Defense had been missing for the Lake City boys basketball team for a couple of weeks.
It returned Thursday, just in time to bail the Timberwolves out of poor free-throw shooting.
In a game lacking much to behold on offense, Lake City muffled the Coeur d’Alene Vikings 43-38 in a 5A Inland Empire League game before an estimated crowd of 1,200 at Elmer Jordan Court.
“Our goal is to give you some (3-pointers) but not any 2s,” LC coach Jim Winger said. “And they did a good job on us. We take points when we can get them some nights.”
In the girls game, Coeur d’Alene captured the second seed to the Region I tournament, holding off LC 51-42 in the final regular-season game for both teams.
LC 43, CdA 38: Points were hard to come by throughout the game. LC (12-4 overall, 3-2 league) made just 13 of 28 from the free-throw line while CdA (11-6, 1-3) struggled mightily from the field, making 15 of 56.
“I can make this pretty simple,” CdA coach Kent Leiss said. “If you don’t make any baskets you’re going to lose.”
CdA junior Deon Watson, who scored 25 points in an earlier loss at LC, made just 3 of 18 from the field and Jake Matheson was 4 of 17. No Viking reached double-digit scoring.
The Vikings started the game as if they were going to make some shots. A 3-pointer by Andrew Baranco gave CdA a 16-7 lead 30 seconds into the second quarter.
But LC used a 10-0 surge to take a 23-19 lead with 38 seconds to go before halftime.
Both teams were hideous on offense in the third quarter. Chris Wheelock made a 3-pointer to give LC a 30-25 lead with 2:57 to go in the period. Both teams went scoreless the rest of the quarter.
LC led throughout the fourth quarter, but CdA pulled within 40-38 when Matheson hit a 3-pointer with 1:08 remaining.
LC kept the door open the final 68 seconds when it made just 3 of 8 foul shots.
Brady Smith led LC with 14 points and seven rebounds and Mark Smyly had 13 points and five rebounds.
CdA 51, LC 42: This was the better of the two games.
Katie Rowe made two free throws to pull LC (15-5, 3-3) within 38-35 with 5:02 remaining. But CdA (16-4, 4-2) executed much better down the stretch.
CdA made 8 of 8 free throws in the final 1:24.
LC guard Sydney Butler scored 17 of her team’s 19 points in the first half. But the Vikings defended Butler much better in the final two quarters, limiting her to just four more points.
CdA passed well, moving the ball smartly against LC’s zone defense. The Vikings committed just 11 turnovers – one of their lowest totals in some time.
The teams turn around and face each other in a regional opener next Friday at Lewiston.
“Our kids are playing together well,” CdA coach Dale Poffenroth said.
Carli Rosenthal led CdA with 20 points and 12 rebounds.