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Favorites hold, await host NIC

Snow and Salt Lake were the big winners Thursday on the first day of the Region 18 men’s basketball tournament in Coeur d’Alene.

Reserve guard London Simonsen scored a game-high 17 points to lead Snow to a 78-73 first-round victory over Colorado Northwestern. The third-seeded Badgers advance to a semifinal against tournament-host and No. 2 seed North Idaho today at 2 p.m.

Top-seeded Salt Lake will play Southern Idaho in the other semifinal, a 7:30 p.m. start. CSI defeated Southern Utah 72-51 on Thursday.

In the women’s bracket, Salt Lake had four players in double figures in a 79-41 victory over Colorado Northwestern. Salt Lake will play second-seeded North Idaho in a noon semifinal. No. 1 Southern Idaho will play Snow in the other semifinal at 5:30 p.m. Snow defeated Eastern Utah 62-49 on Thursday.

All games are at NIC’s Christianson Gym.