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Lewiston boys basketball downs Moscow regular-season finale

Feb. 10—MOSCOW — With district tournaments on the horizon and already knowing which teams they'll play, the Lewiston and Moscow boys basketball teams duked it out at Bear Den on Friday. It was the regular-season finale for the Bengals (14-7) and the last regular-season home game for the Bears (8-11).

Lewiston played spoiler to Moscow's senior night and won 72-45.

The Bears had spurts of good play on offense and defense, but the Bengals' efficient scoring was too much for the home team to overcome.

"A lot of those second chances (for Lewiston), offensive rebounds, loose balls — that hurt (us)," Moscow coach Josh Uhrig said. "We spent a lot of time working on their press this week and we had a lot of success going against it. They didn't speed us up, they didn't force turnovers. We just made a lot of mistakes at the half court."

Here's how Friday's contest played out:

Bears make final push

Throughout the game, Moscow showed a big effort on defense and had a handful of solid displays against a Lewiston squad that had a noticeable size advantage in the post. The five honored seniors of Ian Hillman, Cody Wilson, Joey Williams, Juan Ceron and Brayson Reed, who also were the starters, made a noticeable effort on defense during their last regular-season game at Bear Den.

The Bengals' steady shooting made it difficult for the Bears to maintain a lockdown defense on every possession, which led to Lewiston owning a 20-plus advantage halfway through the fourth quarter.

But the Bears didn't let the scoreboard dictate their effort.

The most success Moscow had on offense was when it drove straight to the basket, often converting on a shot attempt at the rim or drawing a foul.

The Bears went back to that approach late in fourth and ended up keeping pace with the Bengals, going back and forth on the scoreboard. It also opened looks from outside for the home team — all three of Moscow's 3-pointers came in the final quarter.

"That's a little bit of how we play and you just have to live with it," Lewiston coach Brooks Malm said. "There's some stuff that we'll see on film and there's some things we'll correct in practice, but a lot of it is just how we play. It's a game of runs. Basketball is a game of runs."

The spurt didn't last long and Lewiston shored up its interior and went on one final run to secure its 27-point victory.

Lewiston offense shows out

The Bengals' offense was hitting on all cylinders against the Bears. Lewiston was stopped on its initial play design and was forced to reset several times throughout the game, and was successful while doing it.

When the Bengals were forced to go outside for a 3-point attempt, they were successful and hit on 5-of-11 shots from long-range.

The win against the Bears gives Lewiston a three-game winning streak to end the regular season and momentum going into a tough first outing in Districts against Coeur d'Alene.

The Bengals played the Vikings twice earlier this season and lost by 12 and nine points, respectively.

A balanced offense with momentum might be what Lewiston needs to pull an upset over Coeur d'Alene.

Players of the game

Drew Hottinger had a game-high 27 points to lead the Bengals over Moscow.

The Bears got a team-high 11 points from Grant Abendroth and Hillman.

Up next

Moscow, which already clinched a No. 1 seed in its own district tournament last week, will conclude its regular season Monday at 7 p.m. at Coeur d'Alene. The Bears will return home to host the first of a best-of-three district series against either Lakeland or Sandpoint at on Feb. 21 at the Bear Den in Moscow.

Lewiston will next play at 6:30 p.m. Friday in a district tournament game against the Vikings in Coeur d'Alene.

LEWISTON (14-7)

Rylan Gomez 3 6-7 12, Jordan Bramlet 7 4-5 19, Drew Alldredge 0 0-0 0, Royce Fisher 2 0-0 4, Guy Krasselt 0 0-0 0, Dray Torpey 3 0-0 7, Drew Hottinger 10 5-5 27, Blaze Hepburn 1 0-0 3. Totals 26 15-17 72.

MOSCOW (8-11)

Ian Hillman 3 3-4 11, Cody Wilson 2 0-0 4, Traiden Cummings 4 1-1 9, Tyson Izzo 1 0-0 2, Maruice Bethel 0 0-0 0, Keaton Frei 1 0-0 2, Grant Abendroth 4 2-2 11, Joey Williams 0 0-0 0, Juan Ceron 0 0-0 0, Brayson Reed 2 2-3 6, Andrew Hurley 0 0-0 0. Totals 17 8-10 45

Lewiston 15 11 23 23—72

Moscow 6 6 13 20—45

3-point goals — Hottinger 2, Bramlet, Torpey, Hepburn, Hillman 2, Abendroth.

Kowatsch can be contacted at 208-848-2268, tkowatsch@lmtribune.com or on Twitter @Teren_Kowatsch.