NAMPA, Idaho – Third-place state tournament games often come down to which team wants it most less than 24 hours after a disappointing semifinal loss.
The Lake City boys answered that question from the opening tipoff Saturday, steamrolling Rocky Mountain 66-50 at Columbia High.
Justin Pratt led four senior starters in double figures with 17 points for the Timberwolves, who led wire-to-wire and captured their first state trophy since 2002.
“Rocky beat us pretty bad last year, and this was redemption for us,” Pratt said
“We really wanted it more than them. We played hard the whole game and brought home a trophy.”
Chuckie Adams (12), Jake Vetsch (12) and JJ Winger (11) also scored in double figures for Lake City (19-6), which outscored Rocky Mountain 19-7 in the first quarter to establish a lead, and then 18-8 in the third to pull away for good.
“Ten out of ten,” Lake City coach Jim Winger said when asked how impressed he was by his team’s resolve. “We were ready to go from the opening whistle. We played great basketball and beat an outstanding team today.”
Lake City, which has eight seniors, shot 49 percent from the field and played suffocating defense. Boise State football signee Kekoa Nawahine had 12 points and seven rebounds for the Grizzlies, but leading scorers EJ Boyce (3 points on 1-for-10 shooting), John Sherle (11 points on 3-for-11 shooting) and Logan Skurdal (0 points) all were shut down.
Overall, Rocky Mountain shot just 33 percent from the field, including 20 percent from 3-point range.
The win removes at least some of the sting for Lake City after a hard-fought semifinal loss to top-ranked state finalist Capital on Friday.
“These kids set a goal after last year, and I thought they came out and played really well in all three (state tournament) games,” Winger said.
“They didn’t want to go home empty-handed.”
Filer 44, Kellogg 38: Filer defeated Kellogg in the third place game in the 3A tournament at Meridian High. Gus Colburn led Kellogg with 14 points and six assists. Kaleb Whitlock also had 14 to top Filer.