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Sports >  High school sports

Idaho girls state preview: Gonzaga recruit Melody Kempton leads No. 2 Post Falls to 5A tourney

UPDATED: Wed., Feb. 14, 2018, 6:13 p.m.

Post Falls Melody Kempton on right, is fouled by Lewiston’s Cameron Cady during a high school basketball game, Tues., Feb. 7, 2017, at Post Falls High School. (Colin Mulvany / The Spokesman-Review)
Post Falls Melody Kempton on right, is fouled by Lewiston’s Cameron Cady during a high school basketball game, Tues., Feb. 7, 2017, at Post Falls High School. (Colin Mulvany / The Spokesman-Review)

Idaho girls state tournaments start Friday and North Idaho is well represented with six teams competing. In 5A, Gonzaga recruit Melody Kempton leads No. 2-ranked Post Falls in search of a team title.

Post Falls Trojans, 5A

Where: Ford Idaho Center, Nampa

Record: 21-2, 6-0 Inland Empire League

Finish: League and district champion

Key players: F Melody Kempton, sr., (16 ppg, 9 rpg, four-time league player of the year, two-time all-state, Post Falls career leader in points, rebounds and blocked shots); PG Bayley Brennan, sr., (15 ppg, three-time all-league, second-tam all-state); G Tyler McCliment-Call, soph., (13 ppg, first-team all-league)

Outlook: Third in state last season and ranked No. 2 all year behind Eagle (24-0). Both Eagle and Bonneville (No. 3, 22-1) are on opposite sides of bracket. First-round matchup with Capital (No. 5, 18-5). Possible second-round match up with No. 4 Borah (18-5). Trojans’ only losses this season came to Central Valley, No. 1 rated 4A in Washington and at a tournament in Las Vegas.

Quote: “The eight best teams in the state are in the tournament, so every game will be tough,” said coach Marc Allert, who won a state title in 2013 with the Trojans. “The favorite has to be Eagle, but I like our chances of playing on Saturday night if we play like we are capable of playing.”

Sandpoint Bulldogs, 4A

Where: Mt. View HS, Meridian

Record: 14-8, 4-0 Inland Empire League

Finish: League and district champion

Key players: W Grace Kirscher, sr., (19.5 ppg, 6.6 rpg, 2.7 apg, third on Sandpoint all-time scoring list, signed with Eastern Washington); G Ciera Bailey, sr., (9.3 ppg), G Dawson Driggs, so. (5.0 ppg, 5.0 rpg,); G Trinity Golder, sr.

Outlook: Sandpoint is making its fifth consecutive trip to state. Bulldogs face rough first-round matchup against District 3 second-place Middleton (18-6), ranked No. 1 in state and defending champion.

Timberlake Tigers, 3A

Where: Skyview HS, Nampa

Record: 19-3, 6-0 Intermountain League

Finish: League and district champion

Key players: Shelby Starr, sr., (11.0 ppg, league MVP); Lilly Kelley, sr., (11.5 ppg, all-league); Kaylee Jezek, sr., (7.0 ppg, all-league); McKeeley Tonkin, jr., (7.0 ppg, all-league); Brooke Jessen, fr., (11.3 ppg, all-league); Taryn Soumas, fr., (8.5 ppg, all-league).

Outlook: The two-time defending champion Tigers were ranked second in state and received one first-place vote. First-round matchup against District 4 champion Buhl (16-7).

Quote: “We have a lot of team balance as far as scoring goes.” – coach Matt Miller.

Bonners Ferry Badgers, 3A

Where: Mt. View HS, Meridian

Record: 18-5, 4-2 Intermountain League

Finish: League and district runner-up

Key players: Miranda Wenk, sr., (12.3 ppg, 10.4 rpg, all-league, four-year varsity, three-year starter); Kadi Bateman, sr., (11.5 points, 4 steals, 2.7 assists, all-league); Kassy Skeen, sr., (9.7 ppg, 5.2 rpg, 3.7 steals, all-league).

Outlook: The Badgers finished the season ranked No. 4. First-round matchup against No. 5 Snake River (17-6), the District 5 champion. Bonners avoids early games against tourney favorites Timberlake and Sugar-Salem, which are on the other side of the bracket. Last qualified for state in 2013.

Quote: “I think the key for us is to travel well and stay focused. We are happy we qualified, but we’re not done yet.” – Coach Travis Hinthorn.

St. Maries Lumberjacks, 2A

Where: Kuna HS

Record: 15-6, 4-0 Central Idaho League

Finish: League and district champion

Key players: P Kaci Haeg, jr., (13.9 ppg, 7.1 rpg); P Kaylee Auer, sr., (10.1 ppg, 7.8 rpg); G Madison Cordell, jr. (8.1 ppg, 4.0 apg)

Outlook: State fifth-place finisher last season has first-round matchup against District 3 second-place Cole Valley Christian (17-4), ranked fifth. No. 1- ranked Melba (22-0) is on the other side of the bracket.

Genesis Prep Jaguars, 1ADII

Where: Nampa HS

Record: 13-9, 8-0 North Star League

Finish: League and district champion

Key players: P Bella Murekatete, jr.; PG Rachel Schroeder, jr.; G Josie Scribner, jr.

Outlook: Third in state last year has first-round matchup against District 3 champion Tri-Valley (16-7).

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