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Thursday, April 9, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Coeur d’Alene sweeps Fight for the Fish

The Coeur d’Alene boys and girls basketball teams turned the Fight for the Fish spirit doubleheader into routs Friday.

And both did it with defense. The Coeur d’Alene boys and girls each held their crosstown rivals to 31 points.

The Viking boys outmanned the Timberwolves 55-31 and the Viking girls put a similar hurt on LC, 51-31, in Inland Empire League games at Elmer Jordan Court.

The only consolation for LC is it took home the wooden 32-inch Rainbow Trout, the trophy for displaying the most spirit.


Coeur d’Alene 55, Lake City 31: It was a season low for points for the T-Wolves.

“I think it was two things,” LC coach Jim Winger said. “One, it was Coeur d’Alene’s defense and how they played us. They deserve a ton of credit. And then throw in the fact that we were totally out to lunch. That’s a real bad combination. I’ve done this long enough where when everything is screwed up and it looks like you’re running in quicksand, we’re not there.”

The Vikings (7-3 overall, 2-0 league) drew high praise from coach Kent Leiss.

“We’re on pace right now to be the best defensive team I’ve ever had,” Leiss said. “We’re giving up about 48 points a game. They work hard.”

It was a rough week for CdA. Leiss had to deal with some disciplinary issues and then a starter, junior Gage Neirinckx, moved back to Boston, from where he transferred this summer.

So the fact the Vikings played so well from the opening tip was somewhat surprising.

CdA opened a 9-1 lead and that grew to 20-6 by early in the second quarter. Its biggest lead in the first half came at 26-9. The Vikings made 15 of 25 shots from the field in the first two quarters to LC’s 3 of 16.

“We had to deal with some discipline problems but Wednesday and Thursday we had our two best practices of the year,” Leiss said. “So they not only had to deal with Gage leaving but with me all over them because I didn’t think we played well in the Christmas tournament. We didn’t share the basketball very well. We did a much better job tonight. If we play like this, this is what I thought we could do even without Chad (Chalich, who returned this week from a broken foot). Because we moved the basketball we shot better.”

“Defense and rebounds wins games. It’s as simple as that,” CdA’s Deon Watson said.

Watson pointed the finger at himself for the discipline issues CdA had this week.

“I made some mistakes on my leadership,” Watson said. “We made some corrections. That’s just not being a leader.”

Nothing went right for LC (6-6, 0-1).

Devin Loy led CdA with 18 points. Watson had 13 and seven rebounds.

Kyle Guice led LC with 10 points and nine rebounds.


Coeur d’Alene 51, Lake City 31: LC senior guard Jasmyn Smith made a school-record nine 3-pointers in a game last week.

So CdA’s game plan was obvious – limit Smith’s shots.

No. 1-ranked CdA did better than that. Smith not only didn’t score, but she didn’t take one shot.

Credit that to CdA guard Caelyn Orlandi.

“If the other team doesn’t score, they’re not going to win,” CdA coach Dale Poffenroth said. “I don’t know if there are any better shooters around than (Jansen) Butler and Smith. It doesn’t take much of an opening for them to get a shot off. Orlandi did a really, really nice job. When she does what she did tonight it makes it tough for the other team to win.”

CdA (13-2, 3-1) also clamped down on Butler, who had seven points.

“It was my goal at the beginning to not let her shoot the ball or get any 3-pointers,” Orlandi said. “That was exciting. Defense is a team thing. Everybody helps each other out.”

Kyeli Parker led balanced CdA with 14 points. Amber Hawkes led LC (9-6, 1-2) with 12 and eight rebounds.

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