The “Still Under Construction” signs won’t be taken down when the Idaho state high school girls basketball tournaments begin next week at Nampa.
That doesn’t mean the new home for the state girls and boys basketball tournaments - the Idaho Center - won’t be open for play, though.
Let’s just say the new arena will lack some polish.
The floor will be installed Monday and a press conference will be held Wednesday to show off the new digs. It will serve as home to the state girls and boys tournaments for at least five years.
Just 5,000 of the 12,500 seats will be in place, but that should be more than adequate for the girls tournaments. The A-1 tourney will be held exclusively at the Idaho Center. All four state title contests will be featured at the new facility.
About 8,000 seats will be ready for the boys tournaments (March 5-8).
Restrooms will be open for women only; men will have to use portable units, Idaho High School Activities Association executive director Bill Young said.
“It won’t be perfect, but it will be workable,” Young said.
Another local newspaper reported that the Post Falls High boys basketball team wrapped up the Inland Empire League championship thanks to Lake City beating Coeur d’Alene on Monday.
Post Falls actually clinched the crown when Sandpoint knocked off Lewiston 69-60 on Saturday.
The Trojans will play host to the A-1 Region I Tournament beginning Wednesday.
There’s still some jockeying going on for seeding, though. Coeur d’Alene will be the No. 2 seed even though Lake City could tie for second. It’s the final two seeds that are undecided.
The third seed is a hotly coveted position, too. The team that lands that seed will avoid a loser-out playoff for the fourth spot.
Lake City (3-4 league, 9-10) can earn the No. 3 position tonight with a win at home against Lewiston (2-4, 8-10).
Lewiston has a difficult task. The Bengals follow up their game at LC with a regular-season finale at home against Post Falls on Saturday.
If Lewiston and Sandpoint (1-6, 7-12) tie for fourth - which could happen if Sandpoint defeats visiting CdA on Friday - the Bulldogs would play host to the loser-out playoff on Monday based on beating a higher seed in league than Lewiston.
Here’s why CdA would get the second seed even if it finishes tied with LC: The tiebreaking formula includes games against common opponents. Based on that, CdA recorded wins against Pendleton and Boise, teams that defeated LC.
Andrew Twiss, the top player on the top A-4 boys basketball team in the state (Lakeside), is expected back as early as next week.
Twiss twisted an ankle Feb. 5 when he stepped on a basketball during a P.E. class. He was on crutches for a week, but has been walking on his own this week.
Lakeside (5-0 in North Star League, 14-1) was ranked No. 1 in the state for a second straight week. The Knights were considered a serious state title contender long before Twiss transferred to Plummer.
The addition of the smooth-shooting 6-foot-5 junior post seemingly made the Knights a lock to win the state title.
But Mullan and a host of other challengers hope to make Lakeside earn the title. Mullan and Lakeside meet Feb. 20 in a rematch at Lakeside. Twiss could return for that game.
The Knights haven’t missed Twiss. In a NSL game last week, Lakeside whipped Clark Fork 89-46. Buck Allen (20 points), Sam Lozeau (14), Brendon Nelson (12) and James Twoteeth (12) more than made up for Twiss’ absence.
And depth is definitely one of Lakeside’s strengths. It got deeper with the recent return of Ken Pluff, who was out during most of the early season with a broken thumb.
Lakeside coach Greg Stutzman may choose to hold Twiss out until the district tournament (two weeks). That would give Twiss at least two games to shake off the rust of the layoff.
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