With the Lapwai girls’ basketball team struggling to shake off Troy, Wildcats interim coach Ada Marks told her team to get back to what it’s known for: Playing stifling defense.

The top-seeded Wildcats did just that, holding fourth-seeded Troy scoreless during a nearly seven-minute span in the second half — and that inspired stretch helped the Wildcats punch their tickets to the Idaho Class 1A Division I state tournament.

They beat Troy 58-40.

In the other Disrict II semifinal Wednesday at Lewis-Clark State College’s Activity Center, Prairie also punched its ticket to State with a 48-33 win against Genesee. Potlatch won a loser-out game 45-44.

In what amounts to a battle for seeding at State, Prairie and Lapwai will meet in the district title game at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday back at the Activity Center.

After Troy moved even with Lapwai on a score by Isabelle Raasch with 4:35 left in the third, the Wildcats blanked the Trojans until Morgan Blazzard scored on a putback with 4:59 left in the game. By then, Lapwai had built a 12-point lead.

Lapwai (21-1) finished the third quarter on a 6-0 run that started with a layin by Grace Sobotta. Omari Mitchell followed that up with a putback and Sayquis Greene scored with about 30 seconds left on a cut for a 37-31 lead going into the fourth.

“We really struggled the first half,” Marks said. “Our defense was just not up to par for what we usually do. But then we talked about ... playing to win instead of playing (not) to lose.”

Lapwai was led by KC Lussoro (16 points, seven rebounds), Lauren Gould (11 points) Grace Sobotta (eight points, 11 rebounds, four assists) and Julia Gould (10 rebounds).

Omari Mitchell (eight points) opened the fourth with a bucket in the post and the Wildcats extended their lead to double digits with a drive by Lauren Gould with 7:05 left in the game.

“Tonight, defensively, we were right there, we didn’t give up easy looks,” Troy coach Aaron Dail said.

The Trojans (9-12) were led by Morgan Blazzard’s 15 points. Troy will play Potlatch on Monday at 7:30 in a loser-out game back at the Activity Center.

TROY (9-12)

Katie Gray 0 0-0 0, Halee Bohman 0 0- 0, Isabelle Raasch 5 2-2 12, Kassidy Chamberlin 1 0-0 2, Morgan Blazzard 6 3-4 15, Abby Weller 3 0-1 6, Bailee Cook 0 0-0 0, Betty McKenzie 0 5-6 5, Whitney Foster 0 0-2 0. Totals 14 10-15 40.

LAPWAI (21-1)

Grace Sobotta 4 0-0 8, Glory Sobotta 1 0-0 2, Lauren Gould 4 2-2 11, KC Lussoro 6 3-4 16, Rayli Shippentower 0 0-0 0, Sayquis Greene 2 3-4 7, Julia Gould 2 1-1 6, Omari MItchell 3 2-4 8. Totals 22 11-15 58.

Troy...................9 18 4 9 — 40

Lapwai.............11 14 13 21—58

3-point goals — L. Gould, Lussoro, J. Gould.

Prairie 48, Genesee 33

Madison Shears led Prairie with 15 points and scored her team’s first seven points of the second half. That gave the Pirates a nine-point lead and they rolled from there.

Ciara Chaffee (12 points) scored three of Prairie’s final five points to end the third quarter up 14 and added 12 rebounds for a double-double.

“I just think the tradition (at our school) is so strong that sometimes the kids don’t understand how big it is (to get to State), but it really is,” Prairie coach Lori Mader said.

The Pirates (18-3) also got contributions from Delanie Lockett (10 points, three steals, three assists), India Peery (three steals) and Ellea Uhlenkott (three assists). Shears also had three assists.

“I just think they handled our pressure well,” Genesee coach Greg Hardie said. “And then we just couldn’t find the basket down at our end.”

Genesee (13-9) was led by eight points apiece from Lucie Ranisate and Bailey Leseman. The Bulldogs will play in a loser-out game at 6 p.m. Monday against Clearwater Valley at the Activity Center.

GENESEE (13-9)

Lucie Ranisate 3 2-3 8, Molly Hanson 0 0-0 0, Emerson Parkins 3 1-2 7, Mikacia Bartosz 0 0-0 0, Regan Zenner 1 1-2 3, Kendra Murray 0 0-0 0, Bailey Leseman 2 3-4 8, Isabelle Monk 1 0-0 2, Makenzie Stout 0 2-2 2, Claira Osborne 0 1-2 1, Taylor Mayer 1 0-0 2. Totals 11 15-15 33.

PRAIRIE (18-3)

Delanie Lockett 5 0-1 10, Kristin Wemhoff 3 0-1 6, Madison Shears 5 3-4 15, Ellea Uhlenkott 0 0-0 0, Josie Remacle 0 0-0 0, Tara Schlader 0 0-0 0, India Peery 2 1-2 5, Ciara Chaffee 3 6-8 12, Sydnee Bruegeman 0 0-0 0. Totals 18 10-16 48.

Genesee.............12 11 4 6—33

Prairie................14 15 12 7—48

3-point goals — Leseman, Shears 2.

Potlatch 45, Kamiah 44

Potlatch freshman Jordan Reynolds took a charge as the buzzer went off, denying Kamiah a chance at game-winning free throws and sealing a win for the Loggers in a loser-out game.

Just before the game’s final sequence, Kennedy Thompson had netted a pair of free throws to stretch the Loggers’ lead to three. They had led by double figures entering the frame.

Potlatch (6-16) was led by freshmen Josie Larson (10 points, five rebounds) and Reynolds (five points, nine rebounds, four steals, four blocks).

KAMIAH (2-19)

Maya Engledow 2 0-0 5, Logan Landmark 2 4-6 8, Zayda Loewen 1 2-4 5, Dorian Hix 0 0-0 0, Jazzy Oatman 2 3-3 7, Haleigh Wyatt 2 0-0 4, Destiny Knight 4 0-1 8, Irene Popp 2 1-2 5, Claire McNall 1 0-0 2. Totals 16 10-16 44.

POTLATCH (6-16)

Danaira Carpenter 2 0-0 5, Taylor Carpenter 1 0-0 2, Kyndal Cessnun 2 1-2 5, Emma Chambers 2 3-4 7, Alyssa Hamburg 1 0-3 3, Kennedy Thompson 3 2-3 8, Charlee Beckner 0 0-0 0, Jordan Reynolds 2 1-5 5, Josie Larson 2 5-6 10. Totals 15 12-23 45.

Kamiah...............10 9 9 16—44

Potlatch.............13 11 14 7—45

3-point goals — Engledow, Loewen, Larson, Hamburg, D. Carpenter.

Byron Edelman may be contacted at bedelman@lmtribune.com or (208) 848-2277.

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