Coach Bryan Chase cannot remember the last time his team held an opponent to zero points in a quarter of basketball.
And he suspects that was only one of two feats the St. Maries boys basketball team accomplished last week, after scoring 56 points in the paint in a season-opening win over Bonners Ferry Dec. 3.
“That has got to be the most we’ve ever scored down there in one game,” Coach Chase commented after the 74-47 win.
The second achievement came two days later in Post Falls as his Lumberjacks closed the first quarter up 21-0 on Genesis Prep. The Jaguars took five shots in the first frame and were held to 22 points on the game.
The hope for Coach Chase and the second-ranked Lumberjacks is their defense carries over into Thursday’s contest with defending 1AD2 state-champion, Lakeside, a team that averaged 72 points per game last season.
“I don’t think we’ve seen a team that gets up the floor as well as those guys,” Coach Chase said. “I watched them play Post Falls JV last week, and it seemed like it went from a close game to them being up 30 just like that.”
The two clubs have not faced one another in the regular season since 2016, but many of both St. Maries’ and Lakeside’s current players were on the floor for a summer league game in 2019. The Knights came away winners by a score of 42-34.
“Our kids definitely haven’t forgotten that one,” Coach Chase added. “I think whatever level Lakeside is playing at, it doesn’t matter. They’re on a 25-game winning streak, and they can score the ball. I think if this game gets into the 90s we might be in trouble, but our kids hang their hat on defense, so hopefully we can focus in on their top two or three guys and make them beat us that way.”
The Jacks are coming off a pair of blowout wins in their first week of play, the most recent coming Dec. 5 at Genesis Prep, where an early 23-0 lead set St. Maries up for a 60-22 result.
Tristan Nelson led his team in scoring with 16 points to go with four rebounds and two steals and Greyson Sands added 11 points for St. Maries.
“Tristan had a breakout game at state for us last season, so it’s nice to see him keeping that going and getting some confidence,” Coach Chase said. “And Greyson did a really nice job of getting to the rim. He really adds to our depth.”
The Jacks opened their season at home Dec. 3, outscoring Bonners Ferry 43-21 in the first half of a 74-47 win.
St. Maries scored 56 of its points in the paint.
“It was something I wrote on the whiteboard before the game, that it was our goal to score 40 points in the paint. They sure blew that out of the water,” Coach Chase said. “It was really nice to see how unselfish the kids were in that one, sharing the ball and not forcing anything.”
Tristan led St. Maries with 18 points, six rebounds and four assists while also drawing four offensive fouls on the Badgers.
Colby Renner was perfect from the floor, shooting 8-8 for 16 points.
“He was hurt a lot of last season, so it’s nice to have him back, for sure,” Coach Chase said. “He takes the ball up strong. He’s definitely one of those guys that doesn’t shy away from contact.”
Upcoming: St. Maries (2-0) hosts Lakeside (1-0) Thursday at 7 p.m. and is set to play at Priest River Monday, Dec. 14 at 7 p.m.
St. Maries 60, Genesis Prep 22
SM 21 15 18 6 60
GP 0 11 7 4 22
Nelson – 16 pts., 4 reb., 2 st.; Sands – 11 pts.; Ross – 7 pts.; Renner – 6 pts.; Gibson – 4 pts.; Becktel – 4 pts.; Stancil – 3 pts.; Elliott – 3 pts.; Wicks – 2 pts.; Badgett – 1 pt.
St. Maries 74, Bonners Ferry 47
SM 22 21 15 16 74
BF 8 13 14 12 47
Nelson – 18 pts., 6 reb., 4 as.; Renner – 16 pts., 8-8 FG; Stancil – 9 pts.; Becktel – 8 pts.; Gibson – 8 pts.; Ross – 5 pts., 4 as., 3 reb.; Ledbetter – 4 pts.; Sands – 4 pts.; Elliott – 2 pts.