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Prairie books state tournament return

Girls basketball



A strong second quarter lifted the PHS girls to a 42-32 win over Troy last Thursday night, Feb. 2.

That night, reigning 1AD1 state champion Lapwai thundered Potlatch 83-19, so the Wildcats and the Pirates will play for the district title this Friday night, Feb. 10.

It’s a championship-caliber matchup.

Prairie and Lapwai have played in the state’s first-place game thtee straight seasons, with the Wildcats taking the 2015 and 2016 titles.

The Pirates won it all in 2014, and since then, Lapwai become established as the 1AD1 classification’s superpower.

Lapwai has lost once this winter — Jan. 4 at 4A Timberlake — and has scored 80-plus in regulation nine times, including their Dec. 16 road win over the Pirates, 84-69.

With that noted, Prairie held the Wildcats more in check than any other Whitepine League team did this regular season.

Less than two weeks ago, Lapwai beat the Pirates 56-36.

All of the above — combined with the state’s top ranking in media and coaches polls — marks Lapwai as the leading contender.

Prairie’s win over Troy gives the Pirates another crack at the Wildcats before state, where there are no guarantees.

After Prairie built a 26-15 halftime lead, Troy reportedly cut the lead to seven with 90 seconds left. The Lewiston Tribune noted a Kylie Tidwell layup snapped a Trojans run, effectively locking up Prairie’s state berth.

Angela Wemhoff led all scorers with 20 points.

Earlier in the week, Kamiah defeated Clearwater Valley 45-21 in a District II tournament play-in game. Troy then beat Kamiah 41-19. Potlatch eliminated Kamiah, 38-31, last Saturday night, Feb. 4.

The Rams finished 2-19 overall, and the Kubs finished 6-15.

Coming — As many as three WPL teams may play in Nampa this year, with Troy having eliminated Potlatch Monday night, Feb. 6. Should the Trojans advance all the way to state by way of a play-in game, they’d face the District II champion in the first round. The District II runner-up will play the third-place team out of District III.

The District II championship will be played at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 10, at the LCSC activity center in Lewiston.

Kendrick KO’s Summit

LEWISTON — On the first night of the Whitepine League’s lower division district tournament, Kendrick ended Summit’s season, 44-30.

Summit had qualified for the tournament by way of a 52-19 win over Timberline.

Summit finished 3-11.

Grangeville tops Orofino

GENESEE — Grangeville smashed Orofino 53-34 last Saturday night, Feb. 4, and played St. Maries for the District II title after the Free Press print deadline Tuesday night, Feb. 7.

Senior Rachel Kelley tallied a team-high 11 points and sophomore Paige Lindsley added 10.

Coming — Depending on the Feb. 7 outcome, Grangeville (10-9) has two routes to state — if not as district champions, then via a 7 p.m. Feb. 9 rematch with Orofino followed by a Saturday, Feb. 11 play-in game in Craigmont.



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