NAMPA, Idaho – Post Falls and Coeur d’Alene proved they are the two best girls high school basketball teams in Idaho on Friday in the 5A tournament at the Idaho Center. All that’s left to decide now is who is No. 1.
Post Falls (23-1) survived third-ranked Highland 42-41, while CdA (21-5) dispensed of Capital 55-39 to set up the title game tonight at 7 (PST).
The area rivals have already met three times this season. CdA snapped Post Falls’ 15-game winning streak in their first meeting, but the Trojans have won the last two matchups.
Post Falls 42, Highland 41: After she went scoreless in the first three quarters, Post Falls senior Hallie Gennett scored eight points in the final quarter and secured the Trojans’ win with a rebound as time expired.
Gennett was more relieved than exuberant over the Trojans’ victory.
With Post Falls clinging to a one-point lead with 5 seconds remaining, her foul after a missed free throw with 2.7 seconds left gave Highland senior Dylan Gonzalez a chance to win the game with two free throws.
“Walking down the court, I knew I was going to be devastated if she made those free throws and we lost,” Gennett said. “Coach (Marc) Allert had just told us not to foul, and that’s what I did. So, I just said to myself that I’ve got to make up for it by grabbing the rebound.”
Gennett did exactly that when Gonzalez missed the front end of the one-and-one. After Brooke Litalien’s 3-pointer gave the Trojans their largest lead of the game at 32-21 with 1:55 left in the third quarter, Post Falls went cold.
Highland closed to within 32-27 with 6:25 left in the game. Then Gennett heated up. She made a 3-pointer with 4:20 left to push the lead back to 35-27.
Two minutes later, after Makenzie Van Sickle’s 3-pointer pulled Highland within 37-36, Gennett countered with another 3-pointer.
Highland refused to go away, cutting the defecit to 40-38 on a steal and layup by Gonzalez with 45 seconds remaining.
But Gennett came up big again, making a pair of free throws to push Post Falls’ lead back to four at 42-38 with 38 seconds remaining.
Highland (20-3) missed a pair of 3-point tries but took advantage of a missed free throw when Maren Herrud made a 3-pointer with six seconds left to pull the Rams within 42-41, setting the stage for the roller-coaster ending.
Dani Failor scored 15 points and grabbed 16 rebounds to lead Post Falls, which enjoyed a 37-29 rebounding advantage. Brooke Litalien also added 13 points and eight rebounds.
Coeur d’Alene 55, Capital 39: Sydney Williams dominated in the paint, and Caeylyn Orlandi and Madison Sumner handled the perimeter as the Vikings cruised past Capital.
Capital jumped out to an early lead in the opening minutes of the game, but could not sustain any offensive rhythm thanks to CdA’s swarming defense.
“Our girls played hard tonight and put a lot of defensive pressure on Capital,” CdA coach Dale Poffenroth said. “Our girls aren’t as fast or as strong as most of the teams we play, so we have to take advantage of our speed, which we did tonight.”
Williams was dominant early, scoring 18 of her 22 points in the first half. She also finished with 10 rebounds.
CdA never allowed Capital to get closer than seven points after the second quarter, keeping the pressure on Capital throughout.
Orlandi finished with 12 points.
Burley 42, Moscow 40: Aubrie Vale made 5 of 6 free throws and scored 13 points as the Bobcats eliminated the Bears (7-13) at Mountain View HS in Meridian. Kylie Gorton scored 10 points for Moscow.
Bonners Ferry 45, Priest River 35 (OT): The Badgers (17-6) pulled away in overtime and eliminated the Spartans (16-9) at Skyview HS in Nampa. Savannah Woods had 13 points and 10 rebounds for Bonners Ferry, which will play Marsh Valley in today’s consolation championship. Steffie Pavey had 12 points for PR.
Tri-Valley 47, Kootenai 18: Victoria Branch had 29 points as the Titans eliminated the Warriors (4-17) at Nampa HS. Katey Mae McInturff scored seven for Kootenai, which was eliminated.