Kellogg boys basketball
Kellogg 55, Bonners Ferry 50: The Kellogg Wildcats honored their nine senior players prior to their final home game against Bonners Ferry on Saturday night.
This group has been one of the more valuable groups as a collective whole in Kellogg High School basketball history as the program has gone undefeated in the Intermountain League since the Class of 2018 made its program debut.
Kellogg prevailed, but it wasn’t without a fight, but they gutted out an early deficit to knock off the Badgers 55-50.
The Wildcats added another win to an already impressive 32-game IML winning streak that began a year before they were at KHS (these particular Wildcats have been at KHS for 31 of the now 33 straight).
Just 11-days ago these two teams took it to each other in an overtime classic in Bonners Ferry and the Badgers came out early with retribution on their mind. Up 15-11 after the first quarter, the Badgers pushed their lead to 19-11, before the Wildcats responded with a 20-9 run in the second quarter to take a 31-24 halftime lead.
Bonners wouldn’t go away though, they pushed the Wildcats to the brink several times, but Kellogg rallied time and time again to keep their rivals at arms-length, before putting them away for good.
“We know that we are going to get each team’s best shot each and every night,” Kellogg coach Jeff Nearing said. “This was an emotional night for us, we knew that it would be. They did a good job slowing the game down and we got behind early, but we were able to rally and get back into it.”
Seniors Tanner Mueller and Trevor Bumgardner did a lot of the heavy lifting for the Wildcats offensively, notching 12 and 10 points respectively to lead the Wildcats, but the win was truly a team effort as five Wildcats scored 8 points or more.
In their last meeting, the Badgers relied heavily on 3-pointers to stay in the game, but this time guards Tyler Gibbons, Chase Jerome, and Hogan Samuelson only allowed one shot from deep to find its mark.
As of press time, Kellogg has locked up the top seed in the Intermountain League, but still had Priest River to play in their regular season finale Tuesday night.
This was also the final home basketball game announced by legendary PA announcer Steve Shepperd, who was treated to a standing ovation from the crowd and players.
Wallace boys basketball
Thursday, Feb. 8
Wallace 84, Mullan 42: It was senior night for the Miners on Thursday as Wallace honored seniors Hunter Gust, Jaden Dimitroff, Zayne Hunter and Matt Farkas prior to their game against Silver Valley rival Mullan.
The Miners built a solid 46-24 halftime lead and then coasted through the second half for the win.
“Overall I felt we played pretty well but still need to improve on the defensive end,” Wallace coach Corey Miller said. “It was tough for us to have any defensive intensity unless we are pressing.”
Zack Welch poured in 24 points while Zayne Hunter logged 13 in his final appearance on Kirby Krulitz Court.
The Tigers were led by Gryphon Todd and Skye Galloway who each had 10 points for Mullan.
Kellogg girls basketball
DISTRICT I TOURNAMENT
Monday, Feb. 5
Kellogg 44, Bonners Ferry 40: The Kellogg Wildcats punched their ticket to Wednesday’s 3A District I championship game following their shocking 44-40, come from behind win over Bonners Ferry on Monday night at North Idaho College.
A game of runs, it seemed as though the scoring only happened in bursts for both teams, but it was Kellogg who got the last run.
Following last week’s tough, 14-point loss to the Badgers, the Wildcats were playing like they had nothing to lose and unleashed a fast and physical style of basketball that hasn’t been seen all season long.
The opening quarter played out fairly evenly, with Bonners Ferry taking a slim 10-9 lead, but they were able to extend that lead in the second quarter after Wildcat senior Kaili Cates went to the bench with her second foul.
It was a 26-20 deficit at the break, but the Wildcats looked to be the aggressors for much of the half.
Coach Jana Nearing would tighten her defense up and unleashed a nasty zone press in the second half that (both figuratively and literally) gave the Badger ball handlers fits. Turnovers turned into points, points turned into momentum, and momentum turned a (at one time) 9-point Badger lead into a 1-point Wildcat lead as the fourth quarter began.
Led by Cates and sophomore Jaron Figueroa, Kellogg kept the game within striking distance, Figueroa carrying the scoring load with a game-high 19-points (including 10-12 from the free throw line) and Cates providing the defensive motor that continuously led to Bonners Ferry turnovers.
With less than 40 seconds remaining, and trailing 40-39, Figueroa came off a screen and knocked down a 15-foot jumper to give the Wildcats the lead.
One forced turnover, one rebound,and three made free throws later the Wildcats were on their way to a district championship showdown with the Timberlake Tigers.
“Everybody worked and played hard and we hit our free throws,” Nearing said following the game. “We really worked on playing for each other and playing with enthusiasm and we did that tonight.”
Cates finished with nine points for the Wildcats.
Wednesday, Feb. 7
Timberlake 70, Kellogg 24: The Wildcats couldn’t stop the red-hot offensive juggernaut that is Timberlake in the District I championship game at North Idaho College.
“We just weren’t disciplined,” Kellogg coach Jana Nearing-Kothe said. “We just fell apart and our organization wasn’t there. Timberlake’s a tough team, and they get after it and they’ve got a very disciplined defense. And sometimes when that pressure kicks, their brains stop functioning and we stop running our offense. We never started clicking on offense, but we handled their pressure well.”
Kellogg’s lone IML all-league selection Kaili Cates scored 7 points to lead the Wildcats.
Friday, Feb. 9
Bonners Ferry 46, Kellogg 36: It was a hostile environment from the time the Wildcats took the floor to the second the final buzzer rang, but unfortunately for the Wildcats, they weren’t able to replicate the magic from earlier in the week when they upset the Badgers in the opening round of the District I tournament.
After winning the first quarter 13-12, the Wildcats were outscored in the second period 12-4 to wind up trailing the host Badgers 24-17 at the break. That lead would swell to as many as 16 before the Wildcats were able to cut it to four points late in the second half.
It was as close as they would get.
Coach Jana Nearing was happy with the way her team came to play during the last few games of the season. Although wishing for a different outcome, she feels the team made significant strides from the beginning of the season to the end.
“All season we have talked about mental fortitude, and resilience,” Nearing said. “That final game was a testament to their work in that area. Earlier in the season we would have shut down as a team. Instead we fought our way back, made the right decisions to get back in the game. I was very proud of ending the season on that note. It was a fun game to coach, I obviously wish the outcome would have been in our favor, but these girls did what we have been trying to do all season. They played with heart and enthusiasm, they never gave up, and they had fun. I am proud of them, and I can’t wait until next season.”
Nearing will be losing three players to graduation, but will bring back the core of her rotation.
Complete stats for this game were not available.
Wallace girls basketball
Saturday, Feb. 10
Prairie 57, Wallace 14: The Miners saw their season end with a loss to the Pirates in a state 1A Division I play-in game at Post Falls High School.
Wallace, seeking its first trip to state since 2008, finishes 6-16.
Prairie, ranked No. 1 in the final Idaho media poll, lost to third-ranked Lapwai in the District 2 championship game.
It was a tough shooting day for the Miners, who only had five made field goals the entire game. Wallace was led in scoring by Kimmie Krous and Jen Hayman with five points each.
Krous, Hayman, and Maggie Howard were named to the North Star League all-league team.
No stats or information were received, but Wallace did honor their lone senior Trevor Harshman, as well as Kellogg honoring Jesse Campbell at small events throughout the week.