Two years was long enough a break from the state tournament for Coach Chris Dohrman and the Lakeside girls basketball team.
The Knights, who put together three consecutive trips south between 2015 and 2017, will return this month after failing to qualify the past two seasons.
Four of Coach Dohrman’s 12-player roster were in the program in February of 2017, the last time Lakeside appeared in the state 1AD2 bracket.
That season, Lakeside was the second-seed from District One, and faced the eventual state champion, Butte County. The Knights would give the Pirates, who won three times at state by an average of 31 points, their closest game.
This year’s first-round test for Lakeside promises to be slightly less daunting.
But not by much.
Lakeside, District One champion, will be featured Thursday in the lone matchup of district champions as it faces District Three’s top seed,Tri-Valley.
The Knights, 15-6, have won three of their last four games, including a pair of district-tournament wins to clinch a state berth.
Tri-Valley, a combination of Midvale and Cambridge students, carries a 19-2 record into Thursday and has not lost since December, 2019.
Lakeside and Tri-Valley are connected through common opponents – barely – as Tri-Valley shares a conference with Salmon River. Salmon River defeated Orofino twice this season. Orofino split games with St. Maries. The Lumberjacks defeated Genesis Prep twice, as did Lakeside.
Tipoff Thursday between Lakeside and Tri-Valley is slated for 5:15 p.m. PST.
The Knights earned their spot at state with a pair of district-tournament wins, and defeated Clark Fork 64-46 in the championship game.
A 25-10 second quarter sealed victory for the Knights, who were led in scoring for the fourth consecutive game by Jolissa Holt and her 17 points.
Lakeside 64, Clark Fork 46 (District Championship)
LHS 9 25 15 15 64
CF 7 10 11 16 46
J. Holt 17 pts.; Havier-Gorr 13 pts.; Anderson 10 pts.; Peters 7 pts.; Adrian 5 pts.; Middleton 4 pts.; Marchand 3 pts.; A. Holt 3 pts.; Allen 2 pts.
Lakeside opened tournament play with an 81-26 win over Mullan. Jolissa put up a team-high 16 points in the effort as 10 players scored for the Knights.
Lakeside 81, Mullan 26
LHS 19 17 24 21 81
MUL 7 5 5 9 26
J. Holt 16 pts.; Havier-Gorr 14 pts.; Marchand 10 pts.; A. Holt 10 pts.; Adrian 8 pts.; Peters 7 pts.; Middleton 6 pts.; Allen 4 pts.; Matt 4 pts.; Anderson 2 pts.
Upcoming: Lakeside tips off at the 1AD2 state tournament in Nampa Thursday at 5:15 p.m. PST. A win would put the Knights in a semifinal game Friday at 2 p.m. PST, while a loss would send Lakeside to a consolation contest Friday at 7 p.m. PST.
Three-year wait: Lakeside seniors Emma Daniels, Nicole Middleton, Samantha Adrian and Tamara Anderson were each freshmen in Feb. 2017 when the Knights last appeared in the 1AD2 state tournament.