Don’t judge a final score by its margin.
Case in point was the visiting Post Falls girls basketball team’s 54-31 win over the Lake City Timberwolves in a 5A Inland Empire League game Thursday.
Certainly Post Falls played well and dictated most of what happened. But the matchup between two of the top-ranked teams in Idaho was a mismatch from the get go because the Timberwolves were without two starters who were attending a club soccer tournament in Phoenix.
The teams will face off again two weeks from Friday, and the rematch will be a better measuring stick.
Post Falls (10-0 overall, 2-0 league) used full-court pressure to fuel the tempo it wanted against a team that given its druthers would walk the ball up the court if it could.
The Trojans also spread the offense around as four three players reached double-figure scoring.
And when a third starter, Keara Simpson, injured a knee 2:25 into the game, the recipe for a long night was set for the T-Wolves (11-2, 2-1).
Simpson came back early in the second quarter but was bothered by the injury.
“I thought we executed our game plan really well,” Post Falls coach Marc Allert said. “It’s going to be two contrasting styles. If we play at our pace we’re going to be OK. If we have to play at their pace, the advantage is theirs.”
Post Falls opened a 10-point lead in the first quarter. But LC used a 7-0 surge to pull within 17-14 with 5:51 to go before halftime.
The Trojans extended the lead again to double digits, taking a 31-17 advantage into intermission.
And Post Falls continued to do good work in a second half that was never close.
The Trojans received the usually steady effort from Melody Kempton, who finished with 10 points, 14 rebounds, two blocked shots and two steals. Bayley Brennan added 14 points and freshman Jackson McCliment-Call also had 14.
LC coach Bryan Kelly has known all season that sophomore forward Bridget Rieken, who has given Washington State an oral commitment for soccer, and sophomore point guard Chloe Teets were going to miss the first game against Post Falls. And after a win over Coeur d’Alene on Tuesday, it gave Kelly just a day to prepare.
“Obviously it hurts but I’m going to play with the people I have on the floor,” Kelly said. “We battled and played hard. We had a lot of people in different positions they’re not used to playing.”
Said Allert: “That makes a huge difference. I know the next game is going to be completely different.”
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