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Thu., Feb. 17, 2011, 11:11 a.m.

Idaho state girls hoops

Idaho media over the years have done a coop when it comes to state tournaments. We put together capsules glances of our area teams and share them with media statewide.

Click the tab below to see glances of all the teams.


Class 5A

Boise Braves

Record: 19-4

Coach: Kim Brydges, sixth season

Road to state: Beat Caldwell 48-47 in District III quarterfinals; beat Capital 50-43 in semifinals to qualify for state; lost to Centennial 61-58 in overtime for district championship.

Players to watch: G Aleah Lowber, sr. (12.8 ppg, 4.7 rpg, 2.0 apg, 2.5 steals); F Jackie Luna-Castro, sr. (17.6 ppg, 9.8 rpg, 2.8 blocks, 1.4 steals); G Samantha Haroian, sr. (4.5 ppg, 3.7 rpg, 2.0 steals); G Maddie Skaggs, soph. (4.2 ppg); G McKenna Butler, fr. (5.1 ppg).

Team breakdown: Three of the Braves’ four losses this season were against unbeaten Centennial, including their overtime setback in the district final. … This is Boise’s 11th trip to state since the turn of the century and they’ve returned home with a trophy in nine of the previous 10 trips. … The 2010 fourth-place finishers won state titles in 2005, 2002 and 1978. … “Our focus this year has been continued improvement, and it has been great to see the girls grow both individually and together as a team,” Brydges said.

Capital Eagles

Record: 18-6

Coach: Blas Telleria, fifth season

Road to state: Beat Vallivue 50-34 in District III quarterfinals; lost to Boise 50-43 in semifinals; lost to Meridian 49-41 in consolation semifinals; beat Caldwell 53-38 in fifth-place game.

Players to watch: C Amber Vandiver, sr. (11.7 ppg, 10.9 rpg); G Kalli Williams, jr. (7.8 ppg, 3.7 apg, 2.1 steals); F Morgan Buhr, jr. (7.5 ppg, 4.2 rpg); G Liz Landreth, soph. (9.6 ppg, 1.3 steals); C Delaney Sauer, fr. (4.0 ppg, 4.3 rpg).

Team breakdown: This is Capital’s first trip to state since 2002. … The Eagles lost twice in the state play-in game in the past four seasons. … Four of the team’s five starters will return next year. … Vandiver has signed a National Letter of Intent with Boise State. … “We have met a lot of individual, team, and program goals this year,” Telleria said. “Success at state will highlight the growth we have had.”

Centennial Patriots

Record: 23-0

Coach: Emery Roy, 24th season

Road to state: Beat Meridian 67-37 in District III quarterfinals; beat Mountain View 60-29 in semifinals; beat Boise 61-58 in overtime to win championship.

Players to watch: G Sofia Huerta, sr. (12.6 ppg, 5.1 rpg, 4.3 apg, 4.2 steals); G Sierrna Short, jr. (13.1 ppg, 2.4 rpg, 2.5 steals); F Jessica Rutter, sr. (11.4 ppg, 5.5 rpg); G/F Emily Stickney, jr. (7.3 ppg, 5.2 rpg); G Sherise Porchia, soph. (5.8 ppg, 3.5 rpg, 3.1 apg, 2.5 steals).

Team breakdown: Roy recorded his 700th win as a girls basketball coach with a victory against Capital on Jan. 8. … The longtime coach enters the state tournament with 708 wins and nine state championships — four with Meridian and five with Centennial. … He is the only coach in program history. … Centennial’s first-round opponent at state is the same team the Patriots faced in the district quarterfinals. … The Patriots has won all but four of their games this season by double figures.

Coeur d’Alene Vikings (defending champions)

Record: 18-5

Coach: Dale Poffenroth, seventh season

Road to state: Lost to Lake City 41-35 in the District I-II tournament first round; beat Post Falls 75-52 in elimination game; beat Lake City 63-42 for second place.

Players to watch: F Carli Rosenthal, 6-foot-3, sr. (13.6 ppg, 9 rpg, 3 apg); G Kyeli Parker, jr. (9.4 ppg); G Caelyn Orlandi, jr. (9.0 ppg); F Kendalyn Brainard, soph. (8.1 ppg).

Team breakdown: Year in and year out the Vikings play one of the most difficult schedules, if not the most difficult, in the state. This year was no different. Their first loss was to Clackamas, Ore., at a tournament in Portland. They lost twice to Lewiston, which fell to CdA in the state final last year. CdA defeated Federal Way (Wash.), top-ranked among Washington 4A teams (largest classification) 70-69 in the Holiday Inn Express championship game in late December. The Viks are seeking a fourth straight state title.

Lewiston Bengals

Record: 19-3

Coach: Pat Teichmer, seventh year

Path to State: Beat Post Falls 46-32 in District I-II semifinals; beat Lake City 52-50 in championship.

Players to watch: Tanis Fuller, Savannah Blinn, Karlee Wilson.

Team breakdown: After returning to state last season for the first time since 1989, the Bengals waltzed to the title game. This season Lewiston has lived up to all the hype to earn another trip to the Idaho Center thanks to clutch playmaking from Fuller, who sunk the winning basket with less than 2 seconds remaining in the district championship game, and the tough interior presence of Blinn and Chelsea Waters. Blinn and Waters make rebounding an oppressive task for opponents, and both players can score quickly in the paint. Sophomore Karlee Wilson and junior Tisha Phillips have talent to spare and each is capable of taking over a game when the need arises.

Meridian Warriors

Record: 10-14

Coach: Ryan Curry, fifth season

Road to state: Beat Rocky Mountain 59-47 in District III play-in game; lost to Centennial 67-37 in quarterfinals; beat Eagle 46-32 in elimination game; beat Capital 49-41 in consolation semifinals to earn fourth place.

Players to watch: F Holly Blades, soph. (8.7 ppg, 5.3 rpg, 2.0 steals); G Mykaela Richards, soph. (7.7 ppg), G Hallie Taufoou, jr. (8.8 ppg, 5.3 rpg, 1.9 steals); C Tara Marston, sr. (6.1 ppg, 7.5 rpg).

Team breakdown: This was the second-best season for Meridian since Mountain View opened in 2003 and reduced the size of the school’s student body. … The Warriors finished with 17 victories last year and lost in the consolation game at state against Boise. … Prior to last season, the most victories Meridian had posted in a season since 2003 was six. The Warriors own four state championships (1980, 1981, 1982, 1983) — all under current Centennial coach Emery Roy. … “In spite of the fact that we lost a lot of close games, we kept improving and didn't let frustration bring us down,” Curry said. “Over the past two weeks, we've played our best basketball.”

Mountain View Mavericks

Record: 15-8

Coach: Connie Skogrand, eighth season

Road to state: Beat Eagle 46-42 in District III quarterfinals; lost to Centennial 60-29 in semifinals; beat Caldwell 32-27 in consolation semifinals to earn third place.

Players to watch: P Miriam Ridgwell, sr. (10.0 ppg, 5.7 rpg); F Lexey Neitzel, sr. (9.0 ppg, 6.0 rpg, 1.5 blocks, 2.0 steals, 1.7 apg); G Jenna Wiskus, sr. (6.3 ppg, 3.0 rpg); G Launia Davis, jr. (8.0 ppg, 1.4 steals); F Whitney Gay, jr. (4.5 ppg, 4.3 rpg, 1.5 apg).

Team breakdown: This is the third trip to state in four years for Mountain View, but the Mavericks are still looking for their first win. … They have qualified four times since the school opened in 2003 and are 0-8 in those trips.

Class 4A

Bishop Kelly Knights

Record: 14-9

Coach: Derek McCormick, fourth season

Road to state: Beat Columbia 52-15 in District III quarterfinals; beat Emmett 59-37 in semifinals to qualify for state; lost to Middleton 64-36 in championship game.

Players to watch: Randi McReynolds, jr. (8.6 ppg, 5 rpg); Megan Rebholtz, jr. (7.7 ppg); Erin Kelly, sr. (6 ppg, 3.5 apg).

Team breakdown: This is Bishop Kelly’s third trip to the state tournament in McCormick’s four years as coach. ... The Knights opening day starting roster has only played four games together all season. ... Senior post Michelle Violette has missed a majority of the season.

Middleton Vikings (defending champions)

Record: 21-2

Coach: Andy Jones, ninth year

Road to state: Beat Nampa 71-33 in District III quarterfinals; beat Mountain Home 66-36 in semifinals;, beat Bishop Kelly 64-36 for district championship.

Players to watch: F Madeline Laan, sr. (12.5 ppg, 3.5 rpg 2.3 apg); P D’Rae Tullock, fr. (7.6 ppg, 5.1 rpg); G Maya Ah You, so. (8.3 ppg, 3.5 rpg, 2.3 apg)

Team Breakdown: The team which has been in the championship game the past three years — and won two of them, started the season 1-2 — but has won 20 straight games since then. ... The Vikings replace four starters from last year’s squad. ... Jones, who won a state title with Caldwell in 2001, is aiming for his fourth state title as a coach.

Moscow Bears

Record: 8-15

Coach: Robin Barnes, first season

Road to state: Beat Sandpoint 41-24 in District I-II first round; beat Lakeland 39-31 in semifinals and 62-42 for district championship.

Players to watch: F Abi Quinett, jr.

Team breakdown: Moscow's sub-.500 record isn't an intimidating mark, but the Bears' slate almost justifies it. Six losses were to ranked 5A clubs Lewiston, Coeur d'Alene and Lake City. Another three were at the hands of ranked Washington 2A (Idaho's equivalent to 4A) Clarkston and West Valley. Moscow was hit hard when two of its starters transferred to Lewiston last summer.  Six-foot junior Abi Quinett, daughter of former Washington State star Brian Quinnett, has paced the Bears inside all season.

Mountain Home Tigers

Record: 14-9

Coach: Brent Keener, fourth season

Road to state: Beat Skyview 47-36 in District III quarterfinals; lost to Middleton 66-36 in semifinals; beat Kuna 65-25 in elimination game; beat Skyview 61-49 in third-place game.

Players to watch: Dakota Barrie; Keesha Janis-Gibson, Jessica Liercke.

Team breakdown: The Tigers are in the tournament for the second time in three years after missing out the previous six seasons. ... Barrie was a starter for the Tigers during their last state tournament appearance.

Rigby Trojans

Record: 22-0

Coach: Clyde Nelson, third season

Road to state: Beat Bonneville 69-42 in District VI semifinals; beat Madison 42-33 for the district championship.

Players to watch: G Megan Olaveson, sr. (11.8 ppg, 31.6 pct. 3-pt.); F Courtney Nield, sr. (11.2 ppg, 6.5 rpg, 2 steals); F Cree Phillips, sr. (6.6 ppg, 7.2 rpg); F Katelyn Kinghorn, sr. (9. ppg, 4 rpg); G Alli Furniss, jr. (9.9 ppg, 50 pct. 3-pt.).

Team breakdown: Rigby’s senior core of Olaveson, Nield, Phillips and Kinghorn return to their third straight tournament after taking the consolation trophy last season. Five players have led the balanced Rigby offense in scoring. Rigby almost exclusively runs a man defense that sags and switches all screens, making it appear like a zone.

Twin Falls Bruins

Record: 17-7

Coach: Nancy Jones, fourth season

Road to state: Beat Minico 40-38 in District IV first round; lost to Wood River 52-43 in semifinals; beat Minico 46-30 in semifinals to qualify for state; lost to Wood River 43-42 in championship game.

Key players: F Jazlyn Nielsen, sr.; G Allie Kelsey, sr.; F Alyssa Soloaga, sr.; F Josie Jordan, jr.

Team breakdown: A senior-heavy team led by Jazlyn Nielsen and Allie Kelsey, the Bruins look to avenge their two and out showing from last year’s state tournament. The offense relies a lot on cuts and screens. The 6-foot Nielsen is effective in pick and rolls and has a deft post game. Kelsey can shoot the three. Josie Jordan will slash to the basket as well. A confident crew, the Bruins nearly took down Wood River last week in the District IV title game.

Wood River Wolverines

Record: 19-2

Coach: Mendy Benson, third season

Road to state: Beat Jerome 41-39 District IV first round; beat Twin Falls 52-43 in semifinals and 43-42 for the district championship.

Key players: G Kaitana Martinez, jr. (17.5 ppg); F Haylee Thompson, jr. (12.6 ppg); F Cheyenne Swanson, jr. (6.0 ppg).

Team breakdown: This is just the second state tournament appearance all-time for Wood River, and the first since moving to Class 4A. … Kaitana Martinez runs this show. The junior point guard is a great facilitator and passer for the offense. She likes to penetrate and can also hit the three. Haylee Thompson is a legit scoring threat down low, improving immensely from last season. Tough to score against in the paint, the Wolverines use an effective zone defense with its rotation of three 6-foot posts. … The Wolverines have already set a school record for wins, topping the old record of 17 matched last season.

Class 3A

Filer Wildcats

Record: 10-15

Coach: Kody Ketterling, first season

Road to state: Beat Buhl 43-30 in District IV first round; lost to Kimberly 44-29 in semifinal game; beat Buhl 47-46 in elimination game; beat Kimberly 44-42 in first district championship game and 53-50 in the “if-necessary” championship game.

Key players: G Jessica Tews, sr.; G Sierra Koyle, soph.; F Taylor Oyler, sr.; F Audrey Croy, jr.

Team breakdown: The Wildcats only won six games during the regular season but took four of five — including three elimination games — to win the district championship and earn their first trip to state since 2007. They boast a skilled point guard in Tews, who can shoot, drive or pass, and have balance both inside and out.

Fruitland Grizzlies

Record: 13-8

Coach: Beth Holt, seventh season

Road to state: Beat Homedale 64-35 in District III semifinals; beat Weiser 48-47 for the district championship.

Key players: P Jarica Martarano, sr. (9.5 ppg, 10 rpg, 2 apg); F Sadie Stutzman, soph. (13 ppg, 8 rpg, 2 spg); P Jandee Carlson, jr. (8.5 ppg, 7 rpg); G Miranda Clinton, jr. (6 ppg, 5 apg).

Team breakdown: With seven new players on the varsity after going two-and-out at state last year, the Grizzlies are just now hitting their stride. Holt says her team’s last four games have been the best games they’ve played. “We are peaking at the right time,” Holt said.

Priest River Spartans (defending champions)

Record: 13-10

Coach: Gary Stewart, fifth season

Road to state: defeated Bonners Ferry 55-39 in District I semifinals, lost to Timberlake 48-27 in district title game, defeated Bonners Ferry 45-42 in second-place game.

Players to watch: F Liz Halcro, jr., (11.5 ppg, 10 rpg); G/F Holly Hirst, sr. (10.5 ppg, 6 rpg); G Steffie Pavey, so. (7 ppg, 5 steals).

Team breakdown: Priest River lost starting forward and 2010 Intermountain League Most Valuable Player Melissa Hopkins to a torn ACL during volleyball season. “It took us half of the season getting comfortable to playing without her in the lineup,” Stewart said. “We’ve got seven or eight different players that score for us, which may make us a better team than last year. I told our girls during the first practice of the season that we’re the defending state champs until someone knocks us off. Last year, I thought we could do something and get a trophy. This year, we’re going to see where the chips fall.”

Snake River Panthers

Sugar-Salem Diggers

Record: 18-5

Coach: Todd Jensen, fifth season

Road to state: Beat Salmon 52-27 in District VI first round; beat Teton 60-34 in semifinals; beat South Fremont 54-32 in finals.

Players to watch: F Georgia Brown, jr. (11.8 ppg, 7.9 rpg, 1.2 blocks); G Vanessa Hawkes, sr. (9.0 ppg, 2.8 steals); G Kimber Choffin, sr. (9.4 ppg, 86.1 pct. FT, 3.2 apg).

Team breakdown: Sugar-Salem won its fourth straight district title and is playing in its fifth straight tournament in coach Todd Jensen’s fifth year in the program. He has won a trophy every year at state with Sugar-Salem, compiling a 10-2 and winning the title in 2009 and 2007. He also won the title while at Marsh Valley in 2005, making his career state tournament record 13-2. … Sugar-Salem’s has not lost a game against a 3A opponent this season. Its five losses came against 4A schools Shelley and Rigby (twice each) and two-time defending 2A champ West Jefferson (once). … Junior forward Georgia Brown has scored 15 points and grabbed 7.8 rebounds per game in her last five games.

Timberlake Tigers

Record: 18-4

Coach: Matt Miller, sixth season

Road to state: Beat Kellogg 53-27 in District I semifinals; beat Priest River 48-27 in championship game.

Players to watch: F Cassie Thompson, sr. (22 ppg, 11 rpg); F Caitlyn Nichols, sr., (8 ppg, 7 rpg); G Kara Wenstrom, jr., (11 ppg, 5 apg),

Team breakdown: Timberlake is making its second trip to state in school history, going 0-2 in 2008-09, eliminated by Fruitland — this year’s first-round opponent. “We’re really not sure what to expect when it comes to them,” Miller said of the 3A tournament field. “We played Fruitland real close two years ago at state and it was a close game, so we’ll see how the girls react when they get down there.” Timberlake won the Intermountain League last year, but lost to Priest River for the district title and lost to Kellogg for the second berth to state — then watched from home as Priest River defeated Kellogg in the state title game. … Thompson has signed to play for the University of Portland. … This was the school’s first district championship in its 13-season history.

Weiser Wolverines

Record: 21-2

Coach: Nick Reed, third season

Road to state: Beat Payette 62-45 in District III semifinals; lost to Fruitland 48-47 for the district championship; beat Payette 50-36 in second-place game.

Key players: Marquita Palmer, jr. (13 ppg, 8 rpg); McKenzie Johnson, jr. (12 ppg); Kenzie Eisenbarth, sr. (8 ppg, 8 rpg); Shae Duren, sr. (9 ppg, 5 rpg, 3 apg); Nella Redman, jr. (8 ppg, 5 rpg).

Team breakdown: The Wolverines, who finished third at state a year ago, went unbeaten against Idaho teams during the regular season. Though they enter as the league’s No. 2 seed, the Wolverines shouldn’t be overlooked. They lost the district championship game on a 30-footer at the buzzer and all five starters are returning lettermen.

Class 2A

Declo Hornets

Record: 19-2

Coach: Dennie Smyer, second season

Road to state: Beat Wendell 73-28 in District IV quarterfinals; beat Valley 36-30 in semifinals; beat Gooding 54-38 for the district championship.

Players to watch: F Sydney Webb, jr. (15 ppg, 11 rpg); G Melissa Carson, sr. (10 ppg, 7 rpg); F Sierra Zollinger, sr. (7 ppg, 5 rpg, 5 apg).

Team breakdown: Only losses this season are to 3A’s Filer and Kimberly. … Six-foot forward Sydney Webb averages a double-double. She can dominate inside, as well as shoot the 15-foot jumper and handle the basketball. … Declo uses its length and athleticism to play aggressive pressure defense. Most of the Hornets’ offense is created in transition or inside the paint. They rarely shoot the 3.

Grangeville Bulldogs

Record: 11-7

Coach: Larson Anderson, 16th season

Road to state: Beat Kamiah 51-37 in District I-II championship game.

Players to watch: Kylie Brown, sr. (15 ppg); Nichole Solberg, sr. (10 ppg, 10 rpg); Taylor Canaday, sr. (10 ppg).

Team breakdown: The Bulldogs’ record doesn’t exactly sparkle, but they played a brutal schedule this season, losing to the likes of 5A Lewiston (twice), 4A Moscow and 1A Division I powerhouses Lapwai and Clearwater Valley. Grangeville is also the only team this year to beat Colton, the two-time defending Washington 1B champion. ... This is the Bulldogs’ ninth consecutive appearance in the state tournament, and they won the title in 2004, ‘05 and ‘08, bringing the program’s all-time total to seven. ... Unlike recent Grangeville teams, this squad has relied on half-court sets more than extended-court pressure defense.

Kamiah Kubs

Record: 13-9

Coach: Tina Ulmer, seventh season

Road to state: Beat Coeur d’Alene Charter 45-21 in District I-II tournament, lost to Grangeville 51-37 in title game, beat Coeur d’Alene Charter 56-34 in second-place game, beat Nampa Christian 55-43 in play-in game.

Players to watch: F Shelby Cloninger, soph. (17.4 ppg); G/F Kyndahl Ulmer, fr. (10.9 ppg); G/F Emily Lane, soph.; G/F Matea Harper, jr.

Team breakdown: This is just the second trip to state for the Kubs since 1985, but there might be more on the way, considering the amount of youth on the roster. Leading the way is the 5-foot-11 Cloninger, who can scoring inside and from the 3-point line. ... Kamiah’s most recent trip to state was in 2009, when it went 1-2.

Marsing Huskies

Record: 20-2

Coach: Tim Little, second season

Road to state: Beat Nampa Christian 34-32 in District III semifinals, beat Melba 23-22 in finals.

Players to watch: Ashley Hull, so. (11.3 ppg, 2.1 rpg); Becca Cossel, sr. (9.1 ppg, 9.1 rpg); Andi Merritt, sr. (6.5 ppg, 5.4 rpg).

Team breakdown: This only the second time Marsing has been in the state tournament, their first appearance coming in 2004. ... The Mustangs have been no strangers to close games this season. Their two district wins were by three points combined, and nine of their 20 wins this season were by six points or less.

Melba Mustangs

Record: 14-9

Coach Darrin Shindle, 2nd season

Road to state: Beat McCall-Donnelly 51-27 in District III quarterfinals; beat New Plymouth 39-33 in semifinals to qualify for state; lost to Marsing 23-22 in finals.

Players to watch: Shayla Richardson, sr. (11.2 ppg, 7.4 rpg, 2 steals); Jodie Hoagland, jr. (10.5 ppg, 2.4 apg, 2.7 steals); Michaela Shattuck, sr. (5.3 ppg, 4.4 rpg, 3.9 apg).

Team breakdown: Midway through the season, Melba sat at 7-7 and 5th place in their league. Since then, they’ve gone 7-2 and finished second at districts. ... This is the fifth time in the last eight years that Melba has made it to the state tournament, but in each of their previous four trips they lost in the first round. ... The Mustangs have two sophomores and two freshmen on their roster.

West Jefferson Panthers (defending champions)

Record: 20-1

Coach: Gary Skidmore, 1st season

Road to state: Beat Firth 45-36 in District VI quarterfinals; beat North Fremont 55-31 in semifinals and 48-41 in championship.

Players to watch: G Alli Holdaway, sr. (14.2 ppg, 5.6 rpg, 3.3 steals); F Tiffany McDonald, sr. (10.1 ppg, 9.8 rpg, 3.3 steals), G Cassidy Skidmore, jr. (13.2 ppg, 34 pct. 3-pt.).

Team breakdown: West Jefferson will shoot for its third straight title with the trio of Holdaway, McDonald and Skidmore. The last two seasons, West Jefferson entered the tournament with an 18-10 record, then upset an undefeated team on the way to winning titles. Now favored for the first time, West Jefferson’s title chances may depend on keeping its short rotation out of foul trouble. That holds particularly true for McDonald, whose athletic play can alter the game but also lead to quick foul calls.

Class 1A Division I

Challis Vikings

Record: 20-1

Coach: Jim Chamberlain, first season

Road to state: Beat Hansen 59-27 in District IV-V-VI quarterfinals; beat Glenns Ferry 64-51 in semifinals; beat Raft River 69-58 in championship.

Players to watch: C Lauren Garlie, sr. (17.5 ppg, 6.9 rpg, 2.7 blocks), G Jenna Hamilton, sr. (10.7 ppg, 4.8 rpg, 36.1 pct. 3-pt.).

Team breakdown: Challis returns to state for the fourth-straight season looking to improve on its consolation trophy last year. Garlie, a three-year starter, will give Challis an advantage in the post against most teams. The key for Challis will be beating high-octane presses, especially if Challis runs into tournament favorites Clearwater Valley and Lapwai.

Clearwater Valley Rams (defending champions)

Record: 19-3

Coach: Krisi Pratt, 14th year

Path to State: Beat Genesee 49-28 in District II quarterfinals; beat Prairie 51-35 in semifinals; beat Lapwai 47-37 in championship.

Players to watch: Jade Gutzmann, Felicia Kolb, Mikel Harrington.

Team breakdown: Gutzman led the rams to the top seed from District 7 thanks to an 18-point effort in the title game against bitter rival Lapwai. It was the first District title for longtime coach Krisi Pratt, but her team is no stranger to success. Clearwater Valley has reached the State title game in each of the past two seasons, and won it all last year. Gutzman and Kolb are both savvy play-makers with scoring ability, while Harrington and Tisha Ruebens both bring an aggressive and opportunistic playing style under the boards.

Greenleaf Grizzlies

Record: 13-8

Coach: Bruce Johnson, fifth season

Road to state: Beat Idaho City 39-21 in District III quarterfinals, Beat Rimrock 35-34 in semifinals to qualify for state, lost to Notus 49-14 in finals

Players to watch: Madison Johnson (15 ppg, 12 rpg, 4 apg); Haley Paulson 11 ppg, 3 rpg), Brandi Parker (6 ppg, 5 rpg).

Team breakdown: At the start of the season Greenleaf had six players on the varsity roster. ... Andrea Gooding, who averaged 7 points and nine rebounds per game, tore her ACL in the district championship game and will miss the state tournament.

Lapwai Wildcats

Record: 19-4

Coach: Shawn Spencer, 15th season

Path to State: Beat Potlatch 57-21 in the District II quarterfinals; beat Kendrick 56-37 in the semifinals; lost to Clearwater Valley 47-37 in championship.

Players to watch: Katherine Samuels, Natahnee Spencer, Sierra Higheagle.

Team breakdown: The Wildcats’ record is even more impressive than it appears due to Lapwai’s daunting non-league slate. Losses to 5A Lewiston and 2A Grangeville (which both qualified for State in their respective classes) have prepared this perennial 1A Division I contender for yet another run at a state title. Samuels has a special knack for relieving opposing ball-handlers of their quarry, and when combined with the play-making of Spencer and the shooting of Higheagle the Wildcats appear to be poised for another run to the title game.

Liberty Charter Patriots

Record: 13-7

Coach: Mark Wachsmuth, third season

Road to state: Beat Cascade 48-30 in District III quarterfinals, lost to Notus 46-35 in semifinals, beat Rimrock 43-28 in third place game.

Players to watch: G Emily Rainboth jr. (10.2 ppg, 4.8 rpg, 2.9 steals); G Alivia Wachsmuth so. (10.4 ppg, 3.8 rpg, 3.4 steals).

Team breakdown: The Patriots are back in the tournament after making it for the first time in school history a year ago. ... Liberty Charter has a young roster, featuring just one senior and five freshman. ... The lone senior, Toree Marshall missed last year after tearing her ACL the first week of the season.

Notus Pirates

Record 19-1

Coach: Brad Huter, second season

Road to state: Beat Wilder 74-13 in District III quarterfinals, beat Liberty Charter 46-35 in semifinals, beat Greenleaf 49—14 in finals.

Players to watch: Tarah Anderson, sr. (13.7 ppg, 7 rpg, 4 steals)l Yesenia Gomez, sr. (8.2 ppg, 2.6 apg, 3 steals), Jasmine Parra, jr. (8.7 ppg, 2.6 apg, 3 steals).

Team breakdown: The team is playing with the memory of its late coach Clint Burnett. Burnett, who coached the Pirates for three years, died two years ago. ... Notus has faced some injuries as of late. Huter said that the Pirates currently have seven players who are playing with knee braces.

Prairie Pirates

Record: 14-10

Coach: Lori Mader, first season

Path to State: Beat Deary 63-33 in District II quarterfinals; lost to Clearwater Valley 51-35 in semifinals; beat Troy 61-48 in consolation round; beat Kendrick 45-37 in consolation championship; beat Lakeside 42-25 in inter-district play-in game.

Players to watch: Meshel Rad, Megan Sigler, Makayla Schaeffer.

Team breakdown: Returning to State for the first time in four years, the Pirates have a game-changing player in Rad, a junior forward that routinely pulls in double-digit rebounds. Rad collected 21 rebounds in Prairie’s inter-district play-in game victory over Lakeside. Sigler and Schaeffer can cause trouble for opponents that key in too much on Rad in the paint with excellent perimeter shooting.

Raft River Trojans

Record: 18-6

Coach: Garth Steed, first season

Road to state: Beat Hagerman 59-46 in District IV-V-VI first round; beat Shoshone 51-47 in semifinals; lost to Challis 69-58 in district championship; beat Shoshone 57-53 in second-place game.

Players to watch: F Kassie Ottley, sr.; G Echo Hansen, jr.; G Hailey Greenwood, soph.; F Wynter Holtman, soph.

Team breakdown: Raft River makes its sixth consecutive state tournament appearance. Last year’s third-place finishers, the Trojans like to play up-tempo with full court defensive pressure. ... The return of junior sixth-man Taylor Whitaker from injury should help Raft River’s depth.

Class 1A Division I

Clark Fork Wampus Cats

Record: 12-8

Coach: Dexter Vogel, fifth season

Road to state: Beat Mullan 53-24 in the District I championship game to earn berth to state.

Players to watch: F Brocklynn Thornton, jr. (9 ppg, 8 rpg); G Dimi Kailang, so. (8.7 ppg, 3.3 steals); G Celeste Komanec, jr. (6 ppg, 3 apg); G Zara Palmer, sr. (3.5 steals); F Tessa Vogel, so. (5.5 rpg).

Notes: Clark Fork lost to eventual state champion Richfield in the first round of last year’s state tournament. Beat Rockland in consolation before losing to Summit Academy in the consolation final. Many of the Wampus Cats’ losses this season came against school from higher classifications.

Dietrich Blue Devils

Record: 20-2

Coach: Acey Shaw, sixth season

Road to state: Beat Community School 89-18 in District IV quarterfinals; beat Carey 47-40 in semifinals; lost to Richfield 55-43 in district championship; beat Camas County 63-23 for second place.

Players to watch: G Ellie Dalton, jr.; F Moriah Dill, jr.; G Charley Bingham, so.; G/F Shayla Porter, sr.

Team breakdown: The Blue Devils are making their fourth straight state tournament appearance and 12th in the last 15 seasons. They’re going for their 10th trophy in that timeframe. Dietrich’s only losses are to undefeated North Gem and two-time defending state champ Richfield.

Garden Valley Wolverines

Record: 13-8

Coach: Heather Kelly, second season

Road to state: Lost 47-38 to Meadows Valley in the District III semifinals; beat Council 52-16 in district elimination game; beat Meadows Valley 55-44 in second-place game.

Key players: G/F Chancey Jones, sr.; G Tess McInnally, sr.

Team breakdown: The Wolverines did not make the state tournament last year, but have two players (Jones and McInnally) who played in the state tournament the two previous seasons. Garden Valley lost to Richfield in a state play-in game last season, and will be looking for revenge when it plays the Tigers in the first round Thursday. The Wolverines are the only team to have beaten 1A Division I qualifier Notus.

Mackay Miners

Record: 12-10

Coach: Tanya Barker, first season

Road to state: Beat Sho-Ban 41-38 in District V-VI semifinals; lost to North Gem 44-35 in championship game; beat Rockland 63-57 in second-place game; beat Camas County 52-49 in state play-in game.

Players to watch: G Alaysha Whitworth, sr.; G Lyndsay Tillotson, sr.; F Mariah Williams, soph.

Team breakdown: Mackay returns to the state tournament after missing it last season, which snapped a streak of six straight tournament appearances. … Five of Mackay’s 10 losses have come to 2A opponents. Two more came to 1A Division I state qualifier Challis. Its only losses in the 1A Division I classification came to undefeated North Gem, three times.

North Gem Cowgirls

Richfield Tigers (defending champions)

Record: 17-5

Coach: Steve Kent, 10th season

Road to state: Beat Murtaugh 59-14 in District IV quarterfinals; beat Camas County 43-25 in semifinals; beat Dietrich 55-43 for district championship.

Players to watch: G Mirian Rivas, sr. (11.0 ppg, 5.5 rpg, 5.1 apg); G Sasha Kent, jr. (10.3 ppg, 5.9 steals).

Team breakdown: This isn’t the typical run-and-gun Richfield team that stifles you with full-court pressure defense and scores early and often in transition, but veteran coach Steve Kent found a way to get his team in position to vie for a third straight championship and a fourth in five seasons. Rivas and Kent make the offense go, forcing teams to stretch their defenses and make themselves vulnerable to a bevy of capable posts.

Summit Academy Patriots

Record: 17-8

Coach Pete Prigge, sixth season

Road to state:  Beat Timberline 60-42 in District I-II first round, beat Nezperce 44-38 in second round and 51-48 in overtime for the district championship.

Key players: G Rachel Wemhoff, sr.; G Jamie Chmelik, sr.; F Savannah Prigge, jr.

Team breakdown: Sr. Rachel Wemhoff functions as the veritable “quarterback” of the Patriots from her guard position. She joins Jamie Chmelik and Savannah Prigge as the trio of leaders on the team. There are 15 girls at Summit Academy and all but three play on the girls basketball team.

Tri-Valley Titans

Record: 16-3

Coach: Kylee Morris, first season

Road to state: Beat Council 66-26 in District III semifinals; beat Meadows Valley for the district championship.

Key players: Not provided.

Team breakdown: The Titans lost in the 1A Division I state consolation game a year ago, but moved down to Division II this season.




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    Greg Lee
    Greg Lee joined The Spokesman-Review in 1984. He currently is a prep reporter covering Eastern Washington and North Idaho schools.

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