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4A DISTRICT 1-2 GIRLS BASKETBALL: Sandpoint falls just short of Lakeland in district title match

by MAX OSWALD
Sports Reporter | February 10, 2024 9:05 PM

Lakeland 43, Sandpoint 35

SANDPOINT – In the teams’ fifth meeting of the season, Lakeland used a large third quarter to take the lead and eventually capture the 4A IEL District Championship over Sandpoint at Les Rogers Court Saturday night, punching their ticket to the 4A state tournament.

Neither team could really gain an edge in the first half. The Bulldogs led 14-12 at the end of the second quarter. In the third, Lakeland came out on fire, outscoring the Bulldogs 17-8. The Hawks, who led by as much as 13 points, saw Sandpoint rally late as the Bulldogs got clutch baskets from both Brecken Mire and Jordyn Tomco. However, it was Lakeland’s Payton Sterling who hit the dagger 3-pointer with 1:28 remaining in the game to put things out of reach.

“We’re disappointed in the outcome of the series, but I am so proud of the season the girls put together,” head coach Will Love said. “When you step back and look at the season as a whole, they accomplished some really spectacular things that a lot of team’s throughout the state would be very jealous of right now. I thought that they did it with class.”

Love said that he was most proud of the fact that every place the Bulldogs went, the coaching staff always heard great feedback on the girls’ competitive spirits and just how they were as people.

“It’s obviously tough to know that our season has ended,” Love said. “Last year we were one of the few team’s who ended their season on a win, but this year we just finished with a loss – a bit short of our goal. I am very proud of the effort the girls put in tonight and throughout the season.”

Love said he gives credit to Lakeland for sticking true to what they do best throughout the season and wishes the Hawks the best of luck down in Boise.

Lakeland head coach Tyrel Derrick said tonight’s game didn’t have a lot of technical differences and that it was just one big group effort.

“Tonight was just a performance in which our girls banded together and said ‘we’re going to be resilient, we’re going to persevere – not get too high on the highs and too low on the lows’. I honestly don’t have a lot of words, this team is just special.”

When asked about going back to the 4A state tournament, Derrick said he was a bit shocked.

“I think this is a group who has proven so much to themselves,” Derrick said. “I don’t think we’re going down with a lot of expectations, but I know we’re going to play our brand of basketball, and hopefully that’s good enough to win a game or two. I know the team I have and they compete every second.”

As for the game at hand, leading Sandpoint was Mire who scored 12 points. Karlie Banks added seven points, Demi Driggs six for the Bulldogs.

Pacing Lakeland was Landree Simon with 16 points and three steals. Lila Keifer added nine points and nine rebounds while Macy Bretveld chipped in eight points for the Hawks.

Sandpoint finished the season with a 19-5 record overall.

Lakeland 7 5 17 14 – 43

Sandpoint 8 6 8 13 – 35

PTS: SPT – B. Mire 12, Banks 7, D. Driggs 6, Laybourne 4, Tomco 4, Richardson 2, Thaete 0. LAK – Simon 16, L. Kiefer 9, Bretveld 8, Sterling 6, K. Kiefer 3, Holte 1, H. McMurray 0.

REB: SPT – Laybourne 7, Banks 6, B. Mire 4, D. Driggs 4, Thaete 4, Richardson 2, Tomco 1. LAK – L. Kiefer 9, Bretveld 6, K. Kiefer 4, Holte 4, Sterling 3, Simon 3.

AST: SPT – Tomco 2, Richardson 1, B. Mire 1, Banks 1. LAK – K. Kiefer 4, L. Kiefer 3, Simon 1.

STL: SPT – Tomco 2, B. Mire 2, Richardson 2, Banks 1. LAK – Simon 3, Holte 1, L. Kiefer 1. Sterling 1.

BLK: SPT – Thaete 1, Banks 1, B. Mire 1, Tomco 1. LAK – Bretveld 1, Holte 1.

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