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Idaho High School Boys Basketball Bracketology (Feb. 24): Potlatch Leads the Way On a Wild Night of Upsets
The Potlatch Loggers punched their first ticket to state since 2020 with a win over Kamiah
Published: 2/24/2023 11:13:18 AM
Brandon Baney
Managing Editor/Broadcaster


Well, after a wild and unpredictable Thursday night of boys basketball district action, I have to take the white-out to our bracket projections.  Lots of upsets occurred on Thursday night, and we'll sift through all of them here:

-- After losing to second-seeded Coeur d'Alene in double overtime last week, third-seeded Lewiston got revenge at the 5A District 1-2 Tournament in a 58-54 win in the third place game.  With the win, Lewiston keeps its season alive, and the Bengals will face Meridian on Saturday in a 5A State Tournament Play-In Game.  We had been projecting Coeur d'Alene to advance to and win that game over Eagle based on a higher MaxPreps rating.  Now Lewiston assumes that spot on our projected bracket.  Carson Way led Lewiston with 24 points in the win over the Vikings, while Michael Wren added 12.

-- Top-seeded Bishop Kelly defeated second-seeded Skyview in a tight battle for the 4A District 3 championship, 52-49.  Joseph Behrend scored 15 points for the Knights, while Thomas Lodge added 13 and Mason Suboh-Meuret finished with 12.  Bishop Kelly advances to state; Skyview will battle fourth-seeded Ridgevue for the second and final bid to state on Saturday.

-- With their season on the line, top-seeded Pocatello traveled to second-seeded Preston and won, 64-52, setting up a winner-take-all showdown for the 4A District 5 title on Saturday night at Pocatello's legendary venue, The Pit.  These are the second and third best teams in the state according to MaxPreps rankings, and yet, only one will get to play at state.  Julian Bowie scored 22 points for the Thunder in the victory.

-- Top-seeded Hillcrest defeated second-seeded Blackfoot 60-51 to win the 4A District 6 championship.  Isaac Davis scored 29 points for the Knights, who clinched a bid to state and will be the No. 1 seed at next week's 4A State Tournament.  Blackfoot will host third-seeded Shelley on Saturday night for the second and final bid to state.

-- Bonners Ferry won the 3A District 1 title with an 82-44 win over Timberlake.  The win gave the Badgers the sweep in their best-of-three series, and Bonners Ferry will carry the No. 1 overall seed into next week's 3A State Tournament.  Asher Williams scored 16 points for the Badgers, while Braeden Blackmore added 11.

-- At the 3A District 3 tournament, second-seeded McCall-Donnelly kept their season alive with a 57-38 win over sixth-seeded Weiser in the third place game.  The Vandals will now take on Teton in a 3A State Tournament Play-In Game on Saturday.  Top-seeded Homedale defeated third-seeded Fruitland in the championship game, 67-58.  Both of those teams will advance to state.

-- In a battle of top five teams according to MaxPreps, Teton defeated Marsh Valley in a 3A State Tournament Regional Play-In Game by a score of 63-55.  Teton isn't quite there yet, though.  The Timberwolves will have to win another 3A State Tournament Play-In Game, this time against McCall-Donnelly, on Saturday.

-- Second-seeded Kellogg held off fifth-seeded Priest River 49-35 at the 2A District 1-2 Tournament.  The win puts Kellogg into a 2A State Tournament Play-In Game against New Plymouth on Saturday.  Riply Luna scored 20 points for the Wildcats, while his twin brother, Kolby Luna, finished with 13.

-- Lakeside officially clinched their spot at state with a 76-43 win over Genesis Prep in the 1AD1 District 1 championship.  The Knights had four players reach double figures in scoring (Vander Brown with 18, Liam Hendrickx with 15, Tyson Charley with 14 and Brutis SiJohn with 12).

-- The fourth time was the charm for the Potlatch Loggers.  After falling to second-seeded Kamiah three times during the regular season, the third-seeded Loggers finally got their first win when it mattered most: 49-46 at the 1AD1 District 2 Tournament third place game.  With the win, Potlatch snatches their first state tournament bid since 2020.  The Loggers have replaced Kamiah in our projected bracket, and it caused a seismic shift in the seedings.  Kamiah was the No. 3 seed at state, but now Lakeside, Castleford and Carey will all move up.  Jaxon Vowels led the Loggers with 29 points in the victory.

-- At the 1AD1 District 3 Tournament, top-seeded Liberty Charter defeated second-seeded Victory Charter 31-30 to win the championship.  Both teams had already qualified for state prior to the game.  Of more interest was third-seeded Rimrock's win over sixth-seeded Riverstone.  The Raiders won 56-46, and will now face Grace in a 1AD1 State Tournament Play-In Game on Saturday.

-- After falling to Carey on a last-second bucket in the 1AD1 District 4 Tournament, top-seeded Castleford held back sixth-seeded Valley 48-42 to earn the second bid to state from District 4.

-- Top-seeded Grace defeated second-seeded Butte County 64-51 to win the 1AD1 District 5-6 title.  Their reward? A 1AD1 State Tournament Play-In Game against Rimrock.  We are projecting the Grizzlies to win that matchup.

-- The Clark Fork Wampus Cats officially clinched their ticket to state with a 70-43 win over Mullan in the 1AD2 District 1 championship.  Chase Sanroman scored 28 points to Clark Fork to the win.

-- Top-seeded Kendrick defeated third-seeded Timberline 64-35 to claim the 1AD2 District 2 title.  Timberline will have to battle upstart four-seed St. John Bosco for the second and final bid to state.  The Patriots knocked out second-seeded Deary last night 59-49.

-- Fourth-seeded Cascade completed their amazing run at districts with a 65-45 dismantling of second-seeded Garden Valley in the championship game.  The Ramblers have been hampered by injury and illness all year, but appear to be peaking at the right time.  The Wolverines will now face top-seeded Council for the second and final bid to state.

-- And at the 1AD2 District 4 Tournament, second-seeded Richfield nipped top-seeded Camas County in overtime, 44-41.  Jamon Fuchs had 12 points for Richfield in the win, while Clay Kent added 10.  These two district rivals have split their season series.  Each won on the road in the regular season.  Camas County won the undefeated semfiinal game at districts, and then Richfield won last night's game to set up a winner-take-all district championship game on Saturday night.  The winner gets the lone bid to state.  The loser will stay home.  Both teams boast Top 5 rankings according to MaxPreps, and every game has been decided by seven points or less.

Here is our latest Bracketology.  As a reminder, you can follow all of the district tournament action here.  Teams will be seeded according to their MaxPreps rating.  Teams in bold font have officially clinched state tournament bids.  Until official bids are clinched, we will project the highest seeded teams in each district tournament to claim the automatic bids available.  In the case of potential Play-In Games, the team with the highest MaxPreps ranking will be projected to win.


District 1-2 1.5 bids
District 3 4.5, .5 bids (potentially could be 6 with play-in wins)
District 5-6 1.5 bids

#1 Lake City (23-0) vs. #8 Highland (13-12)
#4 Madison (18-6) vs. #5 Lewiston (16-7)
#3 Mountain View (19-5) vs. #6 Eagle (16-9)
#2 Owyhee (19-5) vs. #7 Timberline (17-8)

District 1-2 1 bid
District 3 2 bids
District 4 2 bids
District 5 1 bid
District 6 2 bids

#1 Hillcrest (22-1) vs. #8 Lakeland (5-16)
#4 Skyview (17-6) vs. #5 Twin Falls (14-9)
#3 Blackfoot (14-8) vs. #6 Minico (15-9)
#2 Preston (17-7) vs. #7 Bishop Kelly (14-9)


District 1 1 bid
District 3 2.5 bids
District 4 2 bids
District 5 1.25 bids
District 6 1.25 bids

#1 Bonners Ferry (21-1) vs. #8 Buhl (9-14)
#4 Snake River (17-6) vs. #5 Homedale (14-7)
#3 Teton (20-6) vs. #6 Fruitland (14-9)
#2 Sugar-Salem (20-3) vs. #7 Kimberly (9-14)


District 1-2 1.5 bids
District 3 2.5 bids
District 4 1 bid
District 5 1.5 bids
District 6 1.5 bids

#1 Melba (23-0) vs. #8 Declo (13-9)
#4 St. Maries (17-5) vs. #5 Ririe (20-4)
#3 Cole Valley Christian (19-5) vs. #6 New Plymouth (19-6)
#2 Bear Lake (22-2) vs. #7 West Side (12-13)


District 1 1 bid
District 2 2 bids
District 3 2.5 bids
District 4 2 bids
District 5-6 .5 bid

#1 Lapwai (23-0) vs. #8 Liberty Charter (18-6)
#4 Castleford (16-5) vs, #5 Carey (17-7)
#3 Lakeside (15-3) vs. #6 Potlatch (18-7)
#2 Grace (19-4) vs. #7 Victory Charter (20-4)


District 1 1 bid
District 2 2 bids
District 3 2 bids
District 4 1 bid
District 5-6 2 bids

#1 Rockland (21-2) vs. #8 Clark Fork (13-8)
#3 Kendrick (17-3) vs. #6 Cascade (16-7)
#4 Watersprings (20-4) vs. #5 Garden Valley (15-7) 
#2 Camas County (15-6) vs. #7 Timberline (11-10)


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