NAMPA – There will be a new champion this season at the 5A girls’ basketball state tournament.
Post Falls ended Mountain View’s two-year reign on Thursday, riding star forward Melody Kempton’s big game to an opening-round win over the Mavericks. The Trojans (20-2) will face top-ranked Eagle (24-1) in a semifinal on Friday.
In the other semifinal, Centennial (21-4) will play Madison (20-5) at 8 p.m. Centennial advanced by rolling past Lake City, using hot 3-point shooting and a dominant second half to pull away from the Timberwolves.
Lake City (19-6) falls into the consolation bracket, where it will face Kuna (11-13).
Post Falls 60, Mountain View 48: Led by a monster game from junior standout Melody Kempton, Post Falls ended Mountain View’s hopes of a championship three-peat.
Kempton was absolutely dominant, pouring in 29 points, grabbing 10 rebounds and controlling the paint on both ends of the floor against the undersized Mavericks. The junior Gonzaga commit made 10 of 12 field goals and 9 of 12 free throws in a nearly flawless performance.
The victory came in Post Falls’ first state appearance since winning it all in 2013.
“We’ve been waiting for this for a long time,” Kempton said. “It was so much fun, and to get the win and share that with my teammates, it was amazing.”
The game was a back-and-forth matchup featuring contrasting styles. Mountain View forced 18 turnovers that led to 18 points, but Post Falls countered by holding a 40-30 rebounding edge.
In the end, Kempton’s efficiency carried the day, as the Trojans shot 51 percent from the field and 72 percent from the free-throw line. Mountain View’s perimeter shooters had an off game as the Mavericks shot 29 percent from the floor, including 5 of 26 on 3-pointers.
“We knew they could shoot and handle the ball really well,” Kempton said. “Our main focus was to try and defend them.”
Junior guard Bayley Brennan and freshman guard Tyler McCliment-Call scored 11 points apiece for Post Falls, while junior post MacKenzie Morris added six points and 11 rebounds.
Senior guard Abby Kreiser led Mountain View with 14 points and seven rebounds. The Mavericks cut Post Falls’ lead to 42-41 in the fourth quarter, but they had no answer for Kempton. Already undersized, the Mavs’ matchup problems were magnified after losing senior post Adriana Vickery to a knee injury.
“We had some mismatches inside,” Post Falls coach Marc Allert said. “Melody did a great job of finishing, and our other kids did a great job of spacing and getting her the ball in the post.”
Centennial 61, Lake City 38: Lake City’s state title hopes were dashed on Thursday, carried away by a barrage of Centennial 3-pointers.
After keeping it close in the first half, the Timberwolves were unable to contain Centennial’s two Division I signees. Tori Williams (Utah) and Lauren Brocke (Wichita State) combined for 33 points, making 7 of 9 shots from 3-point territory as the Patriots pulled away.
“We talked about not letting Williams and Brocke go off, but they started knocking down shots,” Lake City coach Bryan Kelly said. “We’re disappointed because that wasn’t our best basketball, but this group will rebound and be ready to go [Friday].”
Junior post Keara Simpson led Lake City with 13 points and seven rebounds. University of Idaho signee Nina Carlson and 6-foot-4 senior post Lauren Rewers added eight points apiece for the Timberwolves, who shot 41 percent from the floor and committed 18 turnovers.
Perhaps most surprisingly, Lake City was outrebounded 34-21. The Timberwolves had the size advantage, but Centennial countered with quickness and swarming defensive traps.
“They outworked us,” Kelly said. “They battled us and did a good job of double-teaming, and we didn’t handle their pressure very well. But you have to give them credit – they’re good. There’s a reason those two girls are going on to play at the next level.”
The lightning-quick Williams finished with 16 points, seven rebounds and five assists for Centennial. Brocke had 17 points – making all five 3-point attempts – and Alicia Curry chipped in 12 points for the Patriots, who outscored Lake City 32-16 in the second half to turn a 29-22 halftime lead into a runaway.
Preston 44, Sandpoint 39: Harley Carlisle scored 11 points with nine rebounds and the Indians (17-7) beat the Bulldogs (10-12) in the first round of the 4A state tournament at Mountain View HS in Meridian.
Trinity Golder scored 26 points on 10-of-22 shooting, including 6 of 11 beyond the arc, to lead Sandpoint, which faces Minico in a consolation bracket game on Friday at 12:15 p.m.
Sugar-Salem 85, Priest River 41: Amanda Rudd scored 26 points and the Diggers (21-4) handled the Spartans (9-16) in the first round of the 3A state tournament at Middleton HS.
Melissa Krampert scored eight points to lead Priest River, which faces Weiser in the consolation bracket on Friday at 12:15 p.m.
Timberlake 67 Teton 16: Keelie Lawler scored 22 points – 18 in the first half – and the Tigers (21-2) routed the Redskins (19-5) in the first round of the 3A state tournament at Middleton HS.
Timberlake, which led 24-4 after the first quarter, tied a 3A tourney record for fewest points allowed in game. The Tigers continue their quest for back-to-back state titles and advance to face Parma on Friday at 7 p.m.
Shelby Starr added 15 points for Timberlake. The Tigers shot 54 percent overall and made 7 of 15 3-point attempts.
St. Maries 71, Cole Valley Christian 68: Kelsey Auer scored 30 points with eight rebounds and the Lumberjacks (16-4) dropped the Chargers (17-6) in overtime in the first round of the 2A state tournament at Bishop Kelly HS in Boise.
Auer was 10 of 17 from the field and 9 of 11 from the line. Madison Cordell added 13 points and 10 rebounds for St. Maries, which advances to face Ririe on Friday at 5:15 p.m.
Holly Golenor led Cole Valley Christian with 21 points and 14 rebounds.
Butte County 57, Lakeside (ID) 30: Shaylee Lambson and Kinsey Isham scored 13 points apiece and the Pirates (22-0) topped the Knights (16-3) in the first round of the 1A DII state tournament at Nampa HS.
Tommia Pakootas scored eight points to lead Lakeside, which faces Carey in the consolation bracket on Friday at 5:15 p.m.
Genesis Prep 59, Rockland 38: Bella Murekatete scored 33 points with 29 rebounds, eight assists and five blocked shots and the Jaguars (14-5) topped the Bulldogs (17-9) 59-38 on Thursday in the first round of the 1A DII state tournament at Nampa HS.
Genesis Prep advances to the state semifinals for the first time in school history to face Salmon River on Friday at 2 p.m.
Rachel Schroeder added 22 points with nine assists for the Jaguars.