Lake City boys basketball coach Jim Winger would never turn any victory away.
And that’s not to suggest he was anywhere close to contemplating as much Saturday following his second-ranked team’s 52-45 win over Coeur d’Alene in an Inland Empire League game played before an estimated crowd of 1,200 at LC.
As wins go, though, LC’s fifth straight to open IEL play wasn’t in the same quality category as the first four.
“What I was a little disappointed with – and I told the kids this, too – we’ve had a great two weeks and we’ve played some great basketball,” Winger said. “With that you should be building confidence and have a little swagger. And in the first quarter I didn’t see that. I thought it was a pretty lackluster emotional level on your home court. For what we’ve done over the last couple of weeks, I thought our swagger would be a lot better.”
To the Timberwolves’ credit, they allowed just 24 points after the Vikings opened a 21-15 lead by first quarter’s end.
Eventually, IEL-leading LC (10-2 overall, 5-0 IEL) hurt CdA (6-8, 2-3) where the thin, smaller Viks can’t defend most teams – inside. LC’s athletic 6-foot-3 Nate Frisbie scored six points inside in the fourth quarter – two coming off a dunk on a nice pass from guard Jason Wheelock.
LC opened league with a come-from-behind 68-63 win in overtime at CdA.
CdA found a way to hang around even though it shot the ball poorly after the first quarter. Guards Devon Austin and Connor White were a combined 6 of 23 from the field. Austin, who finished with a game-high 20 points, made his first four shots before connecting on just 2 of 11 thereafter.
Senior guard Ben Frisbie, who celebrated a birthday Saturday, led LC with 17 points. His brother, Nate, finished with 11 and had five rebounds.
“I thought our effort was a lot better than it’s been,” CdA coach Kent Leiss said. “We’ve improved in a lot of areas. I thought probably the key to the game was they’re just bigger and stronger than us under the basket. In the second half they got four or five either post ups or offensive rebounds.”
Coeur d’Alene 70, Lake City 45: The Vikings would be hard pressed to play better than they did at LC.
Behind a career-high 28 points and 14 rebounds from 6-3 sophomore post Carli Rosenthal, CdA (18-0, 9-0) steamrolled LC (10-6, 4-5).
Rosenthal made 13 of 16 shots, most of which came either from taking lobs over the smaller T-Wolves or grabbing offensive rebounds.
CdA’s other 6-3 post, junior Kelsey Bybee, saw her most time after returning from a foot injury that kept her out until early January. She had 11 points and four rebounds.
Midway through the fourth quarter, CdA coach Dale Poffenroth scolded his players during a timeout for throwing up shots outside and not exploiting LC inside.
“You’ve got two 6-foot-3 kids out there … use them. That’s what we put them on the floor for,” Poffenroth said.
LC didn’t have an answer. Making matters worse for the T-Wolves was senior 6-1 post Katie Baker had to sit out 9 minutes and 19 seconds of the first half with three fouls.
Baker managed to score 15 of her team-high 22 points in the second half, but it was way too late.
“They went 16-0 on us when Katie got her third foul,” LC coach Royce Johnston said. “We need Katie in the ballgame for us to have a chance.”
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