Spartans miss game-tying shot, drop season opener against Northern Idaho Christian

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COEUR d’ALENE — Priest River boys basketball rallied, but missed a game-tying shot at the buzzer in a 54-52 loss to North Idaho Christian on Tuesday night.

“I thought we played okay for our first game of the year,” Priest River head coach Kevin Wylie wrote in an email. “This is a brand new team from a year ago with the exception of Keegan Hegel, Brandon McCracken, Robbie Anselmo, and Caden Brennan. We played with two returners from last years roster.”

Anselmo did not play in Tuesday night’s game, but fellow returner McCracken picked up the slack by leading all scorers with 14 points on 4-8 shooting ­— including a perfect 2-2 from three. Keegan Hegel and Brett Gordon also chipped in 13 points apiece.

Tyler Thorsness had eight points and nine rebounds for the Royals in NICS’s season opener. Phil Connelly and James Kelly scored 11 points each for North Idaho Christian, which faces Lakeside on Thursday.

Priest River (0-1) will look for its first win on Dec. 1 at home against Deer Park.

Tipoff is scheduled for 7 p.m.

Priest River 7 17 11 17 — 52

N.I. Christian 15 15 13 9 — 54

PRIEST RIVER — K. Hagel 13, Kreager 8, Matthews 0, Bell 0, Lucas 0, McCracken 14, Rennan 0, Gordon 13, Zapse 2, Thompson 2.

NORTH IDAHO CHRISTIAN — Fontain 0, Pilgrim 7, Connelly 11, Tomes 0, C. Pilgrim 9, Holmes 7, Thorsness 8, Kelly 11, Middlemore 1.

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