IDAHO 1A DII STATE TOURNAMENT: Potlatch Loggers bounced by defending state champs Butte County

Mar. 2—The Potlatch boys basketball team turned in multiple gutsy performances this season, methodically climbing its way back through high-percentage looks at the basket and stout defensive play.

The No. 2 Loggers demonstrated another courageous effort in an Idaho Class 1A Division I state tournament semifinal game against the defending champion No. 3 Lakeside of Plummer on Friday at Vallivue High School in Caldwell, but ultimately fell 69-53.

Potlatch senior forward Jaxon Vowels converted a 3-pointer from the left corner to pull the Loggers to within one with 22 seconds left in the first half. The one-point margin was as close as Potlatch would get the rest of the way.

The Knights got the final possession of the half, and Tyson Charley hurled a 25-footer with 0.6 seconds left to beat the buzzer.

"You never like to lose in the semis, that's disappointing," Potlatch coach Ryan Ball said. "But I'm not disappointed about the effort the kids showed on the floor. ... We got to the state semis, and it was going to take a great game to get to the championship, and we didn't lose tonight because of a lack of effort."

The Loggers (19-6) will next play No. 4 Butte County in the third-place game at 11 a.m. Pacific on Saturday at the same site.

Lakeside (17-3) will play No. 1 Lapwai at 10:30 a.m. in the championship game at the Ford Idaho Center in Nampa.

Here's how Friday's game went down:

Making a run at it

Potlatch trailed by as much as 20-8 with 1:49 left in the first quarter, but the Loggers started to find the bottom of the net in the final minute.

Sophomore Chase Lovell contributed a 3-pointer, senior Jack Clark added two free throws and Vowels had a putback to cut Potlatch's deficit to 22-15 at the end of the first quarter.

Lakeside started the second quarter on a 6-2 run by creating turnovers and using its speed to its advantage.

The Loggers, who trailed 28-17, responded with the largest run of the first half (8-0) to pull within 28-25 with 3:14 until intermission.

Lakeside senior Brutis Sijohn, who averages 12.1 points per game, received his third foul during the spurt, which proved to be a difference-maker.

"We had to adjust to their speed," Ball said. "They were quick, and they were hitting their shots, and then they started missing a few, and we were able to do some things. Sijohn being in foul trouble gave us some mismatches as well, and we started making shots that got us back into the game."

Lakeside sharpshooters Charley and Liam Hendrix banked in back-to-back triples when it had to have it to go up 34-25 with 1:42 left in the first half. The duo combined for 37 points.

Potlatch scored on three straight possessions to pull itself to within 34-33 with 21 seconds left in the first half.

Everett Lovell was off the mark on a 3-pointer with 1:28 left in regulation. But Vowels rebounded the errant shot and put it back to cut the Loggers' deficit to 34-27.

Everett Lovell redeemed himself on the ensuing possession and drilled a triple to pull Potlatch to within 34-30. He finished with 12 points.

Vowels added three more points to cut Potlatch's deficit to 34-33 with 21 seconds left in the half. He had a team-high 20 points.

"I don't know what it is about the Caldwell air, but he comes down here and performs really well," Ball said. "Jaxon played like a senior these last few games, and he's done an awesome job, and it's been exciting."

When the wheels fell off

Potlatch was efficient from the floor in the first half and finished 13-of-25 (52%).

The Loggers didn't produce the same numbers in the final 16 minutes and were just 6-of-23 (26%) from the field.

Lakeside kept Potlatch at arm's length through the third quarter, outscoring the Loggers 13-11 to take a 50-44 lead into the final frame.

The Knights' pressure defense and their blink-and-you'll-miss-it offense finally caught up with the Loggers as the defending champs went on a 17-2 run that spanned five minutes to take a 67-46 advantage.

"They have five good offensive players at every position," Ball said. "We did a great job when we did a half-court defense, but they were able to get some easy layins in transition."

Players of the game, stats of note

Vowels finished with a double-double, adding 12 rebounds to go with his 20 points.

The senior forward has had an impressive run at State so far, totaling 51 points and 21 rebounds in two games.

Everett Lovell was Potlatch's second-leading scorer with 12 points, and cousin Chase added nine.

Hendrix (19 points) Charley (18) and Blaze Callahan (18) were all in double figures for the Knights.

Lakeside finished 28-of-54 (51.9%) from the field and 6-of-14 (42.9%) from deep.


Hallah Peone 0 0-0 0, Brutus Sijohn 3 0-0 6, Blaze Callahan 8 2-2 18, Liam Hendrix 7 0-0 19, Tsones Nomee 0 0-0 0, Qwincy Hall 3 0-0 6, Beau Jones 0 0-0 0, Preston Spotted-Horse 0 0-0 0, Joshua Kee 0 2-2 2, Tyson Charley 7 3-3 18. Totals 28 7-7 69.


Tyson Chambers 2 0-2 4, Chase Lovell 2 4-4 9, Waylan Marshall 0 0-0 0, Jack Clark 1 2-2 4, Everett Lovell 5 0-0 12, Jaxon Vowels 7 4-6 20, Jameson Morris 1 0-0 2, Brayden Brown 0 0-0 0, Jacob Keck 0 0-0 0, Jacob Emerson 1 0-0 2. Totals 19 10-14 53.

Lakeside 22 15 13 14—69

Potlatch 15 18 11 9—53

3-point goals — Hendrix 5, Charley, Vowels 2, E. Lovell 2, C. Lovell

Pixley may be contacted at (208) 848-2290, or on Twitter @TreebTalk