The Post Falls boys basketball team suffered its first loss at home since 2014 on Tuesday.
The Trojans weren’t about to lose two straight.
Post Falls shot better from 3-point range and didn’t let Coeur d’Alene get easy shots driving to the basket, as the Trojans pulled away to a 65-46 victory in a 5A Region I elimination game on Thursday.
Lewiston topped Post Falls 51-48 in the championship game on Tuesday.
The Trojans (17-3) take on Capital (17-8), the District III fifth-place team, on Saturday at Grangeville to decide a state berth. Tip is at 3 p.m.
David Bourgard hit back-to-back 3-pointers early in the second that set a tone. The Trojans built a 13-point lead and gave all but four of it back later in the quarter.
A 3-pointer by Tanner McCliment-Call – the sixth out of 11 attempts in the first half – allowed Post Falls to take a 34-25 lead into halftime.
Once the Trojans extended the lead to double digits midway through the third period they were on their way to a convincing victory.
Post Falls made just 1 of 6 from 3-point range in the second half but it didn’t matter. The Trojans’ defense wasn’t allowing CdA (11-11) to get any easy baskets.
The Trojans had a brief stretch early in the fourth quarter where they committed five turnovers. Coach Mike McLean called timeout, and his team didn’t have any difficulty thereafter against the Viks’ pressure.
“I thought we did a good job of breaking their defense down,” McLean said.
Jake Pfennings led Post Falls with 21 points and 14 rebounds. He made 10 of 10 from the free-throw line and the Trojans shot 24 of 27 foul shots.
McCliment-Call had 15 points and made 10 of 12 foul shots.
Pfennings pointed to defense as key.
“Mike (McLean) preached it in practice, watched film and had to realize that we had to keep them off the boards and defend well,” Pfennigs said. “It definitely wasn’t the way we wanted it to go Tuesday, but yesterday we realized we just had to get it done the hard way. We’ll go back and get it done Saturday now.”
McLean was pleased that his team weathered some foul trouble in the first half. Five players picked up two fouls, and the Trojans’ bench was called upon to play some pivotal minutes.
“I thought the key to the game by far was in the first half we had some foul issues and I thought our kids off the bench played phenomenal for us. Our depth helped us in a crucial time. They extended the lead and allowed some of our guys to be able to sit on the bench and not let the game get away from us.”
CdA first-year coach Tony Hanna said it was a tough way to end the season.
“It’s an emotional one. The last one is always emotional,” Hanna said. “The one thing I’m proud of my guys is all year we never stopped competing. I don’t think it was a lack of effort, I don’t think it has been with our guys.”
Joey Naccarato led CdA with 15 points and six rebounds.
Moscow 45, Lakeland 44: Cooper Stephens tallied 15 points, Hunter Pickard added 14 and the Bears (8-11) defeated the Hawks (9-14) in the 4A District 1 title game at North Idaho College.
Stephens hit a 3-point field goal with three minutes left to play and Glen Gosse hit two late free throws to help put away the game for the Bears. Gosse finished with 10 points.
Dylan Vahey hit a 3-pointed with four seconds left, but with no timeouts remaining the clock ran out on Lakeland. Kaden Davis led the Hawks with 11 points.
Kellogg 70, Priest River 48: Toby Colburn scored 17 points and the Wildcats (18-2) punched their ticket to state with a win over the Spartans (7-15) in the 3A District 1 title game at North Idaho College
Colburn was named league MVP for the second straight season.
Chase Jerome also scored 16 points and Tyler Gibbons scored 12 of his 14 points in the first quarter for the Wildcats.
Hunter Hartwig led the Spartans with 16 points. Priest River will face Timberlake on Friday for the district’s second seed at state.
Timberlake 66, Bonners Ferry 53: Colton Counts scored 19 points and the Tigers (13-8) defeated the visiting Badgers (3-14) in a 3A District 1 loser-out game at NIC.
Timberlake outscored Bonners 35-25 in the second half to pull away. Brayden Menti added 11 for the Tigers.
Chris Sabin scored 12 points to lead the Badgers.
Grangeville 55, Orofino 31: Trey Dreadfulwater scored 13 points and the Bulldogs (10-11) advanced to a state play-in game on Saturday against Nampa Christian with a win over the Maniacs (13-7) in a 2A District 1 loser-out game.
Genesis Prep 90, Lakeside 43: Junior Williams scored 26 points and the Jaguars (18-4) beat the Knights (9-11) to earn the 1A D2 District title and a seed at the upcoming state tournament.
Jonny Hillman added 18 points and Stephane Manzi scored 12 points for the Jaguars.
Alex Pakootas led Lakeside with 10 points. The Knights move on to a play-in game to state on Saturday.
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