Coeur d’Alene beats Rocky Mountain, wins historic title

The Vikings earned their ninth state championship with a victory over Rocky Mountain.

rroberts@idahostatesman.comFebruary 23, 2014 

NAMPA — Just before tipoff of the biggest game of her high school career, Sydney Williams had a smile on her face as she sang along to the music playing throughout the Ford Idaho Center.

As she mouthed the words to the song “Let’s Get Ready to Rumble,” the ball was thrown in the air.

Although Rocky Mountain senior Megan Hochstein controlled the opening tip, Williams and her Coeur d’Alene High teammates took control when it mattered most.

The Vikings broke free from the Grizzlies in the fourth quarter for a 58-47 victory in the 5A state championship game Saturday night.

It is the ninth overall title for Coeur d’Alene, matching 1A Division I Prairie for the most in Idaho girls basketball history.

“We were kind of struggling and falling behind in the score,” said Williams, a University of San Diego signee who led all scorers with 23 points. “We just had to be strong. We wanted to show them we were ready and we really wanted this.”

Rocky Mountain seized a 40-38 lead on a pair of free throws from senior guard Carson Pickett with 6:20 on the clock in the fourth quarter, but it was the last time the Grizzlies had the advantage on the scoreboard.

Williams, a 6-foot post, and 5-11 teammate Brittany Tackett took over inside, beginning a stretch in which the Vikings outscored the Grizzlies 12-1 for a 50-41 lead.

“They made a run at them and I thought we might have had a chance there,” Rocky Mountain coach Emery Roy said. “Then we got in some foul trouble, and when Megan (Hochstein) went out they went to the big girls. They’re tough, both of them.”

Attempting to ignite a run as they did against Lewiston on Friday night, Pickett hit a 3-pointer from the right corner with 1:40 remaining in the game to bring Rocky Mountain within 50-44.

Coeur d’Alene fired right back with a Sydni Parker 3, and the Grizzlies never threatened again.

“We knew that this was our year finally and we hadn’t ran those lines for nothing,” said Coeur d’Alene guard Madison Sumner, who had 14 points. “I feel like all six of us seniors wanted it so bad that we knew we were going to go out there and win. We knew we didn’t want to leave here without the blue trophy.”

Saturday’s championship game pitted two of the state’s winningest girls basketball coaches. Coeur d’Alene’s Dale Poffenroth improved to 590-141, while Roy wrapped up his 37th season with a mark of 775-168.

Coeur d’Alene’s victory was the eighth consecutive title won by a team from the 5A Inland Empire League, but first for Coeur d’Alene since winning three in a row from 2008-10. A Treasure Valley team has not won since Roy led Centennial to a championship in 2006.

“We’re so close that it’s going to be really different not being with each other next year because we’re more like a family than a basketball team,” Sumner said.

Rachel Roberts: 377-6422, Twitter: @IDS_VarsityX

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