PRIEST RIVER — The Battle of the Buck here Jan. 13 was a tale of two boys’ games. For 30 minutes, the Priest River Lamanna High School Spartans led the Timberlake Tigers. During the last two minutes, the Tigers took the lead and held on to win, 48-47.
The Spartans built as much as an 11-point lead at the end of the first quarter. Timberlake chipped away until it was 21-18 at halftime, but in the third quarter the Spartans opened up a 35-25 lead with 3:35 to go in the quarter, thanks in no small part to rising star Caden Brennan, who scored 14 on the game. Senior Dausen O’Brien, who scored 12 points, briefly went out with an injury near the end of the third quarter but quickly returned. The Spartans led 41-32 when the fourth quarter began, but with 3:40 left and nursing a 43-39 lead, the Spartans went into clock killing mode. The boys passed on the outside, turned over the ball twice, and didn’t get a shot off for a spell. With 2:15 to play, Timberlake had tied the game at 43-43. Ten seconds later, the Tigers took their first lead of the game. O’Brien temporarily gave the Spartans a 47-45 lead, and after Jason James made one of two free throws to pull Timberlake within one point, Spartan leader Keegan Hegel, who scored 9 points, went to the free throw line for two attempts and a chance to put Priest River ahead by three with 27 seconds left to play. Uncharacteristically, Hegel missed both attempts. After a timeout, Timberlake took a 48-47 lead with 9 seconds to go. In Priest River’s last offensive possession, Hegel dished to Brandon McCracken, who had scored 6 points, who drove in and was hacked while putting up a shot. However, the foul was not called and O’Brien’s offensive rebound for a basket came after the buzzer.
Head coach Kevin Wylie said, “This game felt to much like our season ender last against them. We jumped out to a good lead, and were able to keep a lead of around 9 points pretty much the whole game. We started to get tired in the fourth and watched the momentum turn. Free throws and not getting defensive rebounds cost us as well. We shot 5-17 from the free throw line, 0-8 in the fourth quarter.”
Against Newport Jan. 10, Wylie said, “I was happy with how our guys played. Newport is a really good team. We just wanted to stay with them and keep it close. We were able to do that in the first half.” However, a 26-6 third quarter by the Grizzlies took the Spartans out of the game, and despite a high-scoring, 23-point fourth quarter for Priest River, the deficit was just too much to overcome in a 66-48 loss.
NPT 9 14 26 17 - 66
PR 9 10 6 23 - 48
Bradbury 27, Hastings 2, Leslie 7, Moorhead 4, Owen 2, Pancho 16, Smith 5, Zorica 3,
Hegel 14, O’Brian 5, Johnson 6, Downs 5, McCracken 0, Brennan 18, Salesky 0, Glazier 0, Thompson 0.
TL 5 16 11 16 - 48
PR 16 10 15 6 - 47
Hardy 11, Wilfong 7, Meirjerink 0, Kluss 2, James 9, Gardom 5, Kistler 14.
Hegel 9, O’Brien 12, Johnson 0, Downs 4, McCracken 6, Brennan 14, Salesky 0, Glazier 2.