Advertise Here


Priest River girls capture title

The Priest River girls basketball team topped Kellogg 45-33 in the State 3A final at the Idaho Center in Nampa.

Click the tab below to read my unedited game story.


By Greg Lee

Staff writer

NAMPA, Idaho – Gary Stewart couldn’t contain his emotions.

So the Priest River girls basketball coach stepped out of the way and asked assistant coach Katie Bodecker to introduce the Spartans after they captured the school’s first state championship in a team sport Saturday.

Stewart’s Spartans downed Kellogg 45-33 in a well-played State 3A final at the Idaho Center.

“I’m such a cry baby,” Stewart said. “My girls know that anything sentimental and I’m going to start crying.”

Capturing a state title certainly would fall in that category.

It was the first all-Intermountain League final since 2002 when Lakeland topped Priest River. Kellogg was playing in its second title in five years.

And Kellogg appeared as if it might pull off an upset when the Wildcats took a 30-27 lead over the District I-II champs into the fourth quarter.

Moments later, though, the Spartans (19-7) went on a 13-0 run and the separation was all they needed.

“It’s awesome considering my dad’s the coach,” said senior guard Taylor Stewart, who scored 16 points. “I don’t have words that describe how I feel right now.”

Smack dab in the middle of things for the Spartans was IML most valuable player Melissa Hopkins, a 5-foot-9 junior post who had a game-high 17 points to go with 12 rebounds.

Hopkins had 10 points during the Spartans’ fourth-quarter surge.

It was a timeout early in the period that Stewart pointed at as providing a turning point.

“We were starting to get on each others nerves a little bit and I took a timeout and we regrouped,” Stewart said. “We started kind of slow today. We  talked about it at halftime that we need to bring the energy and focus on the next 16 minutes.”

Kellogg (18-9) fought the Spartans for a little more three quarters before they seemed to fatigue.

“We just didn’t have our legs,” first-year Kellogg coach Jeff Lambert said. “It wasn’t our best game tonight and I don’t think we had our legs. We’re only seven or eight deep, as everybody can see, and I think maybe it caught up with us.”

Chelsea Morgan led Kellogg with 13 points and nine rebounds.

Another key contributor for Priest River was guard Tristan Troudt, who had seven steals, six rebounds, five assists and seven points.

Kellogg has much to be proud of considering they upset IML champ Timberlake to even earn a state berth.

“Nobody expected us to even be here let alone be in the championship game so that’s what we’re trying to think about now,” Lambert said. “Overall, second in the state isn’t anything to hang your head over.”

Please keep it civil. Don't post comments that are obscene, defamatory, threatening, off-topic, an infringement of copyright or an invasion of privacy. Read our forum standards and community guidelines.

You must be logged in to post comments. Please log in here or click the comment box below for options.

comments powered by Disqus
« Back to SportsLink

Get blog updates by email

About this blog

SportsLink is your portal into sports news around the Inland Northwest and beyond. You'll find updates, notes and opinions, and plenty of reader feedback.


Latest comments »

Read all the posts from recent conversations on SportsLink.


Jim Allen Sports reporter Jim Allen's primary coverage areas are Eastern Washington University football and men's basketball, and college and high school soccer. He also contributes to the SportsLink Blog.

Recent work by Jim

Jim Meehan Jim Meehan's coverage areas include Gonzaga University men's basketball, Spokane Shock football, golf and volleyball. He also contributes to the SportsLink Blog.

Recent work by Jim

Chris Derrick Chris Derrick is a sports reporter. His primary coverage areas are the Spokane Chiefs, Spokane Indians, women's basketball and high school softball and volleyball. He also contributes to the SportsLink Blog.

Recent work by Chris

Josh Wright Josh Wright is a freelance correspondent who covers the University of Idaho football team and men's basketball team.

Recent work by Josh

Vince Grippi is the online producer for SportsLink, a product of The Spokesman-Review.

Search this blog
Subscribe to this blog
Advertise Here