A sixth consecutive state semifinal game started out good enough for St. Maries’ boys basketball team March 6 against West Side.
But the second half, Coach Chase’s team will want to have back.
Shots stopped falling for St. Maries and the Pirates found their range quickly in the third frame to put the Lumberjacks down 21 going into the fourth quarter.
Following a disheartening, 41-62 loss that sent his team to the third-place contest, Coach Chase was tasked with getting his team ready to play a game it did not want to be in.
Not at first, anyway.
“We really focused on the fact that only three teams get to finish their season with a win, so let’s go out there and be one of them,” Coach Chase commented.
His team responded, holding Cole Valley – who had lost in overtime to eventual champion North Fremont the night before – to a tournament-low 29 points.
The third-place trophy is St. Maries’ third in six seasons, and added with last year’s second-place finish, the fourth piece of hardware earned in Coach Chase’s tenure.
“It took us a while to get going this year,” he added. “We reloaded after last season, and then won 10 of 11 coming into state. And to take two of three down there, I think it really gave us a good note to end on.”
Tristan Gentry led St. Maries’ balanced attack against Cole Valley as he put up 13 points to help the Jacks to a 29-14 halftime lead.
St. Maries 47, Cole Valley 29
SM 16 13 8 10 47
CV 8 6 5 10 29
Gentry 13 pts.; Becktel 11 pts.; Stancil 9 pts.; Elliott 4 pts.; Gibson 4 pts.; Renner 3 pts.; Ross 3 pts.
St. Maries fell into a 11-15 hole after the first quarter of play with New Plymouth in the opening round, but responded with a 17-6 second quarter.
“I was a little frustrated, to say the least,” Coach Chase commented. “They (NP) came out and did everything we had practiced for. We got hung up on some screens and left them open, and they made us pay. I think the kids did a good job of turning it around in the second quarter.”
The second frame proved the difference for St. Maries as the two teams were nearly even on the score board through the last two quarters.
St. Maries 48, New Plymouth 40
SM 11 17 9 11 48
NP 15 6 8 11 40
Gibson 13 pts.; Stancil 11 pts.; Ross 7 pts.; Gentry 5 pts.; Becktel 4 pts.; Sands 4 pts.; Renner 4 pts.
The Jacks were outscored 11-22 in the third quarter of a semifinal loss to West Side.
St. Maries 41, West Side 62
SM 9 7 11 14 41
WS 13 13 22 14 62
Stancil 9 pts.; Wicks 7 pts.; Renner 6 pts.; Sands 4 pts.; Ross 4 pts.; Gibson 4 pts.; Ledbetter 3 pts.; Wolfe 3 pts.; Becktel 1 pt.
St. Maries closes its season with a 19-6 record.