Two games, two different defensive strategies and two wins by the Lake City boys basketball team over its crosstown rival.
Throw in a big helping of 6-foot-6 junior post Kyle Guice and the visiting Vikings fell short, 50-47, in an Inland Empire League game Friday played before an estimated crowd of 2,700.
Lake City (10-3 overall, 3-0 league) used a pair of zone defenses to hold off Coeur d’Alene 44-40 in mid-December. The second time around the Timberwolves featured primarily man-to-man.
“Our best defense is man-to-man and in the Fish game (spirit contest between the schools) I didn’t want us to go out and stand around and not get after it,” LC coach Jim Winger said. “We’ve played our best games opening with (man-to-man). I thought we played great defense.”
The T-Wolves used a 7-0 spurt to close the first half with a 23-16 lead.
LC came out to open the second half using a 1-3-1 zone, hoping to kill about 6 minutes off the clock and weather some foul trouble. But CdA (8-4, 1-2) quickly shot the T-Wolves out of the zone.
Sophomore guard Colby Daniels made two 3-pointers and sophomore wing Devon Kluss hit another as the Viks stormed back to knot the score up at 27-27 with 5:47 to go in the quarter.
Moments later, Daniels made two free throws and sophomore Tony Nacarrato got a basket as CdA built its biggest second-half lead at 32-29.
LC countered with a pair of 3-pointers from seniors Drew Hocking and Riley Moreen as the T-Wolves steadied themselves. Moreen’s 3-pointer capped a 7-0 run that put LC ahead 36-32 with 1:57 to go in the quarter.
Twice CdA pulled within two points in the fourth, but both times LC answered.
Junior post Kelton Hunter hit a nice turnaround 6-foot hook on the baseline to pull CdA within 47-45 with 1:39 to go.
Thirty seconds later, LC junior JJ Winger, who broke out of a slump Tuesday when he hit seven 3-pointers and finished with 21 points in a 60-30 win over Lewiston, used a screen to bury a 3 that extended the lead to 50-45.
Nacarrato made a basket while being fouled with 48 seconds left, but he missed the free throw.
LC used two timeouts and ended up erasing 43 seconds off the clock before CdA managed to foul point guard Justin Pratt.
Pratt missed the front of the one-and-one. Daniels charged up the floor but had to rush a shot from 35 feet that bounced off the rim as time expired.
Guice finished with a game-high 16 points to go with nine rebounds and three blocked shots.
“We rebounded pretty (well) and we stepped it up in the fourth quarter and that’s what we needed to do to win the game,” Guice said. “We had some critical turnovers that hurt us and we can’t have those if we want to go deep into state.”
CdA finished with 17 turnovers to LC’s 12.
CdA coach Kent Leiss thought the Viks’ turnovers were largely because of his their youthfulness.
“I’m going to guess that two-thirds of those were in the first half,” Leiss said. “That’s a big problem we have right now. Once we stop turning the ball over I think we’re going to be pretty good.”
Coeur d’Alene 43, Lake City 33: Both teams played solid defense, but the Viks’ ability to force turnovers proved to be the difference.
LC finished with 25 turnovers to CdA’s six.
Leading 21-20 at half, CdA (14-3, 3-1) did a better job solving LC’s 2-3 zone in the second half.
Caelyn Orlandi led CdA with 16 points and five rebounds. Amber Hawkes led LC (9-7, 0-4) with 12 points and eight rebounds and Madi Farrell pulled down 13 rebounds and blocked five shots.
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