Badgers headed to state

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BONNERS FERRY — The Badger boys soccer team suffered its first loss of the season in the 3A district final.

But thanks to a stellar regular season and district semifinal win, the Badgers will continue their season today at the 3A state tournament.

Bonners Ferry entered the district tournament as the top seed with an 11-0-3 record. Their first game was a semifinal matchup with Grangeville on Oct. 11, with the Badgers winning 1-0 and punching their ticket to state for the 15th straight year.

They advanced to the Oct. 13 district championship game against Timberlake.

“We played very well, but couldn’t score a goal in regular time, or in 20 minutess of overtime play,” said coach Wayne Wilkerson. “We ended up losing in penalty kicks.”

Bonners Ferry had 19 shots on goal to Timberlake’s 10, but the Badgers couldn’t put one in the net and saw their streak of 14 straight district titles come to an end.

In the shootout, Timberlake goalkeeper Sheldon Kistler stopped three shots, and Denton Meijerink, Travis Doty and Kobe Harris converted for Timberlake as the Tigers beat the Badgers 1-0.

Timberlake qualified for state for the first time in the program’s five-year history on Thursday after holding off St. Maries in similar fashion, a 2-1 win (4-3 in a shootout).

“I was a little nervous,” said Kistler, a senior. “Thursday’s game (against St. Maries), we had to go into penalty kicks as well to be able to win that. It gave me confidence that I’d be able to stop what they were shooting.”

Kistler finished with 17 saves for Timberlake (10-7-0), which faces Bliss (10-3-5) in the opening round at state on Thursday at 1 p.m. PDT at the Sunway Soccer Complex in Twin Falls.

“He was the same way Thursday in that shootout, and there was no reason to believe he wouldn’t be that same presence today,” Timberlake coach Steve Michael said. “They didn’t give up. They knew what they needed to do and didn’t make those big mistakes that would cost us a game. We were very prepared to go to a shootout, though we didn’t really want it to get to that point. Between Thursday and today, what a great win for our program.”

Freshman Dalin Foster was the lone Badger to convert in the shootout, on Bonners’ third try. Timberlake went 3 for 3 in the shootout. Once the Badgers missed on their fourth attempt, the Tigers celebrated.

“It was a great game,” Bonners Ferry coach Wayne Wilkerson said. “You never want to see it come down to penalty kicks, but it was a great game. Timberlake, they’re a good team. They stepped up and did the same thing on Thursday. We’re just happy we’re still going to state.”

Bonners Ferry (12-1-3) opens at state against McCall-Donnelly (6-11-1), the district champion from District 3. In previous seasons, only the District 1-2 champion advanced to state — the runner-up went to a state play-in match.

“It was way different today,” Wilkerson said. “Knowing that we’re going either way, it was different. But it wasn’t for a lack of trying. You never want to see it come down to PKs, but that’s the way it is.”

First half — none. Second half — none. First overtime — none. Second overtime — none. Shootout — BF, Dalin Foster. TL, Denton Meijerink, Travis Doty, Kobe Harris.

Shots on goal — BF 19, TL 10.

Saves — BF, Seth Bateman 4, Gabe See 1; Sheldon Kistler 17.

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