NAMPA – The Post Falls boys basketball team picked a bad time to have an off night.
The Trojans’ shots didn’t fall. Loose balls and whistles didn’t go their way. Star guard Marcus Colbert couldn’t find his rhythm. And, at least on this night, the Borah Lions were Idaho’s best 5A team, settling a season-long debate with a convincing 49-31 championship victory at the Idaho Center.
“It’s been four years since someone handled us that well,” Post Falls coach Mike McLean said. “You have to give Borah credit. They outplayed us. They were the better team tonight.”
Borah (25-1) never trailed, leading 8-4 after one quarter, 21-13 after two and 34-21 after three before pulling away down the stretch. Sophomore point guard Isaiah Wright led the Lions with 13 points and senior wing Ben Tucakovic added 10 points – including back-to-back corner 3-pointers to begin the game – and nine rebounds as Borah captured its third state title under coach Cary Cada.
“There’s no way I thought this game would be decided by more than five points either way,” Cada said. “Post Falls had some shooting woes, and sometimes you need to catch breaks like that to win a state championship. It was our night, and I’m just really happy for our players.”
Post Falls (21-4) struggled from the outset, shooting 17 percent in the first half and 25 percent for the game while making just 1-of-15 3-point attempts. Colbert went 0-for-8 in the first half and tried to spark a second-half rally, but ultimately couldn’t find the magic that helped carry the Trojans through the first two rounds.
The senior, who signed on to play at Montana State next season, finished with 14 points on 5-for-22 shooting.
“I’m happy I was able to play with the group that I was given to play with,” Colbert said. “I love this group of guys and we gave it all we had, but we just got outplayed tonight. Borah played a good game. They made shots. We couldn’t hit the broad side of a barn. They just flat-out beat us tonight.”
Senior post Michael Hillman finished with seven points and 10 rebounds for Post Falls, which only had four players score points as seniors Luke Thoreson and Seth Anderson added six and four, respectively. Borah’s supporting cast was more effective, with junior wing Cody Spjute chipping in 11 points and senior center Brock Holubetz adding eight points, seven rebounds and solid interior defense.
At the end of a frustrating night, all McLean could do was shake his head and think of the good times he shared with this class of seniors, several of whom were on the team when Post Falls ended its 46-year state championship drought in 2010.
“Tonight is what it is, but I’m just so proud of my seniors,” McLean said. “They left this program in better shape than when they found it. I’m going to miss those guys.”