A midseason look at local high school basketball teams

Jan. 12—The 2023-24 high school basketball season is at or a little past the midway point for teams in the Lewiston Tribune readership area.

Here's a deep dive into some local league races and storylines so far this season:


Wynott scoring title in reach, Potlatch still perfect

Lapwai (11-2, 6-0) has continued its stranglehold on the Whitepine League Division I, a league it's won each of the last eight seasons. But the storyline everyone has their eyes on is senior point guard Kase Wynott and his pursuit of Idaho's all-time scoring record.

The Utah State commit is currently No. 3 on that list (2,478 points) and just needs 59 points to surpass Kamiah's Jared Mercer as the Gem State's all-time leading scorer (2,536, 1990-93).

In 13 games so far, Wynott has averaged 39.2 points, 14.6 rebounds, 8.7 assists and 3.5 blocks per game.

His points-per-game mark is the best in the country, according to MaxPreps.

Potlatch (10-0, 6-0) will attempt to knock the Wildcats off their throne.

The Loggers have held their opponents to a league-low 43 points per outing and were voted as the No. 2 team in the 1A Division I classification behind Lapwai in the latest media poll.

Potlatch has a 62-53 win over the 2A's St. Maries (Dec. 19) on its resume and a 62-58 overtime victory against Logos (6-3, 3-2) on Dec. 5, who is currently third in the league.

Potlatch faces the Wildcats and Knights in back-to-back games, starting with Lapwai on Saturday.

Bengals attempt to capture 2023 magic

Lewiston (8-4, 0-1) capped off 2023 by going on a five-game win streak and was crowned Avista Holiday Tournament champion with a 55-39 decision over Rocky Mountain on Dec. 30.

Seniors Rylan Gomez, Jordan Bramlet and Drew Hottinger combined for 49 points in the Bengals' triumph over the Grizzlies.

Lewiston fell 64-50 to league opponent Post Falls to start the new year on Jan. 5.

The Bengals will attempt to redeem their loss to the Trojans today.

Bantams and Hounds look for momentum

Pullman (7-4, 1-0) opened 2A Greater Spokane League play with an 83-49 win over East Valley of Spokane on Tuesday.

The Greyhounds have scored the second-most points (682) in the 2A GSL and are on a three-game win streak.

Clarkston (6-5, 0-1) opened league play on the opposite end of a 61-51 decision against the top team in the GSL West Valley (11-0, 1-0) on Dec. 9.

Colfax still unbeaten

Colfax (13-0, 4-0) is on a hot streak.

The Bulldogs are currently No. 4 in the Washington Class 2B RPI rankings and have won in a multitude of ways.

Colfax has won in dominating fashion, such as its 73-21 decision over Chewelah (Jan. 5) or its 67-18 win against Newport (Dec. 27). But it also demonstrated its ability to perform in crunch time and punch above its weight class.

The Bulldogs narrowly escaped with a 49-42 victory over Washington Class 2A's Rogers (Dec. 29) and outclassed traditional Class 2B powerhouse St. George's 66-50 on Jan. 6.

Against the Dragons, JP Wigen contributed a game-high 18 points. Adrik Jenkin (16 points), Seth Lustig (16) and Jayce Kelly (11) were also in double digits and have been constant contributors for the Bulldogs.

Is it still Kendrick's world?

Kendrick (7-4, 4-0) won six straight games to open the season before falling 61-42 to Lewiston to open the Avista Holiday Tournament on Dec. 28 — and since then, the Tigers have lost three of their last four.

Kendrick is paced by the defending Idaho Class 1A Division II player of the year, sophomore Nathan Tweit, and his 17.3 points per game. Senior forward Ty Koepp is no slouch, either, pitching in 11.5 points per outing. He also just recently broke the 1,000 career-point mark in a 67-59 loss to Potlatch on Jan. 3.

The Tigers will face Highland of Craigmont (7-3, 2-1) on Jan. 18, which has slowly been moving up the WPL DII rankings.

The Huskies have won five of their last six games and are led by senior Ty Goekner, who averages 19.1 points and 15.8 rebounds per game.

Pomeroy is on a heater

Seniors Oliver Severs (15.6 points per game) and Trace Roberts (13.6) have helped the Pirates (11-1, 7-0) go on an 11-game win streak.

In that span, no team has scored more than 46 points on Pomeroy, and it has held its opponents to fewer than 20 four times.

The Pirates are in first place in the Southeast 1B League and are fifth in the RPI rankings. They'll have a big matchup today against the league's second-place team, Oakesdale (7-4, 5-1).


Clarkston is deep and talented

The Bantams (11-0, 2-0) have won in every type of way this year.

Clarkston sits atop the 2A Greater Spokane League and is No. 3 in the RPI rankings. The Bantams have received consistent production from its stalwarts, such as Lewis-Clark State commit Kendall Wallace and Lapwai transfer Jaelyn McCormack-Marks. But down the stretch, some of the lesser-known Bantams have stepped up in a big way, such as Preslee Dempsey, who contributed 10 points in a 71-45 win over Mt. Spokane on Jan. 6. Dempsey was one of 10 Clarkston players that scored, highlighting its depth.

Scorers aplenty for Grangeville

The Bulldogs (9-2) have four players who average double-digit point totals.

The production provided by Madalyn Green (17.9 points per game), Mattie Thacker (12.7), Caryss Barger and Addison Vanderwall (11.2) has led to Grangeville beating defending state champions and runner-ups already this season.

The only two blemishes on the Bulldogs' record are to Clarkston (72-32 Dec. 30) and a 64-58 loss to the defending Idaho Class 4A state champions, Sandpoint, in overtime.

Grangeville has an opportunity to run the table from here on out, only having to play teams from lower classifications or league foes.

Outside of the Bulldogs, the 2A Central Idaho League is a combined 18-23.

You've heard this story before

The Whitepine League Division I still runs through Lapwai.

The Wildcats (10-4, 6-0) are perfect in league play, with the next closest contenders being Prairie (10-6, 6-2) and Kamiah (9-4, 3-2), which sit in second and third place, respectively.

The Kubs have lost twice to the Wildcats, and Prairie has been on the wrong end against both teams so far this season.

The Pirates will perhaps have the toughest path to close the season as they'll be on the road from here on out.

There's still a battle brewing

Kendrick (12-1, 3-0) has won 10 consecutive games and averages 54 points per outing. But the league race is far from over.

Deary (7-5, 2-1) is better than its overall record indicates, playing several teams from larger classifications to start the season.

The Tigers won both meetings this year, narrowly escaping with a 55-40 decision on Nov. 27, and most recently, they cruised past the Mustangs 50-37 on Jan. 6.

A tight race in the Northeast 2B

Colfax (9-4, 6-0) is on top of the Northeast 2B League standings, but several teams are nipping at its heels.

Northwest Christian (Colbert), Reardan, and Liberty of Spangle are right behind the Bulldogs with one league loss apiece.

Colfax started the season 1-4 and since then has won eight of its last nine games.

Trying to catch Oakesdale

Colton (10-2, 4-1) and Garfield-Palouse (7-5, 4-2) are currently chasing Southeast 1B league leader Oakesdale (8-2, 5-0) at the midway point of the season.

Both teams will have another shot at the Eagles and at each other.

Oakesdale routed the Wildcats on its home floor 60-34 on Dec. 19. Colton will seek redemption on the Eagles in its season finale on Feb. 2.

The Wildcats also escaped with a 46-38 win over the Vikings on Jan. 6. Garfield-Palouse pushed league leaders Oakesdale to the limit in a 38-36 loss on Dec. 8.

The Vikings play the Eagles again on Jan. 20, with their game against Colton shortly to follow on Jan. 26.

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