State tournament victories seldom come easily.
Thursday night at the Ford Idaho Center in Nampa, the Post Falls boys sure made one look routine.
Senior forward Jake Pfennigs posted a 21-point, 10-rebound double-double and sophomore guard Colby Gennett spearheaded a dominant two-way effort as the Trojans rolled to a 56-38 win over Centennial.
Post Falls (19-5) advances to play Hillcrest (20-5) Friday in a 7 p.m. semifinal.
“The first game is always the toughest, but I was proud of the guys for coming out strong and not backing down,” Pfennigs said. “We played a tough schedule this year and faced some good teams in big arenas like this, so I felt like we were ready for it.”
Post Falls never trailed in this one. Using methodical execution on offense and a lockdown defensive effort led by Gennett, the Trojans led 15-9 after one quarter and 31-19 at halftime. With Gennett hounding Centennial sharpshooter Kam Modrow, the Patriots struggled to generate offense, often cycling the ball for long stretches without getting a quality look at the basket.
“We’ve won a lot of games at the state tournament by limiting teams’ first and second options,” Post Falls coach Mike McLean said. “I thought tonight we did a really good job of that. Colby did his job taking away their best shooter, and everyone else executed our game plan around him.”
In the second half, the Trojans continued to pull away. The 6-foot-7 Pfennigs scored using a crafty array of inside post-ups and perimeter shots, senior guard Tanner McCliment-Call (17 points) used his off-the-dribble game to pressure the Centennial defense and Gennett chipped in on the scoring with 14 points on 6-for-6 shooting.
“I just came out and tried to do what I do,” Gennett said. “I had some nerves going, but once the ball went up, I just relied on my teammates to keep pushing me.”
Post Falls led 48-32 after three quarters and was never seriously threatened. The Trojans’ victory avenged a painful loss to the Patriots in last year’s state semifinals.
“Our program has a good memory,” McLean said. “We felt like last year, Centennial played a great game and took away an opportunity that our kids really wanted. We never want to let those opportunities slip through our fingers.”
Logan Drace scored 13 points, leading Centennial (11-15). The Patriots shot 38 percent for the game and had some self-inflicted wounds, including 11 turnovers and 10 missed free throws.
Post Falls enjoyed a good shooting night, making 52 percent from the field, 43 percent on 3-pointers and 91 percent from the foul line.
Skyview 75, Moscow 42: Chris Kielman and Brady Taylor hit four 3-pointers apiece and the Hawks (19-6) hit 12 as a team to defeat the Bears (10-14) in an opener at Borah High School in Boise.
Gabe Quinnett led Moscow with 14 points.
The Bears will play Twin Falls at 12:15 p.m. Friday in a loser-out game. Skyview advances to the semifinals against Preston.
Kimberly 48, Kellogg 45: Trey Garey finished with 12 points, nine rebounds and four assists to lead the Bulldogs past the Wildcats (18-4) in an opener at Meridian High School that had nine ties and 10 lead changes.
Chase Jerome had 19 points, nine rebounds and five assists for Kellogg, which had won 16 consecutive games.
Kimberly outscored Kellogg 16-8 at the line and outrebounded the Wildcats 37-26.
Kellogg will play Parma at 12:15 p.m. Friday in a loser-out game. Kimberly will meet Shelley in a semifinal.
Snake River 63, Timberlake 39: Clancy Thomas finished with 16 points and 16 rebounds as the Panthers defeated the Tigers (10-12) in an opener at Meridian High.
The Tigers’ JT Wilfong hit 4 of 6 3-pointers and scored 12 points.
Timberlake will meet Sugar Salem at 2 p.m. Friday in a loser-out game. Snake River advances to the semifinals against Fruitland.
St. Maries 50, Nampa Christian 39: Jackson Pritchard and Glover Buell scored 19 points apiece as the Lumberjacks (18-4) defeated the Trojans in an opener at Capital High School in Boise.
Pritchard hit four 3-pointers and Buell shot 9 of 12 from the line.
St. Maries will play Ririe at 7 p.m. Friday in a semifinal.
1A Division II State
Genesis Prep 70, Council 37: Jonny Hillman scored 20 points to lead the Jaguars (20-4) past the Lumberjacks in an opener at Rocky Mountain High School in Meridian.
Junior Williams added 14 points and seven rebounds for the Jaguars, who have won 15 consecutive games.
Genesis Prep will play Dietrich at 12:15 p.m. Friday in the semifinals.
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