Relatively quiet the last couple of games, Lake City’s 6-foot-6 junior post Kyle Guice reminded people Tuesday why he’s the best player in North Idaho and one of the best in the state.
Guice, who had scored 19 points in his last four games, broke out for a game-high 26 to lead the Timberwolves to an easy 58-33 win over Coeur d’Alene in the 5A Region I championship game at LC.
LC (17-5) advances to state, beginning Feb. 28 in Nampa.
CdA (13-9) will be at home to face Post Falls (9-13) in a loser-out game Thursday. The winner moves on to face the District III fifth-place team Saturday to decide a state berth.
Post Falls eliminated Lewiston 52-36 at Lewiston.
Lake City 58, Coeur d’Alene 33: Guice said it wasn’t so much that he had off games recently as he was deferring to his teammates.
“My shot was just feeling good and my teammates put me in a good position to score the ball,” said Guice, who pulled down a game-high 11 rebounds and had two blocked shots. “The last couple of games my teammates have been shooting the ball more and hitting shots that they need to get them going. It was just my game tonight.”
LC coach Jim Winger said Guice had been slowed by some poor decisions.
“He didn’t play as well as he’s used to but he hasn’t been out on the floor a lot either because he’s been getting some dumb fouls,” Winger said. “Tonight he stayed out of (foul trouble). When he’s angry and possessed he’s as good as they get. He was loaded for bear and it was over. When he gets that look on his face he can flat out play.”
Guice wasn’t the only T-Wolf loaded for big game. LC opened with a 14-0 run and led 19-1 after the first quarter.
CdA didn’t score its first basket until the 6:51 mark of the second period.
Vikings interim coach Darren Taylor thought LC’s fast start was fueled by a defensive change.
“They had a good plan there at the beginning,” Taylor said. “They changed a lot of stuff they do. They weren’t switching their screens and we thought we’d get some mismatches. It was a good little game plan by coach Winger. It got us off to a slow start.”
Winger said he changed nothing.
“We didn’t change anything … we did what we’ve done all year long,” Winger said.
CdA was never in the game.
A leaning baseline jumper by Riley Moreen as time expired at the end of the third quarter extended LC’s lead to 46-19.
Guice had support from JJ Winger and Moreen. Winger scored 12 points, hitting four 3-pointers, and Moreen had 10 points and nine rebounds.
Ryan Walde led CdA with 10 points, nine coming in the second quarter.
Post Falls 52, Lewiston 36: Trailing 21-15 at halftime, the Trojans rallied in the final two quarters by outscoring the Bengals (6-16) 36-15. The Trojans made a season-best 17 of 25 free throws, 11 of 14 in the fourth quarter. Keaton Corr, Matt Hillman and Nick Hall came off the bench to lead the Trojans in scoring. Corr had 12 and Hillman and Hall had 11 each. Rafa Hewitt-Steiger led Lewiston with 16.
4A Region I
Lakeland 65, Sandpoint 48: The Hawks (12-11) used a 19-7 start that included six 3-pointers to put the visiting Bulldogs (2-20) in a hole they couldn’t dig out of in a loser-out game. The Hawks travel to Moscow (15-5) on Thursday. Lakeland must beat the Bears twice to capture the regional title. Moscow advances to state with a win. Randy McCabe led Lakeland with 14 points and Tyler Stanford and Matt Horne had 11 each. Scott Simpson had a team-high 10 rebounds and Tyrel Derrick had six assists. Jeremiah Gagnon led Sandpoint with 15 points.