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YOUTH BASKETBALL: Sandpoint Future teams see success at River City Tournament

by MAX OSWALD
Sports Reporter | November 15, 2023 1:00 AM

POST FALLS — Five teams from the Sandpoint Future AAU basketball club kicked off the season at the River City Basketball Tournament held Nov. 10-12 in Post Falls. All of Sandpoint’s teams impressed, but the fourth grade boys team impressed the most, winning five straight games to take home the first-place trophy.

Fourth grade boys: The Sandpoint Future fourth grade boys got off to a hot start this past weekend after winning the championship in their first tournament of the year. In their first match Friday, the team faced off against the Kellogg Wildcats and cruised to an impressive 57-7 victory, led by a 25-point night from Harper Fields. 

The next round of the tournament would prove to be much more difficult, as the team squared off against Lakeland Gold. After a back-and-forth, physical game, Sandpoint edged out a 24-21 victory over the Hawks. Emerson Marshall led the way with a 15-point performance coupled by a 15-rebound evening from Rowin Macdonald. The road to the Championship would lighten up a bit as Sandpoint cruised by their next two opponents, winning 45-8 and 41-22. In both of those games, Mac Driggs provided the extra spark of energy needed to secure a spot in the finals.

In the finals, Lakeland came out firing on all cylinders, going 3-for-3 from behind the arc. The Hawks jumped out to a 14-point lead late in the first half. The halftime pep talk from head coach Ashleigh Mire must have been the right one, as the 2nd half Sandpoint team looked completely different. Emerson Marshall and Harper Fields sunk a couple of big shots and sent the gym into another realm as the momentum shifted in Sandpoint’s favor. With the clock running down and Sandpoint up by four, Lakeland had to make something happen quickly. The Hawks got the ball into their best shooter’s hands and had a great three-point look, but could not convert. Sandpoint ran the clock out and claimed the River City Tournament title with a 39-35 victory. 

“I’m so proud of these boys. They grew as a unit this weekend and overcame a tremendous amount of adversity in this final game," Mire said. “There were some huge swings of momentum, as is the case with most competitive ball games. We weathered the storm, kept grinding and never gave up.”

In Sandpoint’s five wins, the team scored 206 points and gave up only 93. The Future’s next tournament will be the Turkey Shootout, which will be held Nov. 25-26 at the Warehouse Athletic Facility in Spokane.

Fourth grade girls: The Sandpoint Future fourth grade girls finished in second place at the River City Basketball Tournament.

    The Sandpoint Future fourth grade girls basketball team finished in second place at the River City Basketball Tournament. Team members include Adie Ducey, Harlow Laub, Annabelle Leonard, Millie Mahoney, Katie Mrashall, Presley Powell, Eva Savage, Katia Tadic and Finley Williams. Coaches are Shanna Tadic and Shana Savage.

Sixth grade boys: The Sandpoint Future sixth grade boys finished in second place at the River City Basketball Tournament. Picture was not provided before deadline.

Seventh grade boys: The Sandpoint Future seventh grade boys finished in second place at the River City Basketball Tournament.

    The Sandpoint Future seventh grade boys basketball team finished in second place at the River City Basketball Tournament. Team members include Vince Gunter, Tate Gilman, Bryson Hull, Dalton Trudeau, Luke Brewer, Mason Martz, Coen Leavitt, Beckett Fuller, Drake Reid and Noah Hagstrom. Coaches are Derrick Hagstrom and Bridger Reid.

Eighth grade boys: The Sandpoint Future eighth grade boys finished in second place at the River City Basketball Tournament.

    The Sandpoint Future eighth grade boys finished second at the River City Basketball Tournament. Front row, left to right, Alec Lieuallen, Blake Bogadi, Colton Dickinson and Asher Nieman. Back row, left to right, coach Doug Lieuallen, Dexter Williams, Rhiley Morris, Jamen Jensen, Mason Peters and coach Paul Nieman.