Going into a Tuesday night game with Grangeville, St. Maries’ boys basketball team was one win from a sixth consecutive district championship.
The Lumberjacks took game one Monday in what ended as the closest game between the two teams this season.
The Bulldogs cut St. Maries’ lead to three early in the third quarter before Randie Becktel hit a three-pointer, which would extend his team’s lead to six and help the Jacks close out a 39-30 win.
The result was the Jacks’ second-lowest point total of the season and Grangeville’s lowest.
St. Maries 39, Grangeville 30
SM 13 10 6 10 39
GHS 8 5 9 8 30
Becktel 10 pts., 4 reb., 3 as.; Gentry 4 pts., 5 reb.; Gibson 6 pts.,4 st.; Ross 6 pts.; Stancil 5 pts.; Renner 4 pts.; Sands 4 pts.
St. Maries closed its regular season Feb. 18 at Wallace, scoring 23 points in the first quarter of a 70-39 win.
Brett Stancil went off for 19 points and pulled down eight rebounds in the effort.
St. Maries 70, Wallace 39
SM 23 19 13 14 70
WAL 13 14 7 5 39
Stancil 19 pts., 8 reb.; Ross 16 pts., 8 reb.; Gibson 8 pts., 8 as., 5 st.; Becktel 8 pts.; Gentry 6 pts.; Renner 6 pts.; Elliott 3 pts.; Peet 2 pts.; McMaster 2 pts.
Upcoming: St. Maries could clinch the District l-ll championship Tuesday, Feb. 25 with a win over Grangeville. A loss would set up a winner-take-all game Wednesday (today) at Troy High School at 6 p.m.
Closing the gap: Following a 19-point win over Grangeville in the first meeting between the two teams, St. Maries watched its Central Idaho League opponent cut into its point spreads the following two games. The Bulldogs came to St. Maries Feb. 1. The Lumberjacks won that game by 12, and in the first of a best-of-three district championship series took the win by nine.
team leaders: Randie Becktel, Eli Gibson and Brett Stancil recorded big numbers for St. Maries in the first three games with Grangeville. Randie was the leading scorer twice (10 pts., 11 pts.), Eli once (15 pts.) and Brett totalled 27 points in his first three games against the Bulldogs.