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Bengals prove too much for Vikings again

Sean Kramer Correspondent

LEWISTON – In all likelihood, Booth Hall will not be missed by anyone on the Coeur d’Alene boys basketball squad.

Coeur d’Alene coach Kurt Lundblad was tossed by officials the last time the Vikings’ trekked to the Lewiston High gym, losing by 24 points amid a parade of technical fouls assessed against his team.

A return trip to Nez Perce County was required if the Vikings wanted to punch an early ticket to State.

Lundblad coached the entire way through this time, but his Vikings (18-5) still left flustered and disappointed falling 57-45 to the Bengals (11-7).

Coeur d’Alene hosts Post Falls at 7 p.m. on Thursday right for the right to play in a regional play-in game.

“I played for Coeur d’Alene high school and it was hard to win at Booth Hall back in the 80’s when I played here,” Lundblad said. “When you travel as far as that is, it’s just tough.”

The Vikings struggled to contain Lewiston standout Trystan Bradley, who used his 6-foot-7 wingspan to frustrate the Vikings and continually earn trips to the free-throw line.

Riley Way shot Coeur d’Alene out of its 2-3 zone with two quick 3-point baskets in the first quarter, meaning less help down low against Bradley.

The Lewiston junior did it again with back-to-back 3-pointers in the third quarter, allowing the Bengals to pull away from a 22-22 halftime gridlock.

“We didn’t come out as focused as we did at the beginning of the game, but overall we just didn’t execute,” Coeur d’Alene junior Joey Naccarato said. “We didn’t keep them off the glass, which is what lost us the game.”

Despite Brody Lundblad and Naccarato’s best efforts, Coeur d’Alene couldn’t string enough plays together to cut the lead back down to one possession.

Brody Lundblad hit a straight away trey with four seconds left in the third quarter to pull the Vikings back to within single digits and Naccarato scored nine fourth-quarter points – once pulling the Vikings within five – to keep the game in doubt through most of the fourth quarter.

And then it came back down rebounding.

Naccarato drained a 3 to cut the Lewiston lead to eight with 87 seconds remaining, quickly followed by a foul to send Bradley to the line. Lewiston’s lanky junior rebounded his own miss, allowing the Bengals to burn clock and steal momentum back.

Post Falls 65, Lake City 44: Wyatt Millsap scored a game-high 19 and Jacob Pfennigs added 16 points and 14 rebounds to power the Trojans (15-8) to a victory over the Timberwolves (7-16) in a 5A Region I loser-out game at Post Falls.

The Trojans advance to play a loser-out game against Coeur d’Alene on Thursday. The winner moves on to a play-in game at Grangeville on Saturday.

2A Region I

Kiefer Gibson totaled 21 points, 12 rebounds and three blocked shots and Jake Sieler added 18 points to propel the St. Maries Lumberjacks (18-4) to a 61-57 victory over the Orofino Maniacs (11-11) at Troy High School.

St. Maries awaits the winner of Orofino versus Grangeville to decide a berth to state.

Grangeville 67, Coeur d’Alene Charter 40: Luke Stokes hit four 3-pointers and scored 14 to lead the Bulldogs (14-7) past the Panthers (3-18) at Troy HS.

1A Division II

Jonny Hillman tossed in 15 points and the Genesis Prep Jaguars breezed to a 72-17 victory over the Clark Fork Wampus Cats in a loser-out game at Timberlake High School.

The Jaguars advance to play Kootenai – a 42-38 winner over Lakeside (Mullan) – tonight at Timberlake at 6 p.m. in a winner-to-state, loser-out contest.

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