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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Coeur d’Alene in title game

The Coeur d'Alene High girls basketball team will play for the 5A state championship for a fourth straight year.

Click the tab below to read my unedited game story.

By Greg Lee

Staff writer

NAMPA, IdahoCoeur d’Alene girls basketball coach Dale Poffenroth said he had to coach at halftime Friday.

The Vikings were ahead 31-28 in a rematch of last year’s state championship game, and Poffenroth didn’t like how things were going.

Coeur d’Alene made some adjustments – chiefly it started running offense instead of shooting early and often, and the Viks pounded it inside – as the top-ranked and defending state champs pulled away 71-55 in the State 5A tournament semifinals at the Idaho Center.

It will be a battle of tradition and unbeatens when CdA (24-0) takes on second-ranked Centennial (25-0) tonight. Tipoff is at 8 MST. The Vikings will be seeking their seventh state title in school history and the Patriots will be after their sixth. Those are the most among 5A schools.

Centennial advanced with a 51-45 overtime win over rival Boise.

Lake City, meanwhile, applied full-court pressure and increased its intensity in the second half as the Timberwolves rallied past Highland 51-36 in a loser-out game.

The Timberwolves (16-9) will take on Madison (14-12) in the consolation final this morning at 9:15.

Coeur d’Alene 71, Vallivue 55: The Vikings used an 11-2 spurt to close out the third quarter and essentially close out the Falcons (20-5) for a 47-34 lead.

“We just had to run an offense,” Poffenroth said. “We slowed the game down a little bit. We had a few breaks but we weren’t what we normally are. We were getting outquicked and it hadn’t happened all year.”

CdA made it a point to get it inside to 6-foot-3 sophomore post Carli Rosenthal. On three straight possessions, Rosenthal pounded the Falcons. She had nine of her 15 points in the second half.

Leading the Viks from start to finish was senior wing Kama Griffitts, who showed why she was the 5A player of the year last season. Griffitts finished with a game-high 20 points, 11 rebounds and seven assists.

“She’s that kind of player. She’s the best in the state,” Poffenroth said. “She just comes and does what she needs to do. She’s consistent and that’s why college coaches drool when they see her play.”

Poffenroth said Centennial will be a challenge.

“Emery’s (Centennial coach Emery Roy) a good coach, (they have) good kids,” Poffenroth said. “They’re solid, balanced, they’re not one dimensional. We’ll have our hands full.”

Griffitts was impressed with Rosenthal.

“I’d have to say that was the Carli Rosenthal Show,” Griffitts said. “Once we found her they couldn’t stop her.”

Lake City 51, Highland 36: When University of Montana-bound Katie Baker collide rammed heads with a Highland player, it appeared the Timberwolves’ hopes were starting to fade away.

Then Baker sat the final 7:10 of the second quarter for precautionary reasons as the trainer wanted to be certain she hadn’t suffered a concussion.

Baker led her team sprinting out of the tunnel in the Idaho Center from the locker room at halftime, and her teammates followed her lead in the second half.

LC’s pressure forced most of Highland’s 31 turnovers, 14 of which came in the third quarter.

With the scored tied at 19-19, LC went on a 14-0 run that broke the game open. The T-Wolves converted on several steals in that stretch. All told, LC outscored the Rams (23-2) 29-8 on turnovers. Senior wing Jessica Ross was the bulldog at the point of the press.

Baker, who scored just two points in the first half, finished with 14 to go with six rebounds, four assists, three steals and two blocked shots.

Stepping up big following a short slump was sophomore guard Sydney Butler, who finished with a game-high 15 points.

Baker had swelling around her eye and is sure to have a shiner in time. She was personally responsible for putting three Highland players on the bench at various times – either through the initial collision or inadvertent elbows.

LC coach Royce Johnston thought his team may have been too loose before the game.

“We were real loose to start the game … but almost to a flaw,” he said. “We didn’t have that urgency. We play best when we play with a sense of urgency. In win-or-go-home situations we’re 4-0.”

Butler said she could sense Highland falling apart in the third quarter.

“They were scared. The look on their faces (showed it),” Butler said.

Baker said LC will end the season with a win today.


Greg Lee
Greg Lee joined The Spokesman-Review in 1984. He currently is a prep reporter covering Eastern Washington and North Idaho schools.

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