Perhaps it was a coming of age for the 5A Region I boys basketball tournament lowest seeds Tuesday as the co-Inland Empire League champs were upended.
Third-seeded Post Falls upset No. 1-ranked Lewiston 69-62 at Lewiston to capture the regional title, while No. 4 Coeur d’Alene knocked off second-seeded Lake City 59-41 in a loser-out game at Lake City.
Post Falls (17-5) advances to state, March 5-7 at the Idaho Center in Nampa, where the Trojans will meet District III fourth-place finisher Borah (15-9) in an opener.
Coeur d’Alene (9-13) travels to Lewiston (17-4) on Thursday in a loser-out game. The winner moves on to a play-in game for a state berth on Saturday in Grangeville against the District III fifth-place team.
The CdA-Lewiston winner will meet the Boise (11-13)-Mountain View (15-9) winner in the play-in game.
Post Falls 69, Lewiston 62: Trojans second-year coach Mike McLean has asked his team all season to learn how to impose its will.
The Trojans met their coach’s standard at Lewiston.
“We wanted to shut off their 3-point shots and we did that,” McLean said. “We imposed our will from the opening tip.”
Junior wing Shawn Reid owned the boards, grabbing a career-high 20 to go with a game-high 23 points. Senior post Justin Carter added 19 points. Carter was especially strong on defense in the post against the taller Bengals.
“He played phenomenal defense against guys 7 to 8 inches taller than him on the block,” McLean said. “We took some lumps last year, but all of the hard work they’ve put in is paying off.”
Peter Gregg led Lewiston with 18 points.
Coeur d’Alene 59, Lake City 41: The Vikings outplayed the Timberwolves (16-6) from start to finish in all phases of the game.
“I thought it was our best game of the year,” said CdA coach Kent Leiss, whose team doesn’t have a senior. “I thought everybody played well, but I thought Devon Austin’s performance … was (his) best game of the year.”
The Vikings were patient on offense and shot especially well, making 19 of 33 shots (58 percent).
As hot as CdA was, LC was a polar opposite. The T-Wolves made just 12 of 45 (27 percent). A lot of LC’s poor shooting was because of the Vikings’ defense.
“We shot poorly, but if I said anything other than Coeur d’Alene did a great job I’d be selling them short,” LC coach Jim Winger said. “I think Kent (Leiss) deserves a big pat on the back. He had them ready. They’re young and they didn’t have a lot to lose, and they fed off of that. I thought defensively they played great and they shot the ball sensationally.”
LC swept three games from CdA in the regular season. But the Vikings looked like the more poised team despite a 65-40 loss at Lewiston on Friday.
Austin had a game-high 28 points and nine rebounds.
“We were ready for them – unlike the Lewiston game,” Austin said. “We had good offense, defense and we were patient. We didn’t give up in the second half and allow them to come back (like the earlier games). We knew we could beat them. We just had to play all 32 minutes.”
Winger thought the poor shooting led to his team pressing too hard to find an answer.
“It wasn’t from a lack of trying,” Winger said. “We tried everything we had to change momentum, but they answered every time. Granted, we didn’t play our best game, but the story is Coeur d’Alene did everything right.”
4A Region I
Sandpoint 50, Moscow 47 (OT): The Bulldogs (5-14) forced the if-necessary game by knocking off the Bears (9-11) at Moscow.
The teams will turn around and play again Thursday at Moscow. The winner advances to state, March 5-7 at the College of Idaho in Caldwell.
Sandpoint led 26-21 going into the fourth quarter, but the Bears rallied to force overtime.
Stefan Buratto led Sandpoint with 19 points and Spencer Swerin had 15.
Mac Stannard led Moscow with 15 points.
3A District I-II
Kellogg 55, Timberlake 47: Four players scored in double figures to lead the Wildcats (10-10) past the Tigers (4-16) in a loser-out opener at North Idaho College.
No. 3 seed Kellogg will take on No. 2 St. Maries (14-3) tonight at 6 as the tourney continues at NIC.
Cody Lewis led Kellogg with 13 points. Derek Puckett led the Tigers with 12.
No score was received from the Bonners Ferry-Orofino game.
1A Division I playoff
Wallace 62, Lakeside 50: The Miners (14-6) kept their state hopes alive by eliminating the visiting Knights (6-12).
The Miners advance to a play-in game for a state berth against the District III third-place team Saturday.
Jared Bilaski led Wallace with 28 points, 10 rebounds and five assists.
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