Adjustments were key, no doubt.
More than anything, though, the three-time 5A state champion Coeur d’Alene girls basketball team was determined to get back to state to go for a fourth consecutive title.
With Lake City packing its 2-3 zone tightly around 6-foot-3 senior post Carli Rosenthal, the other Vikings decided they needed to step up.
Coeur d’Alene opened a 20-0 lead and the Timberwolves never recovered as the Vikings cruised to a 63-42 victory in the 5A Region I tournament Friday at CdA.
The Vikings (18-5) advance to state, which begins Thursday at the Idaho Center in Nampa. LC’s season ends at 16-7, a week after the T-Wolves upset CdA 41-35 in a regional opener.
CdA opens against District III runner-up Boise (19-4).
“They made a few adjustments to our zone, but more than anything they shot with confidence on their home court,” LC coach Royce Johnston said. “We got buried from the start. Take a look at the rebounding. We got killed on the offensive boards in the first five minutes of the game. When you bury yourself like that, it’s almost insurmountable against a quality team like Coeur d’Alene.”
Had it not been for an inadvertent whistle, LC may not have scored in the first period. One of the referees blew a whistle as a Vikings player shot and it was determined that it was inadvertent. So LC was awarded the ball with 9 seconds remaining in the quarter.
LC’s Gina Mitchell hit a 3-pointer with 1 second remaining to avoid an opening-quarter shutout.
The T-Wolves managed to pull within 14 points in the second quarter, but that’s as close as they would get. A jumper by senior Heather Baughman gave CdA its biggest lead in the first half at 41-19 with 11 seconds to go before halftime.
A three-point play by junior Caelyn Orlandi gave the Vikings their biggest lead at 49-24 with 3:37 remaining in the third.
After CdA lost to LC last week, the Vikings decided they needed to make adjustments. Specifically, they stopped trying to force the ball to Rosenthal, who the T-Wolves sandwiched with two defenders.
“They listened to the adjustments we made,” CdA coach Dale Poffenroth said. “We quit cutting through the key and cut to the outside and overloaded it. And (we) took our time on our passes. (We said) just take your time and when you find the shot you want shoot it.”
Orlandi and Parker were especially effective from the perimeter. Orlandi had a team-high 15 points and Parker had 14, four steals and three assists. Rosenthal also had 14 points to go with 16 rebounds, two assists and two blocked shots.
CdA outrebounded LC 39-18 including 20 offensive boards that translated into 15 second-chance points. The Vikings also got 16 points off turnovers.
“We were trying to throw something new at them,” Parker said. “They had memorized all of our plays. We were trying to be more patient, overload one side and take our shots and not take the shots they wanted to make us take.”
Sydney Butler led LC with 13 points. Katie Rowe had 11 points and nine rebounds.