MOSCOW — At this point its a given that Sandpoint’s games will come down to the final few possessions and that notion held true Thursday night.
In a back and forth battle that saw each team make a handful of key shots down the stretch, Moscow prevailed beating the Bulldogs 61-54 in a league opener for both teams.
“It was a very competitive game and it could’ve gone either way,” head coach Wade Engelson said.
So, what was the difference? Free throws.
Forced to foul late in the game to stay within striking distance, Sandpoint did everything they could to take down the Bears but Moscow knocked down 12 of their 14 free throws to seal it.
The Bulldogs had a 3 point lead at halftime but Moscow outscored Sandpoint 39-29 in the second half.
Despite losing, Engelson said his team competed every possession and showed a lot of growth.
“Our guys really battled,” he said. “We’re getting better as a team and if we play like this on a consistent basis we’re going to get better and better.”
Ryan Roos led the team with 15 points while Kobe Banks, Christian Niemela and Arie VanDenBerg each scored 9.
Eight Bulldogs scored in the game and Engelson said everyone who stepped on the court had an impact. He specifically pointed out freshman Colin Roos and said he brought a level of energy and effort on both ends of the court that the rest of the team fed off of.
Sandpoint (4-5, 0-1 IEL) heads to West Valley 6 p.m. Saturday.
Sandpoint 13 12 16 13 — 54
Moscow 11 11 19 20 — 61
SANDPOINT — R. Roos 15, Banks 9, Niemela 9, Eldridge 2, VanDenBerg 9, Lee 0, C. Roos 4, Treadaway 0, Lane 2, Casey 4.
MOSCOW —Diego 2, Decker 12, Abendroth 7, Thompson 0, Simpson 6, Colter 0, Postell 13, Buchanan 12, Kitchel 7, Skinner 0.