Coeur d’Alene girls basketball coach Dale Poffenroth had every reason to give one of those peel-the-paint-off-the-walls speeches at halftime Friday.
He doesn’t do those for two reasons, though. First, he’s in his mid-60s and, second, today’s youth doesn’t respond well to those types of motivational tactics.
Poffenroth’s Vikings still responded with a much-inspired second half, handling the visiting Post Falls Trojans 59-28 in a 5A Region I tournament opener.
Top-seeded Coeur d’Alene (19-2) entertains second-seeded Lewiston (17-2) on Wednesday in the regional championship game with the winner advancing to state. Post Falls (10-11) goes to Lake City (10-11) in a loser-out game Tuesday. Lewiston thumped Lake City 67-40 in another opener Friday.
Coeur d’Alene 59, Post Falls 28: Though not fiery, Poffenroth couldn’t give his typical halftime speech.
“It was a different halftime than they’re used to,” Poffenroth said. “They weren’t ready to play, they were just going through the motions, just showing up, the intensity level wasn’t there and we got people in foul trouble because they were doing things that were just ridiculous.”
The Vikings responded in the second half.
“We came out ready to play,” said Post Falls coach Marc Allert, whose team trailed 26-20 at intermission after getting spanked 69-22 the last time the teams played. “I told them at halftime Coeur d’Alene could play better than they did and they’re going to come out more fired up in the second half. And if we don’t match their intensity they’ll just blow us out.”
Allert proved prophetic.
“We didn’t match their intensity,” Allert said.
Post Falls needed two free throws with under a second to go in the third quarter to avoid being held to two points.
Then CdA limited the Trojans to four points again in the fourth.
“We didn’t come out ready to play,” CdA guard Sarah Chalich said. “We underestimated them. At halftime Poff told us what we needed to do.”
And CdA executed the plan. More than anything, though, the Viks played more inspired.
Chalich made four 3-pointers, finishing with a team-high 15 points. Sydney Williams had 14 points, nine rebounds and two blocked shots and Brittany Tackett went 5 for 5 from the field to finish with 12 points, seven rebounds and two assists.
Poffenroth praised his team’s second-half effort.
“That’s pretty good defense,” he said. “That’s what we have to do and let the points fall where they can. We don’t score a lot of points.”
Poffenroth wasn’t surprised how well the Trojans played in the first half.
“The playoffs are a whole different creature,” he said. “You’ve got to be ready to play.”
Sam Runkle led Post Falls with seven rebounds.
Lewiston 67, Lake City 40: The Bengals jumped all over the Timberwolves from the get-go, opening a 34-18 lead by halftime.
LC committed 21 turnovers.
“We got into some serious foul trouble in the first quarter,” LC coach Bryan Kelley said. “Defensively we gave up a lot of open looks and they knocked them down. We’ve got to be more disciplined in all aspects of the game.”
Halle White led Lewiston with 12 points. Madi Farrell led LC with eight rebounds.