NAMPA - Sorry Treasure Valley, but the 5A state championship trophy won't be hoisted by a District Three girls basketball team this season.
Coeur d'Alene (21-5) and Post Falls (23-1) each won their semifinal games Friday night at the Idaho Center to assure that a northern Idaho school will win the state title for the seventh season in a row.
The Vikings and Trojans meet for the fourth time this season at 8 p.m. Saturday. Post Falls has won two of the three previous meetings, including last week's District One-Two championship.
"It's anybody's ballgame," Coeur d'Alene senior Caelyn Orlandi said.
COEUR D'ALENE 55, CAPITAL 39
Capital's best state tournament run in more than a decade was stopped a game short of the championship by one of the state's most dominant programs.
Three Vikings players scored in double figures to help Coeur d'Alene advance to its seventh state championship game in eight seasons.
Leading the charge was junior post Sydney Williams, who scored a game-high 22 points with 10 rebounds. Williams' 18 points in the first two quarters put Capital behind 16 points at halftime.
"I was feeling it. Everything was working. People were getting the ball to people that were making baskets," Williams said. "I just felt like the fire was coming out or something."
Guards Caelyn Orlandi and Madison Sumner kept the Vikings' run going in the second half, finishing with 12 and 11 points, respectively.
Capital opened with a 4-0 lead, but an Orlandi 3-pointer midway through the first quarter put Coeur d'Alene out front for good.
"I kind of think our kids perhaps play harder than other people, I don't know," Coeur d'Alene coach Dale Poffenroth said. "We're not very big. We're not very fast or strong, but the kids play hard and they get up in your face and play good, tough defense."
POST FALLS 42, HIGHLAND 41
It was easy to spot the relief in coach Marc Allert's smile as he walked out of the locker room with a cookie in hand.
His Trojans narrowly avoided a meltdown in the final minutes of their dramatic semifinal game against Highland after Rams senior Dylan Gonzalez missed on the front end of a one-and-one opportunity with 2.7 seconds left.
No one was probably more relieved, however, than Post Falls senior Hallie Gennett.
"I honestly was so mad at myself because Allert was like, 'Don't foul Hallie.' He straight up told me that and then I fouled," said Gennett, whose foul put Gonzalez at the line.
"I was like, 'Well, I just lost the game for us,' because I know she's a good shooter."
Much to the Trojans' relief, Gonzalez's free throw bounced off the back of the rim, and Gennett scooped up the rebound as the buzzer sounded.
Post Falls led by as many as 11 points near the end of the third quarter, but Highland was able to make it a game down the stretch.
Junior Makenzie Van Sickle hit two 3-pointers in the fourth quarter and reserve Maren Herrud's 3 with 7 seconds left pulled Highland within 42-41.
Post Falls senior Dani Failor finished with her second straight double-double of the tournament with 15 points and 16 rebounds, and Brooke Litalien added 13 points and eight rebounds to put the Trojans in position to win their first state title since 2003.
"It got really close at the end, really stressful, but it was really exciting," Failor said.
MOUNTAIN VIEW 46, MERIDIAN 38
After playing to a tie through two quarters, the Mavericks (19-6) pulled away in the second half to get the best of their 5A SIC rivals for the fourth time this season.
Freshman Destiny Slocum led Mountain View in scoring for the second straight day with 14 points, and senior Josie Lawrence fell a point shy of a double-double with nine points and 11 rebounds.
Mykaela Richards paced Meridian (18-7) with 13 points.
ROCKY MOUNTAIN 56, MADISON 38
Sophomore Maya Rodgers went 5-for-6 from the field - including 3-for-3 from 3-point range - and 2-for-3 from the free-throw line to propel the Grizzlies (21-4) to a win over the Bobcats (17-9).
It was the first state tournament victory for Rocky Mountain, which qualified for state for the first time in program history last season, but went two-and-out.
Rocky junior guard Madi Kelly scored all of her 14 points in the first half and added four assists.