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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Triumphant Timberwolves Lake City High School Girl’s Basketball Team Brings Home A Banner, Net, And State A-1 Championship Trophy

The bus was quiet as it rolled down Interstate 90, an hour from home and nine hours from the previous night’s championship basketball game in Caldwell.

“The reason everyone’s asleep is we didn’t go to sleep last night,” explained Melissa Dodge, a 17-year-old forward.

Dodge and her team bring the new Lake City High School its first state championship.

After four days on the road, the players returned triumphant Sunday, bringing a banner, net and trophy from the state A-1 championship.

“Hopefully, we can keep them coming in,” said guard Laura Tolzmann, 16. “We’ll start a new tradition.”

“The first one’s always the best. It means a lot because it’s our senior year,” said 18-year-old Jennifer Kerns.

“We wanted to go out winning.”

The team slept most of the way home. A few players and cheerleaders listened to tapes or chatted.

Kristi Jacobson, a 17-year-old guard, was one of the sleepers. She spent most of the ride curled up in a nest of blankets in the back of the bus.

“You don’t understand what a bus with this many people for seven hours does to you,” she said.

“You go insane.”

Nearby, 16-year-old guard Natalie Telford shared her secret for quality sleep on a team bus: sleep perched on the overhead luggage rack.

Jacobson said the team went to the championships confident of winning.

As evidence, she pointed to the T-shirts the players took with them.

“Lake City Timberwolves,” the shirts read. “Girls’ basketball state champs ‘94-‘95.”

Telford said the team got a lot of criticism from Pocatello fans and from other teams.

“It helps us so much,” she said. “They don’t know that being rude to us makes us mad and we play from that.”

“Our team kind of likes that,” said Dodge.

“It makes us more aggressive, to show them we can win.”

The bus arrived in Coeur d’Alene shortly before 4 p.m., 10 hours after leaving Caldwell. The players came to life. One slapped a rock music cassette into the bus’ stereo system.

“Lay on the horn again, Bob!” someone shouted from the back of the bus.

Bus driver Bob Windsor obliged.

Assistant coach Dave Stockwell pulled the trophy from an overhead compartment.

“This says `runner-up,”’ he said, pausing.

“NOT!” he said.

After a victory lap of Sherman Avenue, the bus and a convoy of fans and parents pulled into the Lake City High School parking lot.

Parents with cameras and camcorders jockeyed for position as players and boosters filed off the bus.

One player, looking tired, paused in the bus doorway.

“We want to go home,” she said.