Same song, different verse
The toughest 5A basketball league in the state has resided in the IEL and that shouldn’t change this year. Lewiston broke through and knocked off Coeur d’Alene in the state final after losing to the Vikings the year before. CdA is seeking a seventh straight appearance in the state final.
Marc Allert, a longtime boys assistant coach at Post Falls, takes over for Chris Johnson. Allert has a mixture of talent that could possibly challenge the established powers. Lake City should be measurably down.
In 4A, Moscow should be the head of the class. The Bears will be led by returning player of the year Abi Quinnett, a senior forward who has signed with the University of Idaho. Lakeland might not have the quality depth its had at times, but if coach Steve Seymour can prod his girls to play defense, they might be able to push Moscow.
Sandpoint returns two all-league players and should be more competitive than ever.
Returning all-league players
In 5A, CdA guards Caelyn Orlandi and Kyeli Parker and Chelsea Waters of Lewiston return along with newcomer of the year, Tisha Phillips of Lewiston. Waters, a power forward, signed with Gonzaga.
In 4A, Quinnett was the player of the year. Teammate Taylor Anderson and Sandpoint’s Maggie Kirscher also return as does newcomer of the year Hailey Olin of Sandpoint.
What they’re saying
CdA began life without four-year starting post Carli Rosenthal on Tuesday and it doesn’t appear that the Vikings will miss a step.
The Vikings will feature about five players capable of scoring in double figures any game.
“Those kids are capable of scoring, it just needs to be balanced,” CdA coach Dale Poffenroth said.
The goal at CdA hasn’t changed. The Vikings want another state title. “If you have any less of a goal, then you shouldn’t be doing it,” Poffenroth said.
The key, he said, is avoiding injuries like CdA had last year.
Lewiston returns three starters, and they’re proven players in Waters, Phillips and junior point guard Karlee Wilson.
Waters and Wilson played on the Spokane Blazers Orange summer team that played in a handful of tournament finals across the nation. “We’re talented, experienced and have a nucleus to build around,” Lewiston coach Pat Teichmer said.
Allert has three returning starters to build around in juniors Dani Failor, Katie King and Brooke Litalien. “We should be pretty athletic from top to bottom,” Allert said. “We should be able to transition and cause problems on defense.”
In 4A, Seymour likes the makeup of his roster. “I look for us to cause some teams trouble matching up with our strange lineups,” Seymour said. “We may not have a ‘true’ post on the floor some times.”
Sandpoint returns three starters in coach Lance Bruce’s third year. “Our team strengths are defense, chemistry, knowledge of the game and our system,” Bruce said.
|Predicted finish||2. Coeur d’Alene|
|3. Post Falls||2. Lakeland|
|1. Lewiston||4. Lake City||3. Sandpoint|