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PREP GIRLS BASKETBALL: Challenge accepted — Jessen scores career-high 37 as 3A Timberlake knocks off 5A Lake City

by JASON ELLIOTT
Sports Writer | December 5, 2020 1:30 AM

COEUR d’ALENE — At Timberlake High, senior Brooke Jessen doesn’t get many chances to play against Division I athletes during the basketball season.

So when Jessen, who has signed with Division I Texas-Rio Grande Valley, a Western Athletic Conference school in Edinburg, Texas, had the chance to play against Lake City High senior Brooklyn Rewers, a Michigan State signee, she knew she had to play a little differently than in any other matchup.

“I was really excited just to go against another Division I athlete,” Jessen said. “Just to see what she can do, I knew it was going to be a challenge. Just to go at each other, it was going to be fun.”

Consider this challenge completed.

The 5-foot-11 Jessen scored a career-high 37 points for the 3A Tigers in a 59-48 win over the 5A Timberwolves on Friday.

The 6-4 Rewers had 17 points and nine rebounds for Lake City.

“She’s 6-foot-4 so I had to box out and do a good job of fronting her,” said Jessen, who scored 27 points in the first half as Timberlake built a 41-17 halftime lead. “The main goal for us was to stop her tonight.”

Rewers scored 11 of her 17 points in the second half for Lake City (1-1).

Jessen’s previous high was 30 points as a junior for Timberlake (5-1), last year’s state 3A champs.

“My teammates did a good job of attacking the basket and finding a gap when I was open,” Jessen said. “I was able to build some confidence from them finding me open and them getting me the ball.”

Jessen hit four 3-pointers in the first half, scoring 15 points in the second quarter.

“She’s (Jessen) a really good player,” Lake City coach James Anderson said. “She’s mobile, and shot the ball really, really well tonight, which makes it more challenging for us. She can do a bit of everything, and it took us a while to dial that in a little bit. I thought Brooklyn did a good job on her in the second half. We needed to do a better job coming on the floor, me included, and being ready to guard a little better. And they brought it to us, credit to them. I was proud that we responded, but we’ve got to start games better than that.”

“She came to play,” Timberlake coach Matt Miller said. “She’s capable of that. She’s extremely versatile, and we can put her at any position. She played the 1 (point guard) tonight, and she played the 5 (center) tonight and everywhere in between. It makes things a lot easier on me to be able to move her around.”

Lake City pulled within 44-32 deficit midway through the third quarter.

Freshman Sophia Zufelt hit six 3-pointers and scored 18 points for Lake City, which opened the season on Tuesday with a win at Lewiston. The Timberwolves’ home opener on Nov. 20 was postponed due to COVID-19.

“Their depth, athleticism and their size, it’s something that you can’t replicate, especially their athleticism and size,” Miller said. “They’re a really good team, but haven’t been able to practice as much as some other teams because of COVID. They’re big, deep and athletic, which makes it tough.”

Timberlake — now 4-1 against teams from the Inland Empire League — hosts Post Falls on Thursday.

“Hopefully they take away the strengths we did in this game,” Miller said. “We did a lot of simple things well tonight, and we hadn’t been doing that up until this game — just staying more disciplined on defense and offensively, getting the ball moving a bit more and making the simple plays. I was really happy with our rebounding, especially on the defensive end tonight.”

Lake City hosts Coeur d’Alene on Tuesday.

“This is a great blueprint for where we need to go,” Anderson said. “If you don’t see a good team in the first two games, and you don’t get punched in the mouth, you don’t have a chance to grow. We’ve had some challenges with COVID protocols and having groups together in practice, but now we’ve got a blueprint and plan. We’ve got to be better by February, and it takes a bit of time. Hopefully we take away how to come out and compete a little bit and build from this.”

Timberlake 18 23 11 7 — 59

Lake City 8 9 16 15 — 48

TIMBERLAKE — Soumas 13, Hammond 0, Kronenberg 4, Carhart 2, Jessen 37, Bain 3, Jeffs 0.

LAKE CITY — Pickford 8, Miller 0, Zufelt 18, Bowman 0, Shanley 0, Reynolds 2, Rewers 17, Jenkins 0, Parks 3.

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JASON DUCHOW PHOTOGRAPHY Taryn Soumas of Timberlake shoots over Sophia Zufelt of Lake City on Friday night at Lake City High.