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Sweet Revenge
Lapwai avenges bitter loss, defeats Lakeside 67-54 to claim crown
Published: 3/2/2024 9:37:45 PM
 

 




NAMPA — When Lapwai took the court Saturday afternoon, the Wildcats were ready to assuage a year of pain after a bitter overtime loss to Lakeside that ended the Wildcats’ 62-game win streak and cost them a state title.

And the Wildcats did so in emphatic fashion.

Lapwai got a game-high 46 points from Kase Wynott and never trailed as it avenged the loss to Lakeside, beating the Knights in the rematch 67-54 to claim the Class 1A Division I state championship.

The title is Lapwai’s thirteenth, tying Borah for the most of any boys program at any level in state history.

Every since that (state title) game, I’ve thought about that loss every single day,” said Wynott, the IdahoSports.com Player of the Game. “And we wanted to play Lakeside. We didn’t want Potlatch to beat them (in the semifinals). We wanted Lakeside. And that was the message the entire year—we talked about getting ready for Lakeside.”

Lapwai (25-2), which fell behind by 20 early in the state title game a year ago, came out firing on all cylinders, building an early 17-9 lead behind Wynott’s outside shooting and Ahlius Yearout’s play in the paint.

That was the biggest thing we talked about all year, that we had to come out to play right away,” Lapwai coach Zachary Eastman said. “They’re going to play up and down like we do, but we need to control our emotions and come out hot.”

The Wildcats used a hot start to the second quarter—an 11-2 run led by Wynott and Yearout—to push their lead to 28-12, their biggest of the first half.

Lakeside (17-4) cobbled together a 7-2 run near the end of the third quarter, shrinking the deficit to single digits at nine points for the first time since the first quarter.

However, Lapwai turned to its inside game, finishing with easy buckets in the paint and salting away the win at the charity stripe.

Wynott, who earlier this season set the new state career scoring record, finished his three-game run in the state tournament with 109 points and 33 rebounds.

The Utah State signee was candid about how last season’s loss to Lakeside made this year’s victory that much sweeter.

If we would’ve won last year and had four titles in a row, winning today would’ve still been great,” Wynott said. “But last year’s loss makes this win so much better in a way, knowing what we went through.”

Yearout shared the same sentiment as Wynott.

Losing last year was tough,” Yearout said. “We talked about it every day. And each practice was about coming back to this game and winning.”

Eastman understands the pressure of coaching in a place like Lapwai, where a state title determines the ultimate success of a season.

Living in Lapwai, it always comes down to the last game,” Eastman said. “It doesn’t matter how you do the whole year—it comes down to one game. And that’s a lot of pressure. We try to play upper classification teams … so when we play games like this, we’ve already played teams that are very talented and it helps us in our progression as the season goes.”

This year, it was Lakeside’s turn to shoulder the burden of losing in the state title game.

They just wanted it more,” said Lakeside guard Tyson Charley, who had 11 points for the Knights. “They had that fire that we had last year. And when you get down against a team like that, it’s hard to come back.”

Lakeside coach James Twoteeth recognized his team was going to have their hands full with a revenge-minded Lapwai squad.

They had an undefeated season and they lose their last game, so that’s got to hurt,” Twoteeth said. “It motivated them all summer long, so they’re going to come back with fire.”

Brutus Sijohn led Lakeside with 17 points and eight rebounds in playing every minute of the game.

Yearout added 13 points for Lapwai in the win, pulling down 11 rebounds. Christopher Bohnee snagged 10 boards.




TEAM

1ST

2ND

3RD

4TH

TOTAL

Lakeside

8

12

21

13

54

Lapwai

17

20

18

12

67

LAKESIDE (17-4) – Brutis SiJohn 17, Tyson Charley 11, Qwincy Hall 7, Liam Hendrickx 6, Blaze Callahan 4, Preston Spotted Horse 4, Joshua Kee 3, Hallah Peone 2, Tsones Nomee 0, Beau Jones 0

LAPWAI (25-2) – Kase Wynott 46, Ahlius Yearout 13, Joey Payne 3, Chris Bohnee 3, Farrell Hayes 2, Quenten Kipp 0, Julian Barros 0, Vinny Kipp 0, LaRicci George-Smith 0





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