With Coeur d’Alene’s season hanging in the balance after trailing Boise by 12 at halftime, the Vikings implemented their emergency plan: Press 13.
And it was a lucky 13 for the Vikings.
Using a relentless three-quarters court press, CdA staved off Boise’s upset bid and pulled away for a 65-52 victory in the first round of the girls State 5A basketball tournament Thursday night at the Idaho Center in Nampa.
“We run Press 13 every day in practice, but when we run it in a game, it’s a last-ditch effort,” said CdA sophomore Kendalyn Brainard, who continued her remarkable return from a torn anterior cruciate ligament in her left knee with a team-high 16 points against Boise.
“I just kept telling myself that this wasn’t how it was going to end. It just couldn’t end this way.”
It doesn’t end for CdA (19-5), which advances to the semifinals at 7 p.m. PST today to face Highland, a 40-27 winner over Mountain View earlier Thursday.
Boise (19-5) took advantage of a 17-for-18 free-throw shooting performance and CdA foul trouble in the first half to build a 41-29 halftime lead. The Braves led by as many as 15 points late in the second quarter.
CdA, which rallied from its largest deficit all season, smothered Boise in the second half. The Vikings forced 10 turnovers and held the Braves to 15.8 percent from the floor.
“We couldn’t get things going in the first half,” CdA coach Dale Poffenroth said. “At halftime, I thought, ‘If this is the way they play in the second half, it’s their night and it’s over.’ ”
But a night that looked like it belonged early to Boise ultimately went CdA’s way.
After Boise scratched out a 17-14 lead in the first quarter, CdA’s leading scorer Carli Rosenthal stumbled into foul trouble early in the second quarter.
Braves center Jacqueline Luna-Castro began to find her way to the free-throw line.
Her six points in the paint and a 7-of-7 performance from the free-throw line helped Boise build a 41-29 halftime lead.
CdA stormed back behind Brainard and Rosenthal. The pair combined for 14 points in the third quarter to pull the Vikings within 48-47.
With Rosenthal on the bench with four fouls to start the fourth quarter, Brainard did CdA’s heavy lifting.
Brainard’s turnaround jumper with 4:10 remaining gave the Vikings their first lead (54-52) since midway through the first quarter.
She delivered the knockout blow to Boise, drawing Luna-Castro’s fifth foul under the basket with 3:02 remaining.
Boise didn’t score again.
CdA continued with its relentless Press 13 and hit 6 of 9 free throws down the stretch to ice the game and escape with the victory.
Rosenthal finished with 16 points and nine rebounds for CdA, while Kyeli Parker and Caelyn Orlandi added 15 and 14 points, respectively.
Boise wasted Luna-Castro’s 22-point and nine-rebound performance.
Lewiston 58, Capital 43: Also at the Idaho Center, senior forward Savannah Blinn totaled 18 points, 11 rebounds and five blocked shot as the Bengals (20-3) overcame a 26-15 halftime deficit to defeat the Eagles (18-7).
Tanis Fuller added five assists for Lewiston, which shot 14 of 23 from the floor and 13 of 15 from the line in the second half.
The Bengals will meet Centennial (24-0) in tonight’s semifinals.
Bishop Kelly 36, Moscow 27: At Timberline High in Boise, Randi McReynolds finished with 10 points and five steals as the Knights (15-9) held off the Bears (9-16).
Junior post Abi Quinnett had 13 points and nine rebounds for the Bears, who play Mountain Home (14-10) in today’s consolations.
The teams shot a combined 23 of 76 from the floor, including 0 of 14 from 3-point range.
Timberlake 53, Fruitland 27: Senior post Cassie Thompson scored 27 points, hitting 12 of 27 from the field and adding nine rebounds and three blocked shots, as the Tigers (19-4) defeated the Grizzlies (13-9) at Skyview High in Nampa.
Junior Kara Wenstrom added 14 points and six assists for Timberlake, which will meet Snake River (17-5) in tonight’s semifinals.
Fruitland shot 28 percent from the floor, including 1 of 12 on 3-pointers.
Sugar-Salem 50, Priest River 40: Georgia Brown had game highs of 13 points and 11 rebounds to lead the Diggers (19-5) past the Spartans (13-11) at Skyview High.
Morgan Stewart scored 10 points, hitting 3 of 4 on 3-pointers, and Liz Halcro had 10 rebounds for the Spartans, who will attempt to avoid elimination today against Weiser (21-3).
1A Division II State
Mackay 37, Clark Fork 28: At Nampa High, Alaysha Whitworth finished with 20 points, 10 rebounds and six steals as the Miners (13-9) defeated the Wampus Cats (12-9) despite shooting 1 for 30 from the field in the second half.
CF will play Garden Valley (13-9) in a loser-out game today.