The Lewiston girls basketball team upset two-time state champ Coeur d’Alene 45-42 in the 5A Inland Empire League regular-season finale for both teams at Elmer Jordan Court Tuesday.
Then the Bengals won a coin flip for the top seed in the regional tournament, which begins Friday.
In a P.E. storage room adjacent to the gym, Lewiston principal Bob Donaldson called tails and the coin, after rolling on its edge, landed in the Bengals’ favor.
“Two for two in one night, huh,” CdA coach Dale Poffenroth said to Lewiston coach Pat Teichmer as they shook hands after the flip.
The teams finished as co-champs. It’s the first title for the Bengals in 13 years. They had a share of the title in 1996-97.
In regional openers Friday at Booth Hall, CdA (17-3 overall, 4-2 league) takes on Lake City (14-6, 2-4) at 5:45 followed by Lewiston (17-2, 4-2) meeting Post Falls (13-7, 2-4) at 7:30.
Lewiston pulled off the upset by outworking the second-ranked Vikings, who have won outright or shared the league title the last six years.
Bengals senior guard Nicole Redd made 3 of 5 foul shots in the final 1:04 and junior forward Tanis Fuller made two as Lewiston held off the Vikings.
“I was very pleased with our defensive effort,” Teichmer said. “They’re tough to match up with. They’ve got players at every position. We mixed around a little zone early and that wasn’t as effective as we were hoping, so we just went straight man and tried to do our best. They’re good, but tonight we were a little better.”
CdA committed 24 turnovers and shot poorly from the field (12 of 38).
“We never really got into sync,” Poffenroth said. “It wasn’t a great game. They played good defense and they wanted the game pretty badly. It meant a lot to them.”
CdA took a brief 24-22 lead early in the third quarter, but Lewiston took it back for good two minutes later.
Redd led Lewiston with 14 points. Dayna Drager and Carli Rosenthal had 13 apiece for CdA.
Poffenroth wasn’t pleased with the mistakes.
“Tentative passing and the ball wasn’t crisp and where it was supposed to be,” he said. “We never got a flow offensively.”