The Inland Empire League-leading Post Falls High boys basketball team had its roughest league outing of the season Tuesday.
Even though the Trojans were out of synch they had enough to hold off upset-minded Coeur d’Alene, 55-51, before an estimated crowd of 1,300 at Viking Gym.
Post Falls’ Chad Quesnell, who had an unusually off night at the free-throw line, made two game-securing foul shots with 8 seconds left.
About 30 seconds earlier, Austin Lee blocked back-to-back shots by Coeur d’Alene posts Lukas O’Dowd and Casey Hoorelbeke.
After the Trojans’ Shane Therrian made 1 of 2 foul shots with 24 seconds remaining to put Post Falls ahead 53-51, CdA’s Ben Davis put up an airball from the baseline. Hoorelbeke’s rebound follow was off and a tip attempt by O’Dowd hit the bottom of the rim. That’s when the Viks fouled Quesnell.
A timeout didn’t freeze Quesnell, though. A 3-point bomb by CdA’s Jim Rupp bounced out of bounds in the waning seconds.
When Quesnell went to the foul line, Post Falls coach Scott Moore turned his head and didn’t look.
He did the same thing two years ago when the Trojans were playing at Lewiston and the IEL title was up for grabs. The Trojans’ Ryan Edmonds went to the foul line for two critical free throws.
It worked then for Moore and it worked Tuesday.
By posting its 10th straight victory, Post Falls raised its overall record to 14-3 and 5-0 in league. With their next league victory, the Trojans can clinch no worse than a tie for the IEL crown.
CdA (11-6) remained in second, a half-game ahead of Lewiston at 3-2.
Post Falls handled CdA earlier 65-52.
Credit the Vikings for some of Post Falls’ inconsistent play. CdA did a commendable job limiting penetration by Quesnell and backcourt mate Brason Alexander.
But Post Falls has more than two weapons. Wing Jeremy McLean stepped up in the second half, scoring nine of his 11 points, seven in the fourth quarter.
“We didn’t play to our capabilities,” Moore said. “Part of that was our adrenaline was pumped as high as you could possibly pump it in the first half. Our intensity was there - our desire, our drive - but we were too pumped up where we couldn’t relax and play our style of basketball.”
Two baskets in the final seconds of the second quarter by Quesnell, one off a steal and a layup, allowed Post Falls to build a small cushion at intermission (28-22).
CdA wouldn’t allow the Trojans to pull away in the second half. A layup by Ben Davis off a nice pass from Eddie Gibbs gave the Viks their first lead at 39-38 going into the fourth quarter.
The teams traded baskets and leads for the first 5 minutes of the final period. A free throw by Alexander with 51 seconds left gave the Trojans the lead for good at 52-51.
“I give our guys a lot of credit for playing the way we did and still holding our composure to the point where we could pull it off,” Moore said. “The thing we did was we went away from the things that got us to this point - playing as a team.”
Quesnell and Alexander led Post Falls with 16 and 14 points, respectively. O’Dowd led CdA with 12.
Post Falls returns to action Thursday when it entertains Lake City, a 77-74 winner Tuesday at Sandpoint. CdA comes back Friday when it plays host to Lewiston.
Post Falls 55, Coeur d’Alene 51
Post Falls 14 14 10 17 - 55
Coeur d’Alene 13 9 17 12 - 51
Post Falls - Quesnell 16, Alexander 14, Bohn 2, McLean 11, Lee 0, Therrian 6, Juhlin 6, Curlee 0, Fehling 0.
Coeur d’Alene - O’Dowd 12, Gibbs 9, Rupp 7, Kovatch 7, Davis 4, Wood 5, Hoorelbeke 6, Sigler 1.
Lake City 77, Sandpoint 74
The Timberwolves defeated the Bulldogs in an IEL game in Sandpoint.
The Timberwolves improved to 2-3 in league and 8-9 overall with the win.
Sandpoint came up just short of its first league win and fell to 0-5, 6-11.
Lake City 17 20 15 25 - 77
Sandpoint 13 26 17 18 - 74
LAKE CITY Camantigue 5, Cheeley 22, J.Reiswig 2, Barlow 3, Anderson 0, R.Reiswig 0, Stroh 4, Hern 31, Morris 5, Nipp 0, Witten 5.
SANDPOINT Boren 4, Nieman 12, Jeffres 20, Bowman 11, Eller 2, Herrington 0, Palmer 18, Gehring 2, Kleinert 5.
Lakeland 58, East Valley 54
The Hawks used their superior size to defeat the Knights in a non-league contest at Lakeland.
Lakeland used Ryan Banks’ game-high 19 points, including 15 in the first half, for the victory. Lakeland (5-8) also got 14 points from Paul Kowalcyzk off the bench.
East Valley was led by James Spotted Horse with 16.
East Valley 16 12 8 18 - 54
Lakeland 17 9 17 15 - 58
EAST VALLEY Wilson 12, Johnson 13, Anderson 10, Harris 0, Sams 0, Shogren 1, Hansen 2, Spotted Horse 16.
LAKELAND Kowalcyzk 14, Rothrock 4, Dotts 0, Banks 19, Holt 0, Reese 6, Thiringer 0, Mudge 15, Moore 0.
Bonners Ferry 73, Priest River 59
The Badgers fell behind early, but used pressure defense in the second half to force 15 turnovers on the way to a Intermountain League win over visiting Priest River.
Adam Hiatt led Bonners Ferry (3-4 league, 8-6 overall) with 27 points.
The Spartans (0-7, 3-11) were led by Larry Johnson’s 16 points.
Priest River 12 16 10 21 - 59
Bonners Ferry 8 14 22 29 - 73
PRIEST RIVER Ackloy 4, Behnke 10, Johnson 16, Coleman 12, Griesemer 8, Storro 6, Oscarron 3, Ivie 0.
BONNERS FERRY Barry 0, LaMarsh 0, Bahe 0, Hiatt 27, Arthur 4, Meeker 8, Ashby 2, Hurst 6, Zimmerman 3, Robertson 6, Staples 17.
, DataTimes ILLUSTRATION: 2 Photos
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