5A state girls basketball roundup: Rocky Mountain, Mountain View advance to semifinals

rroberts@idahostatesman.comFebruary 21, 2014 

  • TODAY’S STATE SEMIFINAL GAMES

    5A • FORD IDAHO CENTER, NAMPA

    Coeur d’Alene (21-2) vs. Mountain View (18-5), 6:15 p.m.

    Rocky Mountain (23-1) vs. Lewiston (21-3), 8 p.m.

    4A • MOUNTAIN VIEW HIGH, MERIDIAN

    Twin Falls (22-2) vs. Middleton (17-7), 6:15 p.m.

    Pocatello (14-10) vs. Skyview (23-1), 8 p.m.

    3A • MIDDLETON HIGH

    Filer (21-3) vs. Priest River (16-7), 6:15 p.m.

    Timberlake (17-8) vs. Homedale (18-5), 8 p.m.

    2A • KUNA HIGH

    Cole Valley Christian (14-10) vs. Ririe (21-4), 6:15 p.m.

    Firth (19-5) vs. Melba (16-9), 8 p.m.

    1A DIVISION I • COLUMBIA HIGH, NAMPA

    Lapwai (20-3) vs. Genesee (18-5), 6:15 p.m.

    Prairie (19-4) vs. Grace (17-7), 8 p.m.

    1A DIVISION II • NAMPA HIGH

    Rockland (21-2) vs. Dietrich (17-5), 1:15 p.m.

    Mackay (18-6) vs. Lighthouse Christian (12-9), 3 p.m.

NAMPA — For the first time since 2009, more than one Treasure Valley team made it out of the opening round of the 5A state tournament alive.

Mountain View and Rocky Mountain posted victories Thursday at the Ford Idaho Center to remain in the mix to return the title trophy to the Valley for the first time since 2006.

The Mavericks meet Coeur d’Alene in Friday’s 6:15 p.m. semifinal, and the Grizzlies take aim at Lewiston at 8 p.m.

MOUNTAIN VIEW 64, CAPITAL 54

Whether it was their lucky socks, a well-executed game plan or some combination of the two, Kayla Anderson and Abby Kreiser made sure their Ford Idaho Center debut was a good one.

The freshmen guards each scored in double figures to give the Mavericks the boost they needed against conference foe Capital.

The 5-foot-5 Kreiser had a game-best 19 points and three assists off the bench, and Anderson added 14 points and four assists in a starting role.

“Coming off the bench is a little harder. I wasn’t in as great of a rhythm as the starters, but I had to be strong and stroke the 3s,” said Kreiser, who made three 3-pointers. “That’s just how it happened.”

The pair helped the Mavericks (18-5) dig out of an eight-point hole midway through the second quarter by scoring 13 consecutive points for a 30-27 lead at the half.

“I was really nervous at the start, as everyone probably saw, because I can’t shoot a 3 to save my life when I’m nervous,” Anderson said. “But when we really needed it, I just calmed myself down.”

While sophomore point guard Destiny Slocum — the Mavericks’ leading scorer — was being double- and triple-teamed, the savvy freshmen made it clear why they earned a spot on the varsity roster.

“It looked pretty good, didn’t it?” Mountain View coach Connie Skogrand said. “They stepped up and played pretty awesome for a couple of freshmen.”

Slocum also scored in double figures for Mountain View with 13 points, while Capital (14-10) was paced by senior Delaney Sauer’s double-double of 18 points and 10 rebounds.

ROCKY MOUNTAIN 55, HIGHLAND 49

It might not end up as the highlight of their tournament, but there’s no denying the Grizzlies went all in for their first-round game against Highland.

Senior point guard Madi Kelly got the entire team hot pink socks and even stoic head coach Emery Roy was convinced to don a pair.

Maybe it was the good-luck charm the Grizzlies needed.

Third-seeded Rocky Mountain upended top-ranked Highland for the program’s first win in the opening round of the state tournament.

“They all came up with the idea and talked me into it,” Roy said. “I wore some extra-long pants.”

The team spirit proved infectious. Seven Rocky Mountain players registered points, led by senior post and Idaho State signee Megan Hochstein, who had 16 points and eight rebounds.

Utah Valley commit Kelly added 10 points and seven assists, and Carson Pickett came off the bench to score nine points. Five-foot-5 guard Noelle Aragon grabbed a game-leading 12 rebounds.

“They were more nervous than I thought they would be,” Roy said. “But they hung in there.”

After playing to a 14-14 tie through the first quarter, the Grizzlies outscored the Rams 18-9 in the second frame. It was a driving layup by Kelly that put Rocky out front for good.

“We just had to find our rhythm, and once we do, it usually works pretty good,” Aragon said.

LEWISTON 45, BOISE 40

Every time the Braves made a run in the fourth quarter, Emilee Schlader countered.

The 6-foot Lewiston forward scored eight of her game-leading 17 points in the fourth quarter — including a steal and layup with fewer than 30 seconds remaining in the game — to move the Bengals (21-3) into the semifinals after a one-year absence.

“The nicest way I can say this is Emily is an athletic freak,” Lewiston coach Pat Teichmer said. “She’s quick. She’s agile. She jumps. She’s fast, and so she’s difficult for teams to deal with.”

Schlader’s layup cushioned a dwindling Lewiston lead following a 3-pointer from Boise sophomore Hanna Orton that made it a one-possession game.

“I don’t know if it clinched the game for us, but it sure got us so that we were a little bit more comfortable,” Teichmer said. “She’s just a great athlete, great kid.”

That comfort was short-lived.

Boise sophomore Issy Hadden closed the gap once again with a rebound and putback, and coach Kim Brydges immediately called timeout with 10.8 seconds on the clock.

The Bengals, however, kept their composure on the ensuing inbound-play, forcing the Braves (16-8) to foul junior guard Lynzee Wilson.

Wilson — who came off the bench for the Bengals during their run to the state title in 2012 — made both free throws to capture the victory.

“It was actually really nerve-wracking, but I knew if I calmed down and took a deep breath, they’d fall,” Wilson said.

COEUR D’ALENE 57, HILLCREST 48

Brittany Tackett swooped in from all angles, grabbing rebounds, disrupting shots and crashing the key for an easy two points.

Deceptively fast for her 5-foot-11 frame, the Coeur d’Alene lefty was more than Hillcrest (20-5) could handle.

Tackett scored a game-leading 20 points with nine rebounds to put the Vikings (21-2) in the state semifinals for the ninth consecutive season.

“This year, with us seniors, we have yet to win a championship ourselves, and this is our year,” said Tackett, who has signed to play basketball for Lewis-Clark State College. “We have trained so hard. We have worked our butts off in practice, ran so many lines. It is our turn. Nobody trains to be runner-up.”

While it might seem like a bold declaration after a first-round victory, Coeur d’Alene and its northern counterparts have had a recent history of success at the state level. The Vikings won three championships in a row from 2008-10, and a northern team has claimed the past seven titles.

Although Coeur d’Alene finished a disappointing 1-for-17 from 3-pointer range, Tackett and 6-1 teammate Sydney Williams (14 points, five rebounds) formed a formidable pair inside.

“We took way too many outside shots. We could not make anything,” Coeur d’Alene guard Madison Sumner said. “Working the ball in to both of our posts was awesome. We had so many assists and it actually worked out really well. I thought we played excellent first game, and we’re ready to take on the next two.”

Rachel Roberts: 377-6422, Twitter: @IDS_VarsityX

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