SPIRIT LAKE — The Badger boys basketball team traveled to Timberlake High School where they competed in the District playoffs.
On Wednesday, Feb. 20, Bonners Ferry lost its district opener to Kellogg, 66-44. The Wildcats opened up a double-digit halftime lead and maintained it through the second half.
“Our first game vs Kellogg did not go as well as we would have liked,” said Coach Andy Rice. “Kellogg played a pressure-packed, physical game and we just could not get anything going. We played a better second half but the damage had been done.”
Seth Bateman (12 points) and Dylan Hittle (10 points) scored in double-figures against the Wildcats.
Kellogg advanced to the district championship against host Timberlake, stunning the Tigers on Gavin Luna’s game-winning, 4-point-play just before the final buzzer, sending Kellogg to state.
Meanwhile, the Badgers faced Priest River in a “loser out game” on Thursday, Feb. 21, with Bonners Ferry topping the Spartans 66-56.
“I thought that we started out all right against Priest River but we could never really pull away from them,” said Rice. “They played a hard fought game and would not give up. We had some younger players really step up and shoot well for us and apply some great defensive pressure that allowed us to get up on them and hold them off.”
Sophomore Hayden Stockton led BFHS with 18 points against the Spartans, with Bateman and Hittle each scoring 13. Keegan Hegel scored a game-high 19 points for Priest River.
Winning that game put the Badgers into the second place game against Timberlake on Saturday night for a berth in the 3A state tournament.
“Going into the second place game we felt very confident about our chances,” said Rice. “We had beat Timberlake the Thursday before districts and the guys felt we matched up better with them. Both teams played a very physical game with lead changes happening throughout.”
Timberlake used a 20-15 scoring advantage in the third quarter to take command and ultimately outlast the Badgers, 59-52.
Although his team fell short of its state-tournament goal, Rice said the Badgers can be proud of their work.
“I was really proud of how hard our guys played and fought until the very end,” said Rice. “They showed a lot of heart and emotion out on that floor and gave it all they had. In the end we came up a few plays short and Timberlake was able to fend us off and secure their berth to state.
“The Badger faithful once again were out in huge numbers supporting us and it was awesome to have them cheering and encouraging us in such an important game.”
• During the district tournament, the all-Intermountain League team was announced, with several Badgers earning honors.
Seth Bateman was named league MVP, and teammates Dylan Hittle and Chris Durette also were named to the all-IML team.
BFHS 8 12 13 11 — 44
Kellogg 17 19 12 16 — 66
BONNERS FERRY — S. Bateman 12, Durette 9, Foster 1, Hittle 10, Hubbard 0, Morgan 0, Petersen 0, Stockton 8, T.Bateman 4.
KELLOGG — Allen 0, Atkins 13, Jerome 4, Luna 20, Miller 0, Nearing 14, Oertli 4, Rickets 9, Waller 0.
P. River 8 17 18 13 — 56
BFHS 10 16 20 20 — 66
PRIEST RIVER — Hegel 19, Kreager 0, Mathews 4, Anselmo 0, Bell 0, Lucas 6, McCracken 11, Brennan 12, Zapfe 0, Thompson 4, Parkes 0.
BONNERS FERRY — Hines 3, Hubbard 0, S. Bateman 13, T. Bateman 4, Hittle 13, Durette 10, Petersen 0, Stockton 18, Beazer 0, Foster 3, Morgan 2.
BFHS 10 11 15 16 — 52
T-lake 11 15 20 13 — 59
BONNERS FERRY — Hines 0, S. Bateman 14, T. Bateman 0, Hittle 17, Durette 6, Peterson 0, Stockton 11, Foster 2, Morgan 2.
TIMBERLAKE — Cramer 4, Kluss 17, McDonald 0, James 14, Kistler 14, Gardom 9, Dickinson 1.
BONNERS FERRY — Seth Bateman, sr. (MVP); Dylan Hittle, sr.; Chris Durette, sr. TIMBERLAKE — Chase Gardom, sr.; Jacob James, jr.; Sheldon Kistler, sr. KELLOGG — Brennan Atkins, sr.; Graden Nearing, jr.; Gavin Luna, jr. PRIEST RIVER — Caden Brennan, jr.
COACH OF THE YEAR — Mike Menti, Timberlake.