COEUR d’ALENE — Sam Matheson snatched the rebound with the score tied and 9 seconds left, and turned upcourt with one thing on his mind.
“Score,” he said. “Put the ball in the hoop. I’m getting to the rack; my 3s weren’t falling.”
So the Coeur d’Alene High senior guard headed upcourt, took the ball all the way to the basket, drifted across the lane and put up a contested scoop layup try.
A foul was called with 0.3 seconds left as Matheson fell to the floor. He sank the go-ahead free throw, and after a timeout, intentionally missed the second. Lake City couldn’t get off a prayer before the buzzer sounded, and Coeur d’Alene celebrated a 48-47 victory in the boys Fight for the Fish spirit game Friday night at Lake City High.
“That was the game plan — to get it in his hands,” Coeur d’Alene coach Tony Hanna said of Matheson. “Sam’s a clutch player.”
In the girls game, Lake City overcame a quick start by Coeur d’Alene to post a 43-35 victory over the Vikings.
Both games counted in the 5A Inland Empire League standings.
The 20th annual Fish games were played before a packed house estimated at 2,700. After the boys game, judges awarded Lake City the wooden fish plaque as the winner of the spirit competition, based on spirit shown by its students and fans, and not influenced by the results of the game. It was the eighth straight year Lake City won the Fish.
Coeur d’Alene 48, Lake City 47: The host Timberwolves could never put the Vikings away in the rugged game.
Not after back-to-back 3-pointers by freshman Jack Kiesbuy gave Lake City an 18-12 lead early in the second quarter.
Not after an 8-1 run put Lake City (7-6, 1-1 5A IEL) up 37-32 early in the fourth quarter.
Coeur d’Alene (5-7, 1-1) responded with a 13-0 run. Matheson’s driving runner in the lane gave the Vikings a 39-37 lead with just under 5 minutes left, and Kale Edwards’ putback boosted Coeur d’Alene’s lead to 45-37 with just under 3 minutes left.
But Lake City responded with a 10-2 run. James Carlson, who scored seven points in the first half before sitting the final 10 minutes with two fouls, scored eight straight points for the T-Wolves, and Nic McCartin’s scoop layin tied the game at 47 with 9 seconds left. McCartin missed the free throw, setting up Matheson’s heroics.
Coeur d’Alene played aggressive man-to-man defense throughout the game, and Lake City did not shoot well from the field.
“That was a big one for us,” Hanna said. “We’d been in a little bit of a skid. We tried to take away their transition offense. We watched them against Lewiston, and they got some runouts. We had to body up on Carlson — first with Kale, then he got into foul trouble, then with Carter (Friesz). Both of them ended up with bloody lips; I’m proud of them.”
Sophomore Mayson Whittaker led Coeur d’Alene with 10 points. Friesz chipped in a couple of baskets, but more importantly, had seven rebounds, two steals and a blocked shot.
“It’s huge for us,” Matheson said. “It gets us started down the right path.”
Carlson finished with a game-high 18 points for Lake City. McCartin added 10.
“I thought we ran some good stuff, we just didn’t shoot the ball particularly well,” Lake City coach Jim Winger said. “We missed a lot of easy ones. Coeur d’Alene played well. It’s hard to win in the IEL when you shoot 16 of 43 from the field, and 50 percent (8 of 16) from the line.”
Lake City senior point guard Kodie Kolden made his season debut. Kolden, who has signed to play baseball at Washington State, has been out with a shoulder injury suffered playing baseball in the fall.
The teams meet again Feb. 1 at Coeur d’Alene.
Next Friday, Coeur d’Alene is home vs. Lewiston, and Lake City plays host to Post Falls.
Coeur d’Alene 12 12 8 16 — 48
Lake City 12 11 10 14 — 47
COEUR d’ALENE — Kile 0, Whittaker 10, Matheson 9, Friesz 4, Beggerly 3, Hostetter 9, Johnson 5, Dunteman 3, Bloom 0, Edwards 5.
LAKE CITY — Kolden 3, Sensel 0, McCartin 10, Manzardo 3, Carlson 18, Schaffer 7, Kiesbuy 6, Pollow 0.
Lake City 43, Coeur d’Alene 35: Coeur d’Alene, which lost to Lake City by 29 points 10 days earlier, used an 11-0 run to take a 13-4 lead late in the first quarter Friday night.
“We had to do something,” Lake City coach James Anderson said.
Lake City (11-7, 3-1 5A IEL) switched to a 2-3 zone and extended it. The T-Wolves threw in a full-court press, and forced Coeur d’Alene (5-10, 0-4) into 22 turnovers in the game.
Chloe Teets made two 3-pointers late in the second quarter as Lake City assumed the lead and never relinquished it.
“Our goal was to be a lot more physical,” Coeur d’Alene coach Scott Stockwell said. “The first game they were more physical, and we didn’t handle it well. We wanted to set the tone, to be tougher.”
Bridget Rieken had 14 points, six rebounds and two steals for Lake City. Teets finished with 12 points, and Keara Simpson had 10 points, six rebounds and three blocked shots.
Coeur d’Alene went 16 minutes between baskets — from late in the first half to late in the third quarter — so it’s a credit to the Vikings’ grit that they stayed as close as they did.
Rey Louden, who had 13 points and eight rebounds for Coeur d’Alene, took an inbounds pass from Jaden Chavez and scored, then Jaelyn Brainard-Adams, one of four freshmen in the the rotation, scored on the drive to pull the Vikings within 34-29 early in the fourth.
But Lake City scored the next six points, and that was that.
“For a young team, Coeur d’Alene did a good job,” Anderson said. “We started slow, and they jumped on us.”
Coeur d’Alene travels to Lakeland on Tuesday. Lake City returns to action Friday at home vs. Post Falls.
Coeur d’Alene 13 6 6 10 — 35
Lake City 8 15 7 13 — 43
COEUR d’ALENE — Minerath 8, Morton 5, Brainard-Adams 6, Chavez 0, Whiteman 3, Younker 0, Louden 13, Breen 0.
LAKE CITY — Avery 0, Barber 0, Mitchell 4, Teets 12, Rieken 14, Muehlhausen 0, Hawkins 0, Wilson 2, Halliday 0, Rewers 1, Simpson 10, Littman 0, Zufelt 0, Allen 0, Vershum 0.