The Mountain View defense learned on Post Falls’ opening possession exactly what it would need to do to stop the Trojans.
But 6-foot junior post Melody Kempton didn’t intend to be stopped.
The Gonzaga commit dominated in the paint, scoring 29 points with 10 rebounds in a 60-48 victory over two-time defending champion Mountain View on Thursday in the first round of the 5A state tournament at the Ford Idaho Center in Nampa.
Kempton finished 10-for-12 from the field and 9-of-12 from the free-throw line for the Trojans’ first state victory since they won it all in 2013.
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“That’s kind of where we always start, but today she just kind of took over,” Post Falls coach Marc Allert said. “We had some mismatches inside. She did a great job of finishing.”
Mountain View’s hopes of a three-peat took a hit in the second quarter when post Adriana Vickery went down with an injury to her already torn ACL in her left knee.
The Mavericks were able to regroup, but struggled to match the Trojans’ strength inside.
“We couldn’t counter. We’re just small and short, and we got in foul trouble,” Mountain View coach Connie Skogrand said. “... Part of our strategy was to keep the ball away from (Kempton) in the first place. We just struggled with that.”
Mountain View took its only lead of the game, 42-41, with 6:22 to play in the fourth quarter on an Abby Kreiser to Taeli Carrillo 3-pointer.
The Trojans (20-2) then scored seven unanswered points to retake a 48-42 lead.
Another Carrillo 3 cut the deficit to 48-45 with 3:21 on the clock, but it was the closest the Mavericks (20-5) would get the rest of the way.
“You cry right now and turn around and rebound for tomorrow,” Skogrand said. “Show yourself that you’re still a really good team, and they will.”
Abby Kreiser led Mountain View with 14 points, seven rebounds and two assists. Carrillo finished with 11 points, Laila Saenz had eight and Alison Chanhthala seven.
Post Falls’ Bayley Brennan and Tyler McCliment-Call scored 11 points apiece, and MacKenzie Morris added six points and a game-high 11 rebounds.
“We’ve been waiting for this for a long time. We’ve never been (to state), but all of us have been very close,” Kempton said. “ We made the play-in game the last two years. We were all just very excited and super pumped and just ready to get out there and do the best we possibly can.”
POST FALLS 60, MOUNTAIN VIEW 48
Mountain View (20-5) — Adriana Vickery 3 points, Alison Chanhthala 7, Laila Saenz 8, Abby Kreiser 14, Taeli Carrillo 11, Kayla Anderson 2, Andi Good 3. Rebound leader: Kreiser 7. Assist leader: Anderson 3.
Post Falls (20-2) — MacKenzie Morris 6 points, Bayley Brennan 11, Tyler McCliment-Call 11, Jacksen McCliment-Call 3, Melody Kempton 29. Rebound leader: Morris 11. Assist leaders: Brennan, Kempton 2.