NELKE: Dribbling into December

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Some thoughts from the first week (or so) of the prep boys basketball season (and a little bit longer than that, with the girls):

• Still recovering from a wrist broken during the state football playoffs, Kale Edwards scored 19 and 25 points, respectively, for Coeur d’Alene High against Rogers and Central Valley last week.

“He’s athletic, and he’s a hard guard,” Coeur d’Alene coach Tony Hanna said after Edwards scored 19 in the 66-46 win at Rogers on Thursday night. Edwards was obviously a focal point of opponents in football, as the Vikings’ quarterback in addition to being a hard-hitting safety.

Looks like he’s someone for opponents to be concerned about in basketball as well.

Coeur d’Alene started its season 1-2 last week, falling to Ferris at home in the opener, and later losing by one at Central Valley.

Coeur d’Alene plans to dedicate its new/remodeled gymnasium Friday night, when Viking boys and girls play host to North Central. The dedication is scheduled to take place after the girls game, which starts at 5 p.m., and the boys game, slated for 7:15.

• Expectations were high for the Post Falls boys basketball team each of the past two seasons.

A talented junior-heavy team in 2016-17, and most of those guys back as seniors in 2017-18.

Both years, the Trojans made it as far as the state 5A semifinals before losing. And each year, they lost the next day in the third-place game.

This year’s squad returned just one player with much varsity experience from last year in junior Colby Gennett, a two-year starter.

The others have had success, and have played a lot of basketball — just not at the varsity level.

They’re getting that education right now. So far, the Trojans are off to a 1-1 start.

“I really like this team; they’re easy to get along with,” said Mike McLean, in his 12th season as head coach at his alma mater. He has taken nine teams to state in his first 11 seasons at the helm. “Our kids are very much aware of the legacy — they look up in our gym and see the league championship banners, the regionals championship banners. Our guys are very aware it is their team, their legacy, and they’re ready to write their own story.”

And as for those expectations for this year’s team? Well, they’re not any different from the inside.

The bar has been set pretty high in Post Falls.

“Nobody has bigger expectations of this group, than this group,” McLean said.

• Lakeland’s girls pitched a shutout at Kellogg in the first quarter on Tuesday, leading 14-0 after eight minutes.

Then the 3A Wildcats slowly battled back, pulling within one late before the 4A Hawks held on for the 45-42 win.

“It was good to get tested like that,” Lakeland coach Steve Seymour said. “It wasn’t really fun to live through it in real time, but it was fun to see them make the plays at the end to win the game.

“Wins are important right now.”

No doubt. It was Lakeland’s second win of the year, against three losses. The Hawks are coming off a 4-16 campaign, and Seymour is hoping to change the mindset, and challenge for a state tournament berth this year. Lakeland, which used to make the state tourney an annual trip, last qualified for state in 2008.

So every win matters.

Mark Nelke is sports editor of The Press. He can be reached at 664-8176, Ext. 2019, or via email at mnelke@cdapress.com. Follow him on Twitter@CdAPressSports.

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