remaining in the period.
But the Vikings used a 7-0 spurt to close the quarter as they started to distance themselves from the game Trojans.
Post Falls made things especially difficult for Vikings leading scorer, senior Kama Griffitts. She made just 3 of 10 shots from the floor in the first half, but bounced back to knock down 5 of 7 in the second half for a team-high 18 points. She also had a game-high 10 rebounds.
“(Aynslee) Stuart did a nice job on Kama for a while and stayed with her,” Poffenroth said. “It was a little rougher than I thought it might be, but we persevered.”
Griffitts praised Stuart for her defense.
“I couldn’t put the ball in the hoop … and Aynslee Stuart did a great job on defense,” Griffitts said. “She was all over me. She’s a great defender and wouldn’t let me get open.”
Poffenroth was surprised Griffitts had 18 points.
“The fact that she got that many is good considering how hard they were playing her on defense,” Poffenroth said. “They had a hold of her shorts and shirt all night long, and they hugged her a couple of times and they didn’t call it.”
CdA sophomore post Carli Rosenthal had 17 points, nine rebounds and three blocked shots before fouling out with 3:13 to go.
Loper led Post Falls with 19 points and Jordan Schoening added 13.
Lake City 53, Lewiston 49: Katie Baker led the Timberwolves with 24 points, 14 rebounds and four blocked shots and sophomore guard Sydney Butler had 11 points and eight assists.
LC used a 16-0 run to close out the third quarter with a 42-32 lead.
4A Region I
Moscow 38, Lakeland 34: The Bears (7-15) forced the if-necessary game as they held the visiting Hawks (14-7) scoreless in the fourth quarter.
Freshman Abi Quinnett led Moscow with 10 points. Senior Camille Reynolds had a game-high 19 for Lakeland.
The teams play again Thursday at Moscow. The winner advances to state, the loser is finished.
3A District I-II tourney
Priest River 55, Kellogg 37: Taylor Stewart scored a game-high 21 points to lead the Spartans (8-10) over the Wildcats (5-14) in a loser-out opener at Lakeland High in Rathdrum.
The Spartans meet No. 1 seed Bonners Ferry (13-5) Thursday at 7:30 when the tourney begins double-elimination play.
St. Maries 51, Orofino 32: Karly Truscott had 18 points and eight steals to lead the Lumberjacks over the Maniacs in a loser-out opener at Lakeland High.
The Lumberjacks (10-11) meet No. 2 seed Timberlake (14-5) Thursday at 6 when the tourney begins double-elimination play.
1A Division I playoff
Lakeside 55, Wallace 19: The Knights overwhelmed the visiting Miners at Plummer to move within a win of a state berth.
Lakeside (13-4) will take on the District II third-place team Saturday at Lakeland.
Ruth Brunelle led Lakeside with 13 points, nine rebounds and five steals.