COEUR d’ALENE — In the past couple of years, Lakeside coach Chris Dohrman knew his team could compete with the best of the best in the state if the Knights had that opportunity.
They just couldn’t clear that last roadblock on the road to state.
Consider all lanes open again for the Knights.
Sophomore Jolissa Holt scored a team-high 17 points as the top-seeded Knights beat the second-seeded Clark Fork Wampus Cats 64-46 in the 1A Division II District 1 championship game at Rolly Williams Court on Thursday.
Lakeside advances to the state tournament for the first time since 2017.
“It’s something we’ve been working for all season,” said Dohrman, in his sixth year as Lakeside coach. “It’s always our goal, and we’ve came up short the last couple of years against some tough competition. We had teams that were good enough to get down there, we just happened to have one the best teams in the state in our league. We knew where we sat at the beginning of the year and they did a fantastic job. We’re starting to come together as a team, which is something you want to do at this point in the season.”
Genesis Prep, which finished runner-up at state in 2018 and fourth in 2019 after beating Lakeside in the district champion game both seasons when only the winner advanced to state, went winless this season.
After taking a 9-7 lead on a 3-pointer by sophomore Ashlee Holt — Jolissa’s sister — late in the first quarter, Lakeside went on a 14-0 run in the second quarter to build a 34-19 halftime lead.
“We were able to get some shots down, and get out and run a little bit,” said Dohrman, whose team finished fourth at state in 2016. “We got some layins, which always helps, and were able to tighten up defensively.”
Jolissa Holt scored 13 of her 17 points in the second half for Lakeside (15-6), which opens at state against Tri-Valley (18-2) next Thursday at Nampa High starting at 5:15 p.m. PST.
“We’ve played like a family this year, and it’s really helped us overall,” Holt said. “We can joke with each other, and it’s a really great group to be a part of.”
“She’s one of our players that makes everything go,” said Dohrman of Holt. “She’s our point guard and gets everything going for us. She does a lot for us, and that’s every game.”
Freshman Arianna Gorr scored 11 of her 13 points in the first half for Lakeside.
“Arianna gets out and runs and does a good job in transition for us,” Dohrman said. “We’ve got a couple of young players that do some good things for us. It was a good team win.”
“Lakeside is really good at crashing the boards on offense, which is something we talked about before the game,” third-year Clark Fork coach Jordan Adams said. “They’re quick, they play a lot in the offseason, and they’re a good team.
Sophomore Katelyn Matteson scored 16 of her game-high 30 points in the fourth quarter for Clark Fork, which finishes 10-11.
“Katelyn was on fire to start the season, then was in this drought for a little bit,” Adams said. “Just today, she really pulled through.”
Senior Ellie Kiebert — who was named North Star League MVP following the game — finished with seven points for Clark Fork.
Clark Fork 7 10 11 16 — 46
Lakeside 9 25 15 15 — 64
CLARK FORK — Matteson 30, Valliere 2, Myers 0, Yanik 2, Hathaway 5, Kiebert 7.
LAKESIDE — Daniels 0, J. Holt 17, Middleton 4, Adrian 5, Matt 0, Gorr 13, Peters 7, Anderson 10, Allen 2, Marchand 3, A. Holt 3.
ALL-NORTH STAR LEAGUE
MVP — Ellie Kiebert, sr., Clark Fork
LAKESIDE — Jolissa Holt, so., Ashlee Holt, so., Arianna Gorr, fr. CLARK FORK — Sara Hathaway, sr. WALLACE — Jaden House, so., Elli Welch, so., Megan Morin, sr. MULLAN — Talowa Fallingwater, jr. GENESIS PREP — Yunji Kim, sr., Esther Nies, sr. KOOTENAI — Jacey Grange, sr.