In a game that had huge playoff implications, Lewiston cut several miles and at least one loser-out game off its postseason plans Thursday.
The visiting Bengals played well from opening tip to the final horn, comfortably dispatching Lake City, 58-46, in an Inland Empire League boys basketball game at LC that started one hour late because of pregame ceremonies.
The victory earned Lewiston (9-10 overall, 3-4 in league) the No. 3 seed in next week’s A-1 Region I Tournament at IEL champ Post Falls.
The loss sends LC (9-11, 3-5) into a loser-out game Monday against Sandpoint, with the winner advancing to the double-elimination regional. The saving grace for LC is the game will be in its gym.
That’s all the consolation the Timberwolves could salvage Thursday. In a game that was a microcosm of an up-and-down season, LC sputtered because of poor shooting during critical stretches.
A 3-pointer by Sennet Pierce gave Lewiston its biggest lead at 49-34 with 4:48 left.
The T-Wolves pulled within 51-43 when Chad Cheeley swished a pull-up 14-foot jumper at the 2:36 mark.
But Lewiston calmly withstood LC’s comeback attempt, as the Bengals made five of eight free throws in the final 2:07.
Cold spells hit LC early. The T-Wolves went scoreless the final 3:26 of the first period. Consequently, Lewiston built a 16-6 lead after the opening 8 minutes.
Jason Eck darted past Cheeley for an easy layup that gave the Bengals a 29-15 lead with 2:08 remaining before halftime.
LC closed to within six points three times in the second quarter before an 8-0 spurt gave Lewiston its 14-point margin.
A basket in the key by Erik Morris and J.J. Barlow’s layup off a nice pass from Gabe Hern allowed LC to trim Lewiston’s lead to single digits, 30-21, at halftime.
LC made just eight of 29 shots from the field in the second half, 3 of 15 in the third quarter.
Lewiston fashioned a nice balance of inside and outside offense. Six-foot-8 post player Carson Egland led with 16 points, fellow post Randy Lupinacci had 11 and shooter Steve Johnson added 11.
Cheeley led LC with 13 points.
It was LC’s final regular-season game. Lewiston finishes Saturday when it entertains Post Falls.
Lewiston 58, Lake City 46
Lewiston 16 14 12 16 - 58
Lake City 6 15 10 15 - 46
Lewiston - White 8, Benner 0, Charlo 2, Eck 2, Pierce 5, Sullivan 1, Johnson 11, Hardin 0, Egland 16, Smith 4, Lupinacci 11.
Lake City - Cheeley 13, J. Reiswig 1, Barlow 6, Anderson 0, R.J. Reiswig 0, Stroh 2, Hern 9, Morris 5, Nipp 0, Witten 7, Bramlet 3.
Kellogg 60, Lakeland 39
Nathan Corkill scored seven points in the fourth quarter and had six rebounds to guide the Wildcats (11-6, 5-2) over the visiting Hawks (6-9, 3-4).
Kellogg shot 57 percent from the field in the second half. Lakeland’s Jared Mudge had seven rebounds.
Kellogg, second place in the league, is two games behind Moscow (7-0) with three games left.
Lakeland 5 11 14 9 - 39
Kellogg 7 16 17 20 - 60
LAKELAND Kowalcyzk 5, Rothrock 3, Dotts 0, Banks 17, Holt 0, Rasor 2, Reese 2, Thiringer 0, Mudge 10.
KELLOGG Co.Lewis 5, Blalack 0, Mercado 9, Corkill 16, C.Marek 15, Griffin 0, o<Ch.Lewis 0, Derbyshire 2, Rice 4, H.Marek 9.
Newport 68, Priest River 49
Eli Marsh scored 22 as the visiting Grizzlies (5-14) broke a fourgame losing streak and avenged an early-December loss to the Spartans (4-14).
The game was postponed from its original date, Jan. 7. Newport and other Northeast A League teams complete their regular season tonight.
Newport 18 18 15 17 - 68
Priest River 8 1 12 28 - 49
NEWPORT Kiehn 3, Melendez 0, Frandrup 9, Meade 5, Richter 0, Ellersick 12, LeBlanc 0, Marsh 22, Martindale 6, Brawdy 0, Mumford 4, Campbell 0.
PRIEST RIVER Baker 0, Ackloy 5, Behnke 4, Johnson 5, Coleman 5, Dinger 6, Griesemer 10, Storro 2, Oscarron 2, Ivie 7, White 0.
Nathan Pascoe, at 171 pounds, finished 21-0 with a forfeit win and league-champion Lakeland (8-2, 5-0) topped visiting Priest River 47-12 at Rathdrum.
The district tournament begins next Friday at Lake City High in Coeur d’Alene.
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