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Coeur d'Alene super sub Brittany Tackett goes for two of her 15 points between Lake City's Natalie Wheelock, left, and Jansen Butler. (BRUCE TWITCHELL)

Sophomore reserve sparks Coeur d’Alene past rival Lake City

At the beginning of the season, Coeur d’Alene girls basketball coach Dale Poffenroth knew his sophomores would have to make an impact at some point. That point came Friday – at least for Brittany Tackett.

Tackett came off the bench with three starters in foul trouble in the first half and provided a spark as the No. 1-ranked Vikings easily disposed of Lake City 58-35 in a 5A Region I opener at Elmer Jordan Court.

In the first game, Post Falls upset defending state champ Lewiston 51-44 in overtime.

That sets up a regional championship game Tuesday with Post Falls (12-8 overall) at Coeur d’Alene (17-2). Tipoff is at 7 p.m. The winner advances to state.

In a loser-out game Tuesday, Lake City (10-11) travels to Lewiston (17-4) at 7.

Coeur d’Alene 58, Lake City 35: The Vikings got out quickly, opening a 10-0 lead and settling for an 18-2 advantage by the first quarter’s end.

As one by one three starters picked up two fouls – and, per Poffenroth’s policy, each must sit down for the rest of the first half with two fouls – Tackett came up with her best game of the season.

Tackett, a raw 5-foot-10 forward with a big upside, scored 11 of her season-high 15 points in the first half. She also finished with seven rebounds.

“I felt a vibe in my body (after a couple of shots),” Tackett said. “It felt good to be in there anyways with some of the starters. Knowing that I can play like that and if I play like that every game I know I’ll be guaranteed some playing time. That helps.”

Poffenroth has seen steady improvement from Tackett.

“Brittany’s getting better and better,” Poffenroth said. “She just has to understand the game. She’s pretty green at the game. She hasn’t played as much AAU as the others. But she’s really studied it and asks a lot of good questions. She’ll stay after class sometimes and ask questions about it.”

At one point late in the first half, CdA had four sophomores on the floor.

“It was the depth that helped,” Poffenroth said. “That’s why you have to have depth.”

LC played better in the second and third quarters, but the T-Wolves had dug too big a hole to make a serious threat.

“I thought our girls played hard, we just couldn’t get over the hump,” LC coach Royce Johnston said.

Kendalyn Brainard supported Tackett’s effort with 13 points and Sydney Williams had 11 with eight rebounds for the Vikings.

Post Falls 51, Lewiston 44 (OT): It was a tight battle throughout – a game either team could have secured in regulation.

The Trojans had fewer errors in a mistake-laden overtime.

Junior post Dani Failor had a game-high 26 points to lead the Trojans.

Lewiston played without Gonzaga University-bound forward Chelsea Waters, who stayed at home and is recovering from an undisclosed illness that had her hospitalized earlier in the week. She’s missed three games and coach Pat Teichmer isn’t sure she’ll be able to return.

“They (Lewiston) made some great plays and some big shots, but I thought we came back and lost our composure for a little bit but got it back,” first-year PF coach Marc Allert said.

Jennifer Hansen and Tisha Phillips led Lewiston with 13 points each.

“I thought we got off to a slow start, but we picked up our effort in the second quarter and played as hard as we could,” Teichmer said. “We made a few mistakes down the stretch that cost us.”