The top seeds in the 5A Region I girls basketball tournament played like top seeds in opening-round play Friday.
The No. 1-ranked Post Falls Trojans overcame a slow start to handle Lake City 54-25 and the second-ranked Coeur d’Alene Vikings dispatched fifth-rated Lewiston 52-36 at Post Falls.
That sets up a third showdown Tuesday when CdA (17-4) visits Post Falls (20-1) in the winner-to-state game for the title while LC (10-11) travels to Lewiston (15-6) for a loser-out game. Both games begin at 7 p.m.
Coeur d’Alene 52, Lewiston 36: The Vikings had their best start in three games against the Bengals.
The Viks zipped to an 11-0 lead before Lewiston scored at the 2-minute, 12-second mark. And CdA closed out the quarter with a 3-pointer from Caelyn Orlandi and a jumper from Madison Sumner for a 16-2 lead.
“That really made a big difference because by getting that kind of start it makes them play our game instead of us having to play their game,” CdA coach Dale Poffenroth said.
CdA took a 23-8 lead into halftime in what Poffenroth said was the Vikings’ best first half of the season.
The Viks increased their lead to 34 points in the third.
Then all of a sudden, Lewiston, behind University of Idaho-bound point guard Karlee Wilson, showed some life in the fourth. Wilson hit two 3-pointers and scored 12 of her team-high 15 points in the final 8 minutes as the Bengals pulled within 48-35.
CdA, which usually plays man-to-man defense, opened in a zone and covered the perimeter well, not allowing Wilson, or her sister Lynzee, a chance to get rolling.
Orlandi led CdA with 15 points and Kendalyn Brainard, back from an injury she suffered in the second game against Post Falls, had seven rebounds.
“It was a good start,” Orlandi said. “We’ve been working hard all week … working on everything.”
Post Falls 54, Lake City 25: The Trojans got plenty of opportunities in the first quarter but managed to only make 4 of 19 shots from the field.
“I thought we got good shots but for whatever reason they didn’t go in,” Post Falls coach Marc Allert said.
The Timberwolves took advantage. LC post Madi Farrell got a putback to give the T-Wolves their last lead at 16-15 with 4:55 to go before halftime.
Post Falls closed on a 12-1 run, sparked by point guard Brooke Litalien, to take a 27-17 lead into intermission.
Litalien hit two 3-pointers in the final 3 minutes of the first half. She finished with a game-high 17 points and six rebounds. Brenna Meehan came off the bench to lead in rebounds with seven.
Farrell led LC with 11 points, nine rebounds and four blocked shots.
Litalien is looking forward to Tuesday.
“I expect it to be a really close game and may the best team win,” Litalien said.