The Coeur d’Alene girls basketball team had barely begun to celebrate its third straight State 5A championship when coach Dale Poffenroth was asked about the possibility of a four-peat.
“We’ve got good kids. We’ll be in the battle again,” Poffenroth said.
A year ago after Coeur d’Alene went back to back, six seniors including three starters departed.
Replacing those starters wasn’t easy. Equally difficult was developing a bench.
A young team grew up fast this season. CdA will lose two seniors – Dayna Drager and Amanda Buttrey, both starters.
There will be much competition to fill those spots next year. Junior Hailey Petit, sophomores Kyeli Parker and Erin Legel and freshman Caelyn Orlandi will certainly be in the mix along with other underclassmen and possibly some incoming freshmen.
In other words, CdA’s dominance won’t be ending any time soon.
State runner-up Lewiston, which hadn’t made a trip to state since 1989, turned heads in its return. And the Bengals have a talented nucleus to be back in the fray at state next year.
The Bengals return two starters, 6-foot-3 post Savannah Blinn and 5-10 forward Tanis Fuller, both juniors. And speedy freshman guard Karlee Wilson, who played with no fear at state as the Bengals’ first player off the bench, will anchor the point guard duties. A couple other role players along with players from the under-varsity teams will be counted on for depth.
“I’m not saying we’re making our (state) reservations yet, but we’re looking forward to next year,” Lewiston coach Pat Teichmer said.
Idaho media doesn’t collaborate to pick all-tournament teams largely because not all see every game at every tournament.
I saw all of the 5A teams play and I saw the majority of their games. So here’s my 5A all-tournament team for what it’s worth.
Most valuable player had to be 6-3 CdA junior post Carli Rosenthal. She took over in the title game, scoring 22 points, grabbing 11 rebounds and blocking four shots. Once she increases her vertical – and she’ll be working on that this summer – she will be the most difficult matchup in the state next year.
First team: Kendalyn Brainard, CdA, freshman forward; Nicole Redd, Lewiston, senior, guard; Dakota Gonzalez, Highland, freshman, guard; Aleah Lowber, Boise, junior, point guard; and Chelsea Luke, Meridian, senior, guard/wing.
Second team: Caelyn Orlandi, CdA, freshman guard/wing; Jessica Kramer, Lewiston, senior, guard; Sofia Huerta, Centennial, junior, guard; Dylan Gonzalez, Highland, freshman, guard; and Jacqueline Luna-Castro, Boise, junior, post.
This ‘n that
Poffenroth has coached six teams to state titles (three at Central Valley) and four runner-up teams (two at CV). … Poffenroth was asked what the secret is to CdA’s success. “The kids basically just outwork people,” he said. “They know in the summer they’re going to play a lot of ball. We play about 60 games.” …. The 3A state final pitting Intermountain League teams Priest River and Kellogg was entertaining. Priest River pulled away in the fourth quarter. No wonder Priest River junior post Melissa Hopkins was the IML’s most valuable player.