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Viks Ready For Hardware Cda Defense Stymies Skyline; Title Game Next

The Coeur d’Alene High boys basketball team is guaranteed its first State A-1 trophy in 11 years.

But the Vikings want the hardware symbolic of something no Coeur d’Alene team has won in 25 years - a state championship.

Playing even better than the night before, especially on defense, Coeur d’Alene stifled top-ranked Skyline 55-35 in the semifinals Friday before a crowd estimated at 1,500 in the Idaho Center.

The Vikings (21-4) will square off against area favorite Borah of Boise (22-3) tonight at 7 PST. The game is scheduled to be televised statewide on Idaho public television. The contest also can be heard live on KVNI 1080 AM.

Borah advanced with a hard-fought 52-49 victory over Pocatello.

In loser-out games earlier, Bonneville rallied for a 58-57 win over Lewiston and Eagle downed Capital 70-58.

Coeur d’Alene 55, Skyline 35

A tight game for 16 minutes quickly turned into a runaway. Skyline shot poorly, but much of that was because of CdA’s tireless man-to-man defense that didn’t allow the Grizzlies many open shots.

And as the shooting seemed to worsen for Skyline, the Viks smelled opportunity. Skyline made just 12 of 52 shots from the field, 2 of 20 3-point attempts.

“When you play good defense like we did it can get into the other players’ heads,” CdA coach Larry Bieber said. “That’s the best defense we’ve played in a long time, probably all year.

“I told the kids in the locker room afterwards that this was the result of something they despised and hated this whole year. That’s all of our defensive drills that we had in the first part of every practice.”

The Viks trailed once when Zach Batte hit a free-throw-line jumper to give Skyline a 19-18 lead with 1:35 left before halftime.

It didn’t take long for the Viks to retrieve the lead. On the ensuing possession, CdA point guard Jim Rupp raced downcourt and popped a 13-footer.

The most critical basket for CdA, though, came when it held the ball for the bulk of the final 55 seconds of the half. Skyline left David Wood wide-open and the senior wing swished a 3-pointer with 5 seconds left to take his team into the locker room ahead 23-19.

Like their opener, the Viks owned the second half. They didn’t waste any time establishing dominance either. CdA opened with an 11-0 run, extending its lead to 34-19 when Casey Hoorelbeke took a nice pass for a one-handed jumper from short range.

Skyline didn’t score its first basket in the quarter until Doug DeMott drove baseline at 2:34.

“We should have put it to them sooner - in the first half,” Rupp said. “But we had some turnovers.”

CdA held at least a 10-point lead throughout the fourth quarter. A free throw by Rupp gave the Viks a 51-28 lead with 3:13 left. Both teams substituted thereafter.

Rupp finished with 13 points, nine fewer than Thursday. But he played a smarter game. He had seven assists and five steals.

Hoorelbeke led with 16 points and seven rebounds. Lukas O’Dowd added 10 points, five rebounds and three blocked shots.

“We came down here for the championship trophy,” Wood said. “Casey’s showing he’s one of the best posts in Idaho. He’s just unstoppable. And with everybody shooting so well outside we’re hard to beat.”

Tonight’s championship contest marks the first time a CdA school has qualified for the finale in the four years the town has had two high schools.

CdA played in the 1986-87 championship under then coach Jim Kravik. Rigby defeated the Viks 72-68.

Both Rupp and Wood said defense will be the key tonight.

“Our offense will come, we just have to play defense,” Rupp said.

Said Bieber: “I’ve never been so proud of a team defensively.”

He told the Viks to enjoy the victory briefly.

“Our record going into tonight’s game is zero and zero,” Bieber said.

Coeur d’Alene 55, Skyline 35

Skyline 6 13 5 11 -35

Coeur d’Alene 12 11 13 19 -55

SKYLINE - Taylor 3, Landon 0, Lugo 0, Reed 0, Wilson 0, Moor 8, Douglass 0, Wood 4, Hatch 0, Miles 0, Van Vliet 0, Stewart 0, Batte 10, DeMott 8.

COEUR D’ALENE - Fetzer 0, Je. Rupp 4, Chambers 0, Witten 2, Ji. Rupp 13, Wood 6, Kiel 0, Mellick 0, Ja. Rupp 0, DeArmond 0, Hoorelbeke 16, Sigler 4, O’Dowd 10.

Bonneville 58, Lewiston 57

Lewiston led Bonneville through much of their loser-out game. But junior forward Randy Reeves scored 24 points to pace the Bees, and Ryan Torngren’s free throws sealed the victory. His points from the free-throw line were among 16 for Bonneville - 10 more than Lewiston scored on free throws.

The Bees also got 19 points off the bench to just seven for the Bengals, who were led by 6-5 senior wing Steve Johnson’s 22 points and 21 from 6-8 senior post Carson Egland.

LEWISTON - Egland 21, Pierce 1, Holmes 3, Eck 6, Klamper 2, Wolf 2, Johnson 22.

BONNEVILLE - Johnson 4, Torngren 4, Jackson 1, Peterson 7, Rutz 6, Harrigfeld 5, Taylor 3, Christensen 4, Reeves 24.

Halftime-Lewiston 28, Bonneville 27. , DataTimes ILLUSTRATION: Color Photo

MEMO: Cut in Spokane edition

This sidebar appeared with the story: A-1 TITLE GAME CDA vs. Borah at 7 p.m. Pacific. TV: The game will be televised statewide on public television. Radio: KVNI 1080-AM.

Cut in Spokane edition

This sidebar appeared with the story: A-1 TITLE GAME CDA vs. Borah at 7 p.m. Pacific. TV: The game will be televised statewide on public television. Radio: KVNI 1080-AM.