NAMPA — The Boise girls basketball team is on a mission.
Or at the very least it looked that way in Thursday’s 5A State Tournament first round win against Owyhee.
The Brave took a first quarter lead and never surrendered it, staying in control for most of the 32 minutes in a 59-47 win on Thursday.
“It was a pretty good game for us to start the tournament with,” said junior Avery Howell, who finished with 25 points and 18 rebounds. “I think we have a lot of confidence going into tomorrow. It was a good win for our team, we played a lot of people and I have confidence in all of our players.”
Boise (22-2) advances to the state semifinal game where it will play Coeur d’Alene at 2 p.m. today at the Ford Idaho Center. The Brave will be looking to make a return to Saturday’s state championship game, where it lost to Timberline on a late 3-pointer a year ago.
But that heartbreaking loss to the Wolves will be far from the Brave’s minds today. All focus will be on the Vikings.
“This time of year is just survive and advance,” said Boise coach Kim Brydges. “I was excited to see the kids come out and get the win. We’ll worry about whoever comes out of the (Eagle-Couer d’Alene) game tonight.”
After jumping out to a 22-8 lead midway through the second quarter, Boise saw Owyhee go on a little but if a run, cutting the Brave lead to 22-18. But that was as close as the Storm were able to get it, as Boise ended the half on an 8-0 run with Maizy Kluksdal hitting a pair of free throws late to give Boise a 12-point lead going into the break.
“I wasn’t concerned with it being a four-point game,” said Howell. “In basketball, there’s swings through the entire game and they were on one. I knew are team was going to pull through and we wanted to get a decently comfortable lead going into halftime and we grew that.”
That run continued into the second half as Boise opened with a 10-2 run, all 10 of its points during that span coming from Avery Patricco.
Patricco, who didn’t have any points in the first half, finished with 13.
“She came out in the second half and she was ready to go,” said Howell. “I think her first half was not her best, but she took it as a challenge and proved herself. That’s what we needed for our team and she just stepped up and did it.”
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Boise built its lead up to as large as 46-25 at the end of the third quarter, and the Storm went on some runs in the fourth to close the gap, but by that point the outcome of the game was no longer in question.
Kaity Haan finished with 12 points for the Brave.
Riley Beck scored 20 points to lead the Storm (19-5), who will face Eagle in the consolation semifinal at 7 p.m. today at Timberline High. Mikale Roy added 12 points in the loss.
COEUR D’ALENE 63, EAGLE 50: After upsetting Lake City in the state play-in game on Saturday, the No. 8 seed looked prime to take out another north Idaho power in the first round of the 5A State Playoffs Thursday.
But in the fourth quarter, top-seed Coeur d’Alene figured out how to solve the Mustangs.
The Vikings scored 28 points over the final eight minutes of the game to move on to the semifinals and set up a date with Boise Friday.
“The girls executed well in the first half, executed the game plan and did what we asked them to do,” Eagle coach Jeremy Munroe said. “Then, Coeur d’Alene is such a solid team, they started to do things the way they wanted. We couldn’t hit some buckets. It came down to they were executing and we couldn’t hit the buckets we needed to to keep up.”
After taking a lead with an 8-0 run to end the first half with a 28-24 lead, Eagle extended that lead to 36-26 early in the third quarter on a Paige Cofer basket.
Eagle still led 41-35 early in the fourth quarter, but a 3-pointer by Coeur d’Alene’s Libby Awbery, followed by a basket and free throw by Teagan Colvin quickly tied the game. From there the flood gates opened for the Vikings and the Mustangs struggled to get stops.
“Once they have that going it’s like a boulder downhill,” Munroe said. “How do you stop that? The girls battled, our girls fought hard, they did everything they could and I was really proud of them.
Cofer finished with 28 points, but Coeur d’Alene had a pair of 20-point scorers in Colvin and Madison Symons. Colvin finished with 23 points, while Symons had 24 points to go with 15 rebounds.