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

Tired Timberwolves triumph over Vikings

Lake City's Brad Bemis takes a shot during Thursday night's 70-67 double-overtime win over Coeur d'Alene. 
 (Tom Davenport/ / The Spokesman-Review)

New Lake City High boys basketball coach Jim Thacker had been told how intense the crosstown rivalry games can be. Now he REALLY knows what folks have been talking about.

Lake City junior guard Ty Stoddard made a wide-open 3-pointer with 2 seconds remaining in double overtime Thursday as the Timberwolves slipped past Coeur d’Alene 70-67 in an Inland Empire League game that had all the intensity of a loser-out postseason contest.

“That’s what Coach Thacker is going to bring to this rivalry is that they’re going to be a lot tougher and they’re going to be a lot more physical, and they were tonight,” Coeur d’Alene coach Kent Leiss said. “That was a different Lake City team.”

It was a different Lake City team in many ways. It was also a fatigued LC team, which was playing its sixth game in 13 days including road trips to Boise, Kalispell, Mont., and Lewiston.

“It’s definitely a big win because we’ve really had a brutal schedule,” said Thacker, whose team improved to 3-4 overall, 2-1 in league. “We needed a win. I could feel us getting a little bit better in the last quarter and a half at Lewiston (on Tuesday, a 58-51 loss). The kids are starting to gut up a little bit and figure out what it takes to win.”

It was a challenging game to officiate. The referees messed up the administration of a technical foul and they wiped away a foul at the end of the first overtime that would have given CdA (3-3, 0-1) a chance to win the game with no time on the clock. But the referees, after conferring with the scorekeeper, ruled that the clock had expired before they blew their whistles.

LC opened a 34-26 lead after the first two quarters behind solid defense and hot shooting. The Timberwolves made 15 of 23 shots from the field in the first half.

The Timberwolves increased their lead to 40-28 when Stoddard hit a 3-pointer with 6:21 to go in the third quarter.

A rebound basket by Brady Capaul as the horn sounded to end the third quarter gave the T-Wolves a 51-41 lead going into the final quarter of regulation.

CdA mixed up its defenses in the fourth period, using a combination of zones and traps to force a helter-skelter pace. The Vikings used it to their advantage pulling within 54-52 with 3:50 to go when Nate Bligh hit a 3-pointer.

Then Capaul was called for a personal foul and a technical foul. The referees messed up the sequence of the foul shots, but they corrected their error. CdA made 2 of 4 free throws to knot the score at 54.

The Vikings took their first lead at 55-54 when Bligh made the second of two foul shots with 1:26 to go.

Both teams had opportunities to win in regulation. A 9-foot jumper by Stoddard bounced off the rim as time expired.

CdA bolted to a 62-57 lead in the first overtime. LC fought back, finally tying the score at 64 when Capaul, after badly missing his first foul shot, made the second with 34 seconds left.

That’s where the score would stay, forcing the second overtime.

A basket by Brett Bemis gave LC a 67-64 lead with 1:23 to go.

CdA missed its first five shots, all 3-point attempts, before Cody Smith tied the score when he buried a 3-pointer from the corner with 38 seconds remaining.

LC ran time off the clock, waiting for an open shot against CdA’s 1-3-1 defense. The ball was swung around to Stoddard, who let the game-winner fly.

Stoddard said it was sweet redemption after he missed some free throws he thought he should have made.

“It was a war,” Stoddard said. “We both were battling really hard. We were all tired out there. After my free throws, I would have felt really bad if we’d lost. I jumped really high on that shot (3-point attempt). I don’t know how it went in.”

LC had four players score in double figures. Cory Kreighbaum led with 16 points and Stoddard added 14.

Bligh, in his first game after spraining a thumb in preseason practice, led CdA with 23 points.