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

Vikings’ hot shooting tops first-place Bears

Mike Saunders Correspondent

COEUR d’ALENE – Maybe a snow day wasn’t such a bad thing for Coeur d’Alene High’s boys basketball team.

The Vikings took a cold day off school Tuesday and came out hot against visiting Moscow for a big 61-46 Inland Empire League victory on Wednesday.

Coeur d’Alene (6-6, 3-2 IEL), led by 24 points from junior guard Matt Palmer, shot a blistering 60 percent from the field – including 55 percent from 3-point land – to hand the first-place Bears (11-2, 4-2) the loss.

For Palmer and the Vikings, wins haven’t come much bigger this season. “At first, I missed a few, but in warm-ups, I was feelin’ it, so I knew if I kept shooting they would go down,” said Palmer, who was 3 of 3 on 3-pointers in a second quarter in which CdA went seven of seven from the field. “It was a huge win that will boost our confidence big-time.”

After some early lead changes, the Vikings pushed the lead to 12 when senior wing Jake Wolfe drove the lane with strength and converted to make it 26-14 at the 5-minute mark of the second quarter.

CdA stretched it to 15 later in the quarter on back-to-back Palmer 3-pointers.

Moscow, in a game that was physical throughout and saw coach Lance Hansen collect a technical, battled back after the half and pulled to within nine at 38-24 after a 5-0 run.

But Palmer and the Viks had almost all of the answers, pulling back out to 14 before the end of the third quarter and stretching it to as many as 20 in the fourth.

Vikings coach Kent Leiss said his team wasn’t intimidated by the record or the size of the Bears – but they were, however, fully aware of both.

“We know Moscow’s a good team, but they’ve won all of their games by like three, four, five, six, seven points total,” Leiss said. “So we knew we weren’t playing a team that was just pounding people.”

He said his strategy was simple.

“We felt confident that if we dictated the tempo, that was the key,” Leiss said. “If we could get the ball up and down the floor and get them to play at a pace maybe that they weren’t used to, that we’d have a good chance.

“And it worked.”

Guard Jake LeFors had 15 and wing Cody Line had 11 to pace Moscow, which shot 33 percent from the field in the contest. The Bears come back north on Thursday for an IEL visit to Post Falls.

Coeur d’Alene, which got a game-high nine rebounds from Joe Wolfe, travels to Bonners Ferry for a non-leaguer today before playing host to Lewiston for another IEL matchup Saturday.

Intermountain League

Patton leads Kellogg

Seth Patton scored 14 points and Jessy Groth added 11 points as Kellogg (8-6, 3-0) waltzed past Timberlake (4-7, 0-3) 61-39 in Kellogg. The Wildcats jumped out to a 16-6 first-quarter lead and never looked back.


Anderson sparks Timberwolves

Tucker Anderson led seven Timberwolves in double figures as the Lake City freshmen routed Coeur d’Alene Charter (0-6) 104-42.

Girls basketball

DeLong sparks Viks

Jenna DeLong scored 19 points and added four assists as Coeur d’Alene (13-3, 8-1) used a smothering defense to knock off Moscow (7-10, 3-6) 65-46 in an Inland Empire League matchup in Coeur d’Alene.

Jenna Griffits and Morgan Morris added 10 points apiece for the Vikings. Jacki Calhoun led the Bears with 10 points.


Defense the key for Spartans

Rachel Schlechte and Calli Turner scored 11 points apiece as Priest River (8-7) whipped Post Falls (2-14) 56-30 in Priest River. Priest River held the Trojans to 10-of-53 shooting and outrebounded Post Falls 28-19. … Rayna Allen (13) and Tiffany Van Burne (10) combined for more than half of Clark Fork’s points as the Wampus Cats (5-7) got a 42-21 road win over Noxon (Mont.). Clark Fork held Noxon scoreless in the first half.