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Spartans grab scrappy win in Battle of the Buck

| January 19, 2022 1:00 AM

SPIRIT LAKE — Priest River boys basketball emerged victorious in a defensive slugfest with Timberlake on Saturday.

Travis Mathews hit four free throws late to help the Spartans secure a 41-35 Intermountain League win over the Tigers in potentially the last Battle of the Buck game between the two schools.

The game was tied at the end of the second and third quarters, but Priest River outscored Timberlake 10-4 in the fourth.

Head coach Jaden Barrett said the contest was extremely stressful.

"They pressed us all game and we just didn't play very well," he said.

The noise from the crowd certainly didn't help the Spartans' cause either.

"It made it hard because they could not hear me at all," Barrett said.

Despite shooting 25% percent from the field, the Spartans were able to grind out a victory thanks to their defense.

"Defensively we played pretty well," Barrett said. "Anytime we hold a team to 35, I'll be happy."

Blake Barrett led the team with 15 points. Trentyn Kreager tallied 8 points, Luke Butler added 7 and Mathews finished with 6.

Last Thursday, Priest River beat Immaculate Conception Academy 55-27. Kreager scored a team-high 14 points.

The Spartans (8-5, 1-0 IML) will carry a three-game winning streak into a matchup with Bonners Ferry at 7:30 p.m. Friday at PRLHS. Priest River also hosts Wallace on Tuesday.

Priest River 11 13 7 10 — 41

Timberlake 15 9 7 4 — 35

PRIEST RIVER — Mathews 6, Butler 7, Kreager 8, Marinello 0, Barrett 15, Z. Engelson 0, Thompson 2, Yount 3.

TIMBERLAKE — Oliveri 5, Tay. Menti 3, Paslay 5, Yetter 7, Millsap 0, Higgins 11, Tan. Menti 0, MacArthur 4.

ICA 6 8 6 7 — 27

Priest River 20 11 15 9 — 55

ICA — Darakjy 0, S. Kramer 2, Melnick 2, L. Kramer 16,, Johnson 0, Wilhelm 7, Souza 0.

PRIEST RIVER — Mathews 5, Butler 3, Kreager 14, Marinello 3, Gleason 3, T. Engelson 3, Z. Engelson 3, Berns 7, Thompson 8, Gamber 2, Yount 4.