If it were legal to bet on Idaho girls state basketball tournament games, it would be wise to put down lots of money on North Idaho’s entrants.
In the past three years, 10 of the 12 championships in the four classifications have been captured by North Idaho teams.
That trend doesn’t appear likely to change next week when the state tournaments are held in the Nampa area.
Lake City, State A-1 champ two years ago, and Borah appear destined for a state final showdown. Lake City will christen the new Idaho Center in Nampa when the No. 1-ranked Timberwolves (20-3 overall) open play Thursday against Eagle (16-7) at 12:45 p.m.
LC beat Eagle earlier in the season, 55-45, at Eagle.
In other A-1 openers, Madison (21-5) takes on host Nampa (14-11); second-ranked Borah (20-3) goes against Bonneville (15-10); and Highland (21-3) tangles with defending champion Centennial (16-8).
Here’s a look at the other state tournaments:
The first two days of the tournament will be held at Centennial High School in Meridian. The state title game will be played at the Idaho Center.
Co-Intermountain League champion Bonners Ferry (16-4) will meet District IV champ Buhl (17-5) in the A-2 nightcap at 7.
In other openers, co-IML champ and defending state titlist Moscow (14-7) goes against American Falls (21-3); the top-ranked teams, Middleton (23-0) and Shelley (22-1), meet; and Preston (18-4) takes on Bishop Kelly (21-3).
A new champ will be crowned after the title game at the Idaho Center. The first two days are scheduled for Vallivue High School in Caldwell.
Top-ranked and undefeated Butte County (21-0) opens against Prairie (20-6).
In other openers, West Side (13-8) takes on Melba (19-5); Declo (14-8) tangles with Homedale; and Lapwai (19-4) meets Teton (14-8).
The tourney for the smallest division in the state was expanded to 16 teams and will begin at two sites on Wednesday.
Although the field has doubled, defending champ Troy is expected to reach the title game. It may be a White Pine League showdown between Troy and Kendrick.
The teams have played five times, with Troy winning three.
In openers at Middleton High School, Lakeside of Plummer (15-6) meets Greenleaf Friends (19-4) at 5:30 p.m. At the same site, Murtaugh (22-3) takes on Cambridge (12-9); North Gem (16-4) battles Hagerman (12-11); and Kendrick (22-3) meets Garden Valley (18-4).
In openers at Kuna High School, Kootenai (10-10) goes against District V runner-up Rockland (13-8) at 2:15. At the same site, Troy (23-2) meets Raft River (17-8); Nampa Christian (16-7) plays Richfield (15-10); and Dietrich (21-3) takes on Rimrock (12-9).
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