The first of three sets of back-to-back games hits this week for Coach Bryan Chase and the St. Maries boys basketball team.

The Lumberjacks, perfect through four games leading up to a Dec. 17 game at Lakeland (6-0 as of Dec. 16), welcome last season’s state 1AD1 runner up, Potlatch (5-0, 3-0 WPL) Thursday, before closing out the week Friday with a home game against Bonners Ferry (2-2 before Dec. 17 game at Wallace).

“It’ll be interesting to see how we handle it,” Coach Chase said. “It’s our first back-to-back of the season, so we might dig into our bench a bit, and be thinking about keeping kids rested.”

St. Maries and Bonners Ferry will each go into Christmas break following Friday’s game and return in early January, the Lumberjacks Jan. 3 at Potlatch and Bonners Ferry Jan. 7 at Kettle Falls, WA.

A 19-2 first quarter set St. Maries up for a 58-39 win over Wallace Dec. 12.

Brett Stancil scored a team-high 17 points as the Lumberjacks won their fourth consecutive contest.

“I think we’re a team that likes to play fast,” Coach Chase said. “If we can press and push the tempo, that’s the game we like to play.”

Randie Becktel added 10 points, and through four games had recorded double-digit point totals in each.

“Randie has been a constant for us,” Coach Chase added. “Real consistent this season.”

St. Maries 58, Wallace 39

SM 19 14 10 15 58

WAL 2 10 13 14 39

Stancil 17 pts.; Becktel 14 pts.; Ross 10 pts., 3 st.; Nelson 2 pts., 8 reb.; Gibson 6 pts., 8as.; Elliott 5 pts.; Peet 2pts.; Sands 2pts.

The Lumberjacks traveled to Timberlake Dec. 10, and overcame a nine-point halftime deficit with a 18-9 third quarter in a 53-48 victory behind 18 points and eight assists from Eli Gibson.

“Their zone stifled us in that first half,” Coach Chase said. “The ball was sticking in our hands and we had trouble getting it moving. I thought Eli showed some great leadership in that game. He had a few encouraging words for the team at halftime, and in the second half they really stepped up.”

St. Maries 53, Timberlake 48

SM 6 9 18 20 53

TL 8 16 9 15 48

Gibson 18 pts., 8 as.; Becktel 10 pts.; Nelson 10 pts.; Ross 5 pts.; Stancil 5 pts.; Sands 3 pts.; Elliott 2 pts.

Upcoming: St. Maries (4-0 before Dec. 17 game at Lakeland) hosts Potlatch (4-0, 3-0 WPL) Thursday at 7 p.m., and welcomes Bonners Ferry (2-2) Friday, also at 7 p.m., in a final game for both teams going into Christmas Break.

Common Opponent: The Lumberjacks and Badgers, who meet Friday at St. Maries High School, each faced Wallace in early December. St. Maries claimed a 58-39 win over the Miners, and Bonners Ferry took a nine-point, 65-56 win over Wallace. Potlatch, the team St. Maries hosts in the front end of its back-to-back, is coming off an overtime win (52-48) over 4A Moscow Monday.

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