The 5A state championship trophy has gone to a boys basketball team outside the Treasure Valley the past two seasons.
The drought ends Saturday.
Centennial and Rocky Mountain each won semifinals Friday night to set up a fourth meeting between the 5A Southern Idaho Conference rivals Saturday at the Ford Idaho Center.
Tipoff is 8 p.m.
Never miss a local story.
It is the second championship appearance in program history for the Grizzlies and the first since 2011 for the Patriots. Rocky is looking for its first title, while Centennial can win its third but first since 2003.
Rocky Mountain has won all three meetings against Centennial this season but will be facing a Patriots squad that has already upended top-ranked Madison and No. 3 Post Falls.
CENTENNIAL 72, POST FALLS 61
As he dropped into a defensive stance, Delveion Jackson clapped his hands twice and eyed his opponent.
With about 2 minutes, 30 seconds to play and a one-point lead, Jackson was letting the crowd — and Post Falls — know the Patriots weren’t going to be rattled.
That confidence translated to the free-throw line, where Centennial went 7-for-8 in the final 30 seconds to complete its second upset in as many days.
Centennial entered the state tournament as the No. 4 seed from District Three.
“We’re confident right now. The guys are believing, and that’s what it takes when you get to this tournament,” Centennial coach Josh Aipperspach said. “You never know what’s going to happen once you get here. It’s three games.
“We played the No. 1 team in the state and then the third team in the state, and (Saturday) we’ve got the second team in the state.”
In a game that featured 16 lead changes and 10 ties, neither could find much separation. Centennial’s final margin of victory was the largest lead of the game.
Even with 11 3-pointers, it took an ice-in-the-veins performance at the free-throw line in the fourth quarter for the Patriots to prevail. Centennial finished 16-for-19 from the line in the final eight minutes.
“It was really surreal. The game was kind of a blur, but we came out and executed what we needed to do,” said Centennial senior Jackson Cleverley, who finished with 12 points and five rebounds. “At the end of the day, we’re in the state championship. This was our goal from Day One. We knew we had it in us.”
Senior guard Brooks King led the Patriots’ charge against the Trojans, knocking down four 3s for a game-high 24 points. Jackson collected 21 points, eight boards and five assists while also scoring nine of Centennial’s 23 points in the fourth quarter.
“It always feels good to get to where you’ve wanted to go ever since you were little,” King said. “But winning tomorrow would be a dream, so we’re going to try and take care of business.”
ROCKY MOUNTAIN 70, LEWISTON 38
A day after a self-described “off” shooting night, there was nothing off about the Grizzlies’ performance in the state semifinals.
Rocky Mountain made 11 3-pointers and shot a combined 48.2 percent from the field to breeze past Lewiston.
Junior forward Tyler O’Donnell was 4-for-6 from 3-point range for 16 points, and BYU signee Kolby Lee posted 16 points, six rebounds and six blocks to send the Grizzlies to the state championship game for only the second time in program history.
Senior guard Jacob Erickson added three 3s for Rocky, Hunter Ranstrom had two and Brayden Hamilton and Garrett Hall each hit one trey.
“I’d rather have my teammates score more than me, as weird as that sounds,” said Rocky senior point guard Kobe Terashima, who dished out 10 assists. “That brings the most energy to me is when I pass the ball and they knock down a shot.”
It didn’t take long for the Grizzlies to get going against Lewiston. O’Donnell made the first of his four 3s just 1 minute, 10 seconds into the game, and Rocky had seven by halftime.
“Offensively we were clicking. It was nice, because I’m sure Lewiston thought yesterday, ‘Let’s just sag in and we’ll do the same thing that Bonneville did,’ ” Lee said. “That wasn’t going to work tonight. It takes so much pressure off of me knowing that I can kick out and they can knock down. They just spread the floor so much, and I can go to work.”
The Bees held Lee to nine points in the first round Thursday with a double team, but the 6-foot-10 senior asserted himself inside against the Bengals with six blocks.
“It’s wonderful, because it’s a total team effort,” Rocky Mountain coach Dane Roy said. “Like Kolby said, he trusts our shooters, and we talked about it. If they’re going to sink in on Kolb, we’re going to trust what we do on the outside, and vice versa.”
BONNEVILLE 66, MOUNTAIN VIEW 48
The Bees shot 53.1 percent from the floor and outrebounded the Mavericks 38-27 to advance to the consolation final.
Senior wing Tyler Scoresby led all scorers with 16 points for Bonneville (15-11), which last qualified for state in 2014, finishing third.
Senior Tyler Brotherson was the top scorer for Mountain View (16-9) — which went two-and-out for the second year in a row — with 15 points on 5-for-7 shooting.
MADISON 84, BOISE 72
The top-ranked Bobcats can still return to Rexburg with some hardware thanks to an elimination victory against the Braves.
Madison (22-2) takes on Bonneville at 10 a.m. Saturday at Columbia High for the consolation trophy.
Paul Pennington dropped a game-high 25 points to lead Boise (18-7), which was making its first state appearance in 20 years.
At the Ford Idaho Center, Nampa
Rocky Mountain (25-1) vs. Centennial (17-10), 8 p.m.
Preston (22-4) vs. Vallivue (20-7), 6 p.m.
Sugar-Salem (19-5) vs. Snake River (21-3), 3:50 p.m.
Ririe (22-2) vs. Bear Lake (22-4), 1:40 p.m.
1A DIVISION 1
Prairie (20-4) vs. Lapwai (23-1), 11:30 a.m.
1A DIVISION II
Dietrich (24-1) vs. Genesis Prep (20-4), 9:30 a.m.