Lakeland High School
Conference: 4A Inland Empire League
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Lakeland High School Team Bio
Head Coach: Dave Stockwell
Record Last Year: 9-14
State Titles: None
Kaden Davis, Senior
Dylan Vahey, Senior
Dylan Knight, Senior
Photo By: Jason Duchow - #15 Kaden Davis
Written by: Sven Alskog
4A Inland Empire League
PRESEASON COACHES POLL
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Kaden Davis, Senior, Lakeland
Dylan Vahey, Senior, Lakeland
Dylan Knight, Senior, Lakeland
Cooper Stephens, Senior, Moscow
Gabe Quinnett, Junior, Moscow
Robbie Johnson, Senior, Sandpoint
Alex Stockton, Junior, Sandpoint
In the three team league that is the 4A Inland Empire, you can always count on a heated race to get the one spot out of districts 1-2 into the state tournament.
Last year that berth went to Moscow after squeaking by Lakeland 45-44 in the district championship tilt.
Multiple quality players come back from all three teams, meaning it should be a fun battle each night again.
“Dylan Vahey, Dylan Knight and Kaden Davis from Lakeland are three year players and shoot the ball well. Cooper Stephens and Gabe Quinnett from Moscow are good returning players,” said Sandpoint head coach Kent Leiss, who has some great talent back in his own right with Robbie Johnson and Alex Stockton leading the way.
Lakeland enters the year as the preseason favorite, although it really looks like this conference could be as up for grabs as any.
After coming so close a year ago, the Hawks will want to rewrite the story this time around.
Moscow seems like a good bet to make things difficult for opponents, with a versatile roster of players that can play in any area of the floor needed.
“We’ve got a very young, athletic team. Their chemistry has been great and they enjoy playing together. Cooper Stephens, Gabe Quinnett and Peyton Broenneke have the most experience and we’ll lean heavily on them to make everyone around them better. All three of them can create mismatches on offense and are very solid on the defensive end. Their energy helps to raise the level of play of those around them,” said Moscow head coach Josh Uhrig.
With so many underclassmen, gaining confidence early in the season will be paramount.
Expect a high-octane style out of the Bears.
“We want to put pressure on the opponent on both ends of the floor. Transition offense when it’s there and havoc on the defensive end. We need to be a better rebounding team. We have to limit second chance points and try to create as many additional possessions on the offensive end as possible,” added Uhrig.
For Sandpoint the challenge will be to get up to the level of Moscow and Lakeland after a 3-19 mark last season.
“Lakeland and Moscow are slightly better than we are at this point. They played a 1-point game to get to state last year. We have a ways to go,” said Leiss. “We could catch them if we stay injury free, improve on a daily basis and some of our young sophomores come through.”
The Bulldogs are led by 6-foot-3 senior forward Robbie Johnson, a player who trended upward as the season went on last year, averaging a double-double over the final eight games.
Junior forward Alex Stockton is another big impact returner who was an All-IEL selection last year, so if those two and a strong sophomore class can continue to progress, Sandpoint could surprise some people.
“They hang around in every game and are returning some key players from last year’s squad,” added Uhrig.