Last week at Sandpoint St. Maries’ boys basketball team bounced back from a dismal first quarter to steal a road win.

Four days later in the Brawl for the Ball finale the story was similar.

Except the Lumberjacks played their best quarter first, scoring more than they would over the next three quarters combined.

St. Maries’ strong rebounding in the first frame went dormant after the Jacks opened a 19-14 lead over Kellogg Jan. 11, due largely to the injury of post Tristan Nelson, who suffered a concussion and would exit the game for good early in the second quarter.

“Obviously with Tristan out we don’t rebound as well,” Coach Bryan Chase said. “I think the first quarter went as we scripted, but after that we settled for too many three pointers, and our free throws were not good.”

Compounding St. Maries’ struggles was Kellogg’s shooting.

The Wildcats went 7-14 beyond the arc, while the Jacks were 3-21 from three point range.

Coach Chase’s squad put 18 points on the board over the next 24 minutes of the 37-57 defeat.

St. Maries 37, Kellogg 57

SM 19 3 7 8 37

KEL 14 11 14 18 57

Ross 11 pts.; Sands 7 pts.; Stancil 7 pts.; Gibson 7 pts.; Wolfe 3 pts.; Becktel 2 pts.

The Lumberjacks (7-4) will not see the court until Saturday, where they open Central Idaho League play at Grangeville (5-3).

The Bulldogs, like St. Maries, split with Prairie this season, falling to the Pirates by 19 Jan. 7. Three days prior, St. Maries lost to Prairie by seven.

“Just watching them (Grangeville) on film, they’re a lot like Kellogg,” Coach Chase said. “We’re going to have to prepare for them in a similar way, but we are going to have to move some kids around if Tristan is out Saturday. Some of our bigger guards might have to go down low to help us out with our rebounding. It’s really important for us to make a run this year that we get healthy.”

St. Maries won a pair of road games last week leading up to Brawl for the Ball, first at Sandpoint Jan. 7, where the Lumberjacks went down 3-13 after one quarter. The game was the team’s first following losses to at Potlatch and Prairie.

“That was the first time I’ve gotten really animated with them,” Coach Chase commented. “We were slow getting up and down the floor in that first quarter, and I think we lit a fire underneath them between the first and second.”

St. Maries outscored Sandpoint 20-9 in the second quarter, and went on to take a 50-46 win.

Randie Becktel put up 20 points in the win to lead the Jacks in scoring.

St. Maries 50, Sandpoint 46

SM 3 20 14 13 50

SAND 13 9 8 16 46

Becktel 20 pts.; Gibson 9 pts.; Ross 6 pts.; Stancil 6 pts.; Gentry 6 pts.; Sands 3 pts.

St. Maries earned a win at Bonners Ferry Jan. 9 by a score of 63-48 behind 11 points, nine steals and three assists from Coleman Ross.

St. Maries 63, Bonners Ferry 48

SM 11 17 18 17 63

BF 7 8 14 19 48

Ross 11 pts., 9 st., 3 as.; Gibson 12 pts.; Gentry 10 pts., 6 reb.; Stancil 9 pts.; Peet 7 pts.; Sands 6 pts.; Becktel 4 pts.; McMaster 4 pts.

Upcoming: St. Maries travels to Grangeville Saturday as both teams open CIL play. Tipoff is set for 4:30 p.m. at Grangeville High School.

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