The Grangeville boys took a 45-41 lead on a three-pointer by Blake Darr midway through the fourth quarter of Saturday’s District I-II tournament final at Troy, but the Lumberjacks scored nine points in a row to take a 50-45 win – and a state tournament berth – from the Bulldogs.
“We didn’t match their intensity at the end of the game,” coach Kelcey Edwards said. “We played three pretty good quarters, but in the fourth quarter we weren’t able to match the energy, match the play that they had.”
The fourth quarter began with two big collisions – one of which saw GHS guard Trey Dreadfulwater knocked down under the goal he had attacked off the dribble, and the second of which led to an injury timeout for Colby Kennedy, who returned to the floor later in the quarter.
Grangeville had carried a 40-38 lead into the final frame following a jump shot by Jacob Vanderwall, which Dreadfulwater extended to 42-38 with an early jumper. St. Maries countered with a tough layup-and-one by Dan Howard, who scored a short-range second-try and simultaneously drew Noah Kaschmitter’s fourth personal foul with more than five minutes remaining.
Then Dreadfulwater connected a pass to Darr, who sank what looked like the critical shot. Darr finished with a team-high 16 points, and Dreadfulwater totaled 11.
Earlier in the game, GHS led by 10, 31-21, after a three by Aiden Anderson, which capped a run that ramped an early lead up from a 19-18 on three other threes: two by Darr and one by Kennedy. The Bulldogs led by seven at halftime, 32-25, and by nine, 38-29, during the third quarter.
Jackson Pritchard finished with a game-high 20 for St. Maries.
Grangeville finished with an 18-5 overall record.
“We had a great season,” Edwards said. “We played hard here. … It’s something we can be proud of – in a week, or two weeks, or in a year. Right now, it’s hard to see.”