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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Red-hot Bengals too much for Vikings

Mike Saunders Correspondent

Don’t look now, but Lewiston may be the hottest team in the Inland Empire League.

The Bengals paid a visit to Elmer Jordan Court Saturday and handed the Coeur d’Alene Vikings a solid 61-47 drubbing, dominating every phase of the game.

Lewiston (6-6, 3-3 IEL), 1-6 after seven games this season, was led by senior guard Jeff Decker and junior wing Bo Gregg with 13 and 12 points, respectively.

Bengals coach Dave Cornelia, who recently predicted his squad would win the IEL, explained his team’s sluggish start and praised its current level of play.

“I don’t know about that prediction – I’m not Nostradamus,” Cornelia said. “But in five of our six losses, we’ve been tied or had the lead with less than four minutes to go.

“And we just couldn’t finish games off.”

But, oh, how things have changed.

“Now we’re starting to believe, but we’ve still got a long way to go,” Cornelia said. “We’re 3-3 in league and so is Coeur d’Alene, so the only thing we gained tonight is the tie-breaker edge.

“We talked about being 6-6 and the kids bought in.”

The first half of Saturday’s contest had three ties and five lead changes and saw Lewiston take a 27-24 lead into the locker room.

The Bengals’ size advantage, however, wore CdA down, as the Vikings were only able to manage two points in the third quarter. Lewiston had 20 points in the period and the rout was on.

Vikings coach Kent Leiss said Lewiston simply had more horsepower.

“The problem we had in this game is that we have a ton of 6-1 kids and they have these big, physical 6-5, 6-6, 6-7 kids, or 6-3 linebacker types” Leiss said. “We struggled rebounding the basketball, we struggled in our offense because of their size.

“I just think that tonight we really got beat by a bigger and better team than we are; now we have to figure out what we’re going to do about that, because we will see them again in regionals.”

Senior wing Tom Hughes led Coeur d’Alene (7-7, 3-3) with 12 points. Vikings scoring leader Matt Palmer was held to nine points. Senior Jake Wolfe pulled down seven rebounds and had two blocks.

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