The Kellogg Wildcats played with fire one too many times, and on Tuesday night they got burned as they allowed Bonners Ferry a quick start. They lost to the Badgers 54-45 in the first round of the 3A District I tournament at North Idaho College.
The Wildcats have fallen into a trend low-scoring first halves, before rallying in the second half. The trend began to repeat itself once again as the Wildcats dug themselves a 31-18 halftime hole.
In their two previous games the Wildcats only mustered 13 first-half points, but in the prior two meetings between these two teams the scores were decided by one point (a Kellogg loss) and two points (a Kellogg win), so the expectations were high that this was going to be another competitive game.
Bonners Ferry never trailed as they used a balanced scoring attack to keep the Wildcats from getting any offense going, while using their defense to create easy looks in transition.
The Wildcats came within six points twice in the final 90 seconds, but every time they did, Bonners answered with a dagger.
Abby Arthur led Kellogg in scoring, finishing with 15 points for the Wildcats, while teammate Kaili Cates had 11.
Kellogg will now face Priest River on Thursday at 4:30 p.m. at NIC with their state tournament aspirations on the line; the winner of that game will face the loser of Bonners Ferry and Timberlake on Friday at the location of the higher seed.