February 4, 2010 in Sports

Bengals cash in at right time

By The Spokesman-Review
 

Just when most thought the opening round of the 5A Region I girls basketball tournament was going to be held at Coeur d’Alene High School, Lewiston spoiled the plan.

Lewiston knocked off the Vikings 45-42 at CdA on Tuesday, forging a co-championship for the 5A Inland Empire League honors. That necessitated a coin flip and the Bengals won it as well.

After the opening-round doubleheader at Booth Hall on Friday – which features CdA (17-3) against Lake City (14-6) in the opener at 5:45 and Post Falls (13-7) against Lewiston (17-2) in the nightcap – single-game matchups thereafter go to the home of the highest seed. The regional final is Tuesday. The top two teams go to state.

Lewiston remains home throughout the tourney.

A pair of reporters scratched their heads when CdA coach Dale Poffenroth suggested much wasn’t lost in the setback to Lewiston.

“Nothing happened other than we have to go to Lewiston because the coin rolled the wrong way,” Poffenroth said, overlooking the fact that a victory would have secured home-court advantage throughout regionals for the two-time state champion Vikings. “We were going to play Lake City no matter what happened and they were going to play Post Falls no matter what happened. And we both might get beat Friday night – you never know.”

CdA has a few things to shore up before Friday.

The Vikings committed 24 turnovers and shot poorly (12 of 38).

“There are things we need to work on,” Poffenroth said. “We’ve just got to come back and play hard and make sure Lake City doesn’t get us and we’ll try Lewiston again.”

If Post Falls doesn’t get Lewiston first. But judging by the way the Bengals played in their win at PF on Saturday (63-57) and at CdA on Tuesday, they have a good vibe going.

“It was a huge coin flip, but my kids gave themselves a chance with the coin flip by coming ready to play,” Lewiston coach Pat Teichmer said.

Teichmer was asked if he was happier with the win or the coin flip. He didn’t flinch.

“I’m probably happier with the win out there on the floor, because Coeur d’Alene is a tough team to beat,” he said. “That’s luck (the coin flip). We’re thrilled with that. We were going to come play somebody this Friday night anyway. It’s great we don’t have to get on a bus.”

•Poffenroth confirmed that 6-foot-3 senior post Kelsey Bybee, who has given the University of Idaho an oral commitment, has left the team.

“It was a mutual agreement,” Poffenroth said, declining to be specific.

Bybee has been bothered by injuries and sickness the past two years.

Small-school realignment

With the changes in Washington classifications for a handful of area small schools, there will be changes in leagues.

The biggest change involves Kettle Falls. In Class 1A since 1964, the school is dropping to 2B after the WIAA approved an appeal Sunday.

Kettle Falls, with an enrollment of 210, will be the biggest school in 2B. The opportunity to drop to 2B opened up this month when University Prep in Seattle opted to move up to 1A, KF athletic director Brian Golphenee said. That created an imbalance in the number of schools in 1A and 2B and that was at the crux of KF’s appeal to drop.

In the last week, 2B school officials got together and created a new nine-school league that will debut in the fall. It will be called the Northeast 2B League. It’s a combination of former Bi-County and Panorama schools. Joining KF will be St. George’s, Liberty, Davenport, Springdale, Lind-Ritzville, Northwest Christian, Colfax and Reardan.

There will be a 1B Bi-County League and a 1B Panorama League. Wilbur-Creston, Almira/Coulee-Hartline, Valley Christian, Sprague-Harrington, Odessa and St. Michael’s will be in the Bi-County. Columbia (Hunters), Curlew, Cusick, Wellpinit, Northport, Selkirk and Inchelium will be in the Panorama. Republic, a 2B school, also will be in the Panorama.

Colville and Riverside, which are dropping from 2A to 1A, will join Freeman, Lakeside, Chewelah and Newport in the Northeast A.

Showdowns tonight

Greater Spokane League boys and girls basketball seasons conclude next week, and a couple of games tonight could go far in determining league champions.

In girls, there’s a three-team logjam atop the league between Mead (14-3 overall, 10-2 league), Central Valley (13-4, 10-2) and Lewis and Clark (12-5, 10-2). CV is at LC and Mead visits Gonzaga Prep (12-5, 8-4), which occupies fourth. The games tip off at 5:30. In the first half of league play, LC defeated CV 64-49 and Mead topped G-Prep 57-38.

In boys, co-league leaders Mead (13-4, 11-1) and preseason favorite G-Prep (16-1, 11-1) face off at G-Prep at 7:15.

Mead handed G-Prep its lone loss, 53-52 in December.


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