St. Maries girls basketball coach John Cordell said his team’s defense intensified Feb. 7 in a district matchup with top-seeded Grangeville.

The result was, after three prior losses to the Bulldogs, what he had hoped for all season.

Nearly.

The Lumberjack girls played their CIL rivals the closest they had in four league contests, but a late foul put Grangeville at the free throw line, where it capitalized on a pair of free throws with less than five seconds to play.

“Our intensity on defense was different,” Coach Cordell, who’s team had fallen to Grangeville by 14, eight and nine points, respectively, coming into the fourth game, said. “We smothered them. But again, just couldn’t score when we really needed to.”

The Lumberjacks’ 41-43 defeat ended their season and sent Grangeville to this week’s 2A state tournament.

Madison Cordell hit a free throw with less than 10 seconds remaining to tie the game at 41 apiece, but after a miss on the back end a foul was called as opposing players went for the loose ball that send the Bulldogs to the line, where they would seal the win with two points.

“Both sides were scrapping for it, and we got called for a foul,” Coach Cordell commented. “Our girls have nothing to be ashamed of. They went out trying as hard as they could and gave everything they had.”

Madison closed the game with 11 points and 12 rebounds, Kaci Haeg had 10 points and nine rebounds and Jenna Holder had six points and five rebounds.

Mackenzie Hammond added six points, Alena Davenport four, Katrina Koser two and Sami Badgett two.

The girls fell to Grangeville in the first of two district games by a score of 34-43.

Madison again led her team in scoring, putting up nine points as the Jacks were outscored 4-12 in the opening frame.

Alena tallied eight points, Kaci had six, Jenna six, Mackenzie three and Dakotah Wilks two.

St. Maries closes on an 11-10, 2-2 CIL record.

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