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Idaho state boys preview: Post Falls knows the way to state

It’s state basketball time so it must mean that the Post Falls boys team is headed to Nampa again.

One can set a calendar to Post Falls qualifying for state. The Trojans are making their eighth trip in 10 years under coach Mike McLean.

Post Falls expects to challenge for a state championship. The Trojans last won a title in 2015. And the last time they had to go through Grangeville and win a play-in game, in 2010, they captured a state title.

Sure Post Falls has just one senior on its team. But Post Falls’ approach is nothing short of business.

Post Falls (18-3) takes on District III runner-up Boise (18-5), which is making its first trip to state in 20 years, when play begins Thursday at the Ford Idaho Center. Tipoff is at 7.

Lewiston (13-8) knocked off Post Falls in the regional title game. The Bengals take on District III third-place team Mountain View (16-7).

District III champ Rocky Mountain and District VI champ Madison are considered favorites.

“I think this team has a lot of growth to go,” McLean said. “Some of it is based on age. But in my experience, if you go into regionals and state with a hungry team and something to prove, not coasting, you’ve got a good chance.”

McLean says rebounding and defense will be key.

“Sometimes there’s a misconception about our teams,” McLean said. “Some people think we run and gun and we don’t play defense. We run with a purpose. I really like where our team is defensively. Rebounding and defense are staples that travel well on the road. They give you a chance to win.”

3A: Kellogg, which captured a fourth straight district title, takes a relatively young team to state with just one senior.

But the Wildcats have come to expect to qualify for state.

Kellogg (18-2) opens against District VI runner-up Shelley (20-6) at 5:15 on Thursday at Meridian High School.

Timberlake also qualified, and the Tigers (13-8) meet District VI champ Sugar-Salem (17-5) at 12:15.

2A: St. Maries, state champs in football last fall, take a talented team to state.

The Lumberjacks (12-4) expect to challenge. They open against District III runner-up Melba (9-14) at 12:15.

1A Division II: Genesis Prep heads back to state for a second straight year, and the Jaguars expect to make noise.

Genesis Prep (18-4) takes on District V-VI runner-up Butte County (18-7) on Thursday at 7.

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