Yes. No. Maybe. We don't know.
The question had to be asked. Is coach Dave Fealko's Lake City High School girls basketball team, with three starters and two key reserves off the 1993-94 State A-1 campion Coeur d'Alene Vikings, better than the coach's final CdA team?
The Bonners Ferry High School girls basketball team's future already has shined in the opening rounds of the State A-2 Tournament. With two tournament wins - Friday against Sugar-Salem and Thursday against Kuna, it's one win away from a state title.
First-year coach Jim Nash inherited a veteran team from Dan Meeker, a team dead set on winning a state title this year.
Katie Hatrock, a reserve sophomore point guard, is the primary reason the Lake City High School girls basketball team advanced to tonight's State A-1 championship game.
When the Timberwolves' usual offensive weapons disappeared Friday, the 5-foot-4 Hatrock stepped behind the 3-point line as Lake City eventually pulled away to a 56-33 semifinal victory over the Blackfoot Broncos.
A week from today, the Lake City High School girls basketball team could be heading home from Caldwell with the first state championship for the new school.
The Timberwolves will converge on Albertson College as the heavy favorite to capture the State A-1 title when the tourney begins a three-day run on Thursday.
Lake City, 21-1 overall and ranked No. 1 all season, will meet Highland of Pocatello (20-5) in a state opener. Tip off is scheduled for 2:30 p.m. PST.
Post Falls wanted a track-meet pace, but the Trojans had trouble getting their steps down when Coeur d'Alene threw a few hurdles in their path.
The Trojans finally got untracked in the fourth quarter, sprinting away from the slowed, tired Vikings 78-56 in an Inland Empire League boys basketball game Saturday at Viking Gym.
Boys basketball in the Inland Empire League has been off the chart this season.
There's a three-way tie for first place. Lake City, Lewiston and Post Falls are 3-2 with three games remaining.
They've each had narrow wins and losses. They've each had blowout wins and losses. They've each suffered a loss that could come back to haunt them.
In my 10-1/2 years of covering high school athletics in Idaho, I've watched the state high school activities association make some brilliant decisions in the best interest of the student-athletes it serves.
Landing the United Dairymen as a major underwriter/sponsor of state tournaments was a fabulous coup.
Developing the Youth Endowment for Activities Fund, which some day will cover the travel expenses for all schools to state activities, was a well thought-out decision.
1. Feelin' Groovy: When the fire extinguisher haze cleared, North Central's boys had beaten Shadle Park while the result was reversed for the girls as fans took in the "Groovy Shoes" games Friday. Photo by Dan McComb/The Spokesman-Review
2. Lake City's Scott Hoover (41) fights for a rebound in traffic. Photo by Craig Buck/The Spokesman-Review
If the first two weeks are any indication, Inland Empire League boys basketball fans would be wise to fasten their seat belts.
League play could have more ups and downs than bungee jumping.
Let's recap briefly: Lewiston opens league by handling Coeur d'Alene 68-42; Lake City knocks off league favorite Post Falls 55-47; CdA bounces back to upset LC 73-58 in the first-ever game between cross-town rivals; Sandpoint trips visiting Lewiston 51-50; LC puts loss to CdA behind it by pummeling Sandpoint 77-54; Post Falls regroups in big way by sending CdA to an 85-39 deflating loss.
Don't mention the number 300 to Lake City High School girls basketball coach Dave Fealko this week.
He doesn't have any time for milestones. There will be plenty of time after the season to wax sentimental.
Schools officials, players and parents of players plan to honor Fealko when he collects his 300th coaching victory. That could have happened in the final regular-season game this Saturday, but a midseason 63-60 upset by Sandpoint postponed the celebration.
Two days removed from a numbing upset loss to the crosstown rival, Lake City coach Jim Winger expected one of two things.
Either his team would still be sulking and its play would reflect as much after losing 73-58 to Coeur d'Alene on Thursday, or his team would bounce back hungry, if not angry. He didn't expect anything in between.
"That will be the focal point of next year, to beat Coeur d'Alene twice (in league) and to beat them if we play them in districts," Lake City boys basketball coach Jim Winger said last March following his final game as coach at CdA. "I will do everything to beat their butt."
It was thought that Jim Winger threw the first fuel on the yet-to-be born rivalry last winter.
Coeur d'Alene coach Larry Bieber said his players have taken Winger's statement to heart this week.
Lake City High School girls basketball coach Dave Fealko appreciates good music.
As his team was warming up for its Inland Empire League game Saturday at Post Falls, Fealko was seen frequently clapping his hands and tapping his feet to the music played by the Trojan Pep Band.
Moments after a halftime talk with his team, Fealko walked from the visitor's locker room and stopped to chat briefly with Trojans band director Tim Sandford.
The North Idaho College wrestling team returns from the holiday break tonight when it welcomes Northern Montana College.
The match begins at 7:30.
NIC, 9-0 in duals and ranked second in the national junior college poll, will put its healthiest team on the mat this season when the NAIA team from Havre, Mont., visits. NMC is ranked eighth in the latest NAIA poll.
As Inland Empire League boys basketball teams tip off conference play this weekend, all fingers continue to point at the Post Falls Trojans.
The preseason pick to win the league championship, Post Falls did nothing in December to change the coaches' minds. If anything, the Trojans' stock rose after an 8-1 start and a 68-66 victory over nearby West Valley, a team regarded by many as the best in the Inland Northwest, regardless of classification.
"I knew Post Falls was going to be solid and (the Trojans) proved themselves in December," said Lake City coach Jim Winger, whose 6-3 Timberwolves entertain Post Falls on Friday. "They've earned the distinction as favorite."
The rematch was far from spectacular offensively, but at least Post Falls coach Scott Moore was half satisfied.
That's more than can be said of Kellogg coach David Roberts, who couldn't find many redeeming qualities in his team's 63-56 loss to the Trojans in a non-league matchup Tuesday.