The Coeur d’Alene basketball team was disappointed but determined after its state semifinal loss to Centennial on Friday night at the Idaho Center at Nampa.
“We never play just to play,” junior forward Deon Watson said. “We play to win. It doesn’t matter if it’s the third-place game or any other game. We haven’t lost any intensity.”
Watson and his teammates backed up those words Saturday morning, rolling to a 69-51 blowout of Borah in the 5A third-place game at Columbia High. Watson and fellow junior Chad Chalich each scored 19 points as the Vikings came out swinging less than 15 hours after Friday’s defeat.
“I’m proud of our kids,” CdA coach Kent Leiss said. “They played their hearts out against Centennial, and it’s tough to get up the next morning and play a talented team like Borah. But our kids were up to the challenge and they went out and made sure we brought home a trophy.”
Coeur d’Alene (17-8) was the more aggressive team from the outset, building an 18-12 lead after the opening quarter. The Vikings – Chalich and Watson in particular – were relentless in attacking the basket, showing no fear of Borah’s towering front line.
Borah (19-7) managed to hang around for three quarters, but Coeur d’Alene ended the game on a 25-15 run. The Vikings wound up with 31 free-throw attempts – making 24 – while the Lions only managed 11 trips to the line, making seven.
“We took it right at them,” Leiss said. “We did a good job of staying aggressive and getting the ball inside.”
Watson also played tough defense on 6-foot-6 Borah junior Ben Tucakovic, holding him to four points. Tucakovic scored 35 points in the Lions’ opening-round win over Post Falls.
Senior guard Andrew Baracco had a solid all-around game for the Vikings, finishing with 14 points, eight rebounds, three assists, four blocks and three steals. Jake Matheson – the only other senior on the CdA roster – chipped in six points, four assists and four rebounds.
Post Falls 50, Eagle 47: Post Falls wrapped up another successful season with a victory over Eagle (15-12) in the 5A consolation final at Columbia High. Senior guard Connor Hill and juniors Marcus Colbert and Michael Hillman each scored 11 points to lead the Trojans.