After two games, there isn’t much St. Maries and Kellogg don’t know about one another.
And anything still hidden between the two boys basketball teams will likely come out this evening.
The Lumberjacks needed a 14-point win over the Wildcats last week to ensure tonight’s game would be on their home floor.
They got that, plus a little extra.
But as for tonight’s district championship game, St. Maries’ ninth consecutive title is far from guaranteed.
“Mikey (Martin) is a good coach,” Coach Bryan Chase said. “I’m sure he’ll have some adjustments and they’ll be ready for us. It’s going to come down to who can make more plays and take care of the ball.”
The winner of tonight’s game will earn a spot in next week’s 2A state boys basketball tournament in Boise. The loser will have to defeat the winner of Orofino/Priest River and then win a play-in game Saturday in order to qualify.
“I really hope we can both make it somehow,” Coach Chase said. “I think we’re both teams that will make the tournament better and we can both compete.”
St. Maries earned its place in tonight’s contest with a semifinal win over Priest River.
The Lumberjacks went down 4-9 early and battled back and forth before ending the first quarter ahead 21-14.
“Our body language wasn’t good, our engery wasn’t good, and you could tell from warmups,” Coach Chase said. “But after that timeout in the first quarter and especially in the second half I was really happy with how well the kids took care of the ball.”
Greyson Sands went 5-7 from three-point range and led St. Maries with 24 points, three steals and four assists, capping his third consecutive game of scoring greater than 20 points.
Dillon Holder was 3-7 from beyond the arc for 15 points and four assists as the Lumberjacks held Priest River to eight points in the second half.
St. Maries recorded 13 assists and committed seven turnovers in the 64-35 win.
“That 2-1 ratio of assists to turnovers is big,” Coach Chase said. “That’s a mark of a good team, and I was really proud of the kids.”
Having lost to Kellogg Jan. 12 by 13 points, St. Maries needed a margin of victory of at least 14 Feb. 14 to claim home court advantage in this week’s district tournament.
St. Maries was ahead by five points through three quarters with Kellogg and outscored the Wildcats 25-13 in the fourth quarter, winning by 17 in a 74-57 result.
“We’re at full strength for the first time in a while, and that’s been nice,” Coach Chase said. “Wyatt and Seth have come off the bench and given us good shooting and good energy, and that gives us that depth and ability to rotate eight, nine guys in.”
Greyson led all scorers with 28 points, Tristun Hill added 17 points and Trace Wicks hit four shots from beyond the arc for 12 points.
Up Next: St. Maries (16-5) hosts Kellogg (16-6) for the district championship tonight. Tipoff is set for 6 p.m. at St. Maries High School.
St. Maries 64, Priest River 35
SM 21 18 15 10 64
PR 14 13 2 6 35
Sands – 24 pts., 4 as., 3 st.; Holder – 15 pts., 4 as.; Holmes – 9 pts., 8 reb.; Wicks – 3 pts., 3 st.; Badgett – 4 pts.; Renner – 3 pts.; Swallows – 3 pts.; Gustaffe – 2 pts.; Sloper – 1 pt.
St. Maries 60, Timberlake 59
SM 21 10 8 21 60
TL 16 12 14 17 59
Sands – 25 pts.; Hill – 13 pts.; Holmes – 10 pts.; Renner – 8 pts.; Swallows – 2 pts.; Holder – 2 pts.
St. Maries 74, Kellogg 57
SM 21 6 22 25 74
KEL 18 12 14 13 57
Sands – 28 pts.; Hill – 17 pts.; Wicks – 12 pts.; Badgett – 7 pts.; Holmes – 5 pts.; Renner – 3 pts.; Holder – 2 pts.
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