In a matter of a week, the Lake City High boys basketball team swept the other three Inland Empire League 5A teams to open conference play.
Lake City capped it with a statement-making win over No. 1-ranked Lewiston before an estimated crowd of 1,200 at LC.
The staple in the three victories – defense – set up Lake City’s offense as the Timberwolves pulled away from the Bengals 61-48.
After Lewiston (9-2 overall, 1-1 league) used a 9-2 spurt to finish the opening quarter with a 15-10 lead, LC (8-2, 3-0) hunkered down. The T-Wolves limited the Bengals to 17 points over the next two quarters.
“Coach (Jim Winger) has really been focusing on defense. That was his main goal this week,” LC senior post Nate Frisbie. “It helped us get out there and get after it tonight.”
What also sparked the T-Wolves was the 6-foot-3 Frisbie, who posted up taller Lewiston defenders deep in the key and frequently used his quickness and athleticism to drive as he scored a game-high 21 points, 13 in the first half.
“The last few games we’ve been doing a better job – in particular myself – of getting him the ball more, getting him involved,” Winger said.
Winger could sense during the school day that Frisbie was primed to have a big game.
“I was actually a little worried that he might have been a little too wound up,” Winger said. “He was ready to roll and played great. He did a great job defensively. I thought even though they’re bigger than us we could do some good things down low.”
Lewiston tied the score at 29 with 4:50 to go in the third quarter. The T-Wolves responded with an 11-0 run that separated themselves from Lewiston.
A 7-foot bank shot by Jason Wheelock gave LC a 50-36 lead with 4:02 remaining. Lewiston never got closer than 11 thereafter.
LC has won four in a row since losing back-to-back games at the Coeur d’Alene Holiday Inn Express tournament.
“I think we just had a little bump in the road and we had to get some stuff out,” Frisbie said. “We realized what we needed to do to get things done. We can still get a lot better.”
Lewiston coach Dave Cornelia didn’t gloss over the loss. But he also kept it in perspective.
“We got outplayed,” Cornelia said. “The thing that concerned me the most is how easily they took us off the dribble. I’m not making excuses. We just didn’t play well enough to win.”
Frisbie had plenty of support. Logan Frederickson had 14 points and Wheelock chipped in 11. Jared Heitzman and Ryan Young led the Bengals with 13 and 12 points, respectively.
Coeur d’Alene 63, Moscow 58 (OT): After getting outscored 26-10 in the first half, the Vikings, who trailed by as many as 22 points, rallied in the final two quarters to force overtime.
The Vikings (5-6, 2-1) made 13 of 16 free throws in overtime to pull out the win at CdA.
Devon Austin led CdA with 20 points. Nick Clyde led Moscow (4-5, 1-2) with 17.
Lake City 60, Lewiston 58: The Timberwolves needed a win in the worst way.
LC (9-5, 3-4) held off a furious Lewiston (11-4, 3-3) rally to even the league series with the Bengals, who knocked off LC 62-56 earlier at Lewiston.
T-Wolves senior post Katie Baker hit a big 3-pointer with 1:34 left. She finished with a game-high 19 points, nine rebounds, four assists and four blocked shots.
“I told the girls before the game that I thought we were complicating things too much,” LC coach Royce Johnston said. “I told them to just play hard, play smart and play together. We needed this.”
Megan Mills and Nicole Redd led Lewiston with 12 points each.
Coeur d’Alene 58, Moscow 20: The Vikings’ defense smothered the visiting Bears.
No. 1-ranked CdA (15-0, 7-0) built a 28-9 lead by halftime, then outscored the Bears (3-10, 1-5) 24-6 in the third period.
CdA’s Kama Griffitts and Whitney Heleker each scored 13 points.
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