NAMPA — In a tale of two halves, it was the second that will leave the Lake City Timberwolves fighting for the right to keep their trophy hopes alive later today at the Ford Idaho Center.
After shooting 50 percent (10 of 20) from the field in the first half, the Timberwolves went cold in the second, hitting 6 of 19 and scoring just 16 points in a 61-38 loss to the Centennial Patriots in the opening round of the state 5A tournament.
Lake City (19-6) will face Kuna (11-13) in a loser-out game today at 2 p.m. PST. Centennial (21-4) will face Madison (20-5) of Rexburg in tonight’s second semifinal.
“You’ve got to be able to shoot the ball to win some games,” Lake City coach Bryan Kelly said. “Especially down here. We talked about not letting Tori (Williams) and (Lauren) Brocke get off, and they did. You can’t do that against good teams like that, and it was disappointing. But we’ll come back and play our best basketball. We’ve still got a chance to take a trophy home.”
Williams, who has signed with Utah, had 16 points and seven assists and Lauren Brocke — a Wichita State signee — had 17 points for Centennial, which beat Lake City in the opening round for the second straight year.
“They’re a good basketball team,” Kelly said. “But we battled, and we were right there with them in the first half. Second half, just kind of fell apart.”
Centennial had nine first-half turnovers, and finished with 16. The Patriots shot 7 of 10 from beyond the 3-point line, compared to Lake City, which finished 0 for 5.
“Our biggest focus was the amount of turnovers we had,” said first-year Centennial coach Candace Thornton, who took over for former Lake City High standout Cassie Bro in the spring. “Our main focus was to clean it up and make smart passes within the offense.”
Lake City was led by Keara Simpson with 13 points and seven rebounds. Nina Carlson and Lauren Rewers added eight points each.
“We communicated quite well and I was able to get some open looks tonight,” Simpson said. “Everyone did a good job of coming off of screens and I was making sure my shot was coming off clean. It was fun, and I love playing with this team. This is a great group of girls and hopefully we can get the job done tomorrow.”
“Keara played great tonight,” Kelly said. “She battled and did everything she was supposed to do.”
Alicia Curry had 12 points and five rebounds for Centennial.
“We’ve been studying them all week,” Thornton said. “We were a little outsized, but our main focus was to front their big girls and help frontside. We knew it was going to take more than one to get it down in the paint.”
Lake City was scheduled to face Kuna earlier this year in Coeur d’Alene, but weather prevented the Kavemen from traveling.
Lake City 10 12 7 9 — 38
Centennial 16 13 15 17 — 61
LAKE CITY — Allen 3, Barber 0, Carlson 8, Vershum 2, Rieken 4, Teets 0, Rewers 8, Johnson 0, Halliday 0, Simpson 13. Totals 16-39 6-8 38.
CENTENNIAL — Williams 16, Amaechi 6, Nichols 0, Carson 0, Ingersoll 0, Elder 0, Stevens 6, Brocke 17, Ti’a 4, Curry 12. Totals 23-52 8-20 61.