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PREP GIRLS BASKETBALL: Vikings catch on from 3, beat Timberwolves

by JASON ELLIOTT
Sports Writer | January 9, 2021 1:25 AM

COEUR d’ALENE — There was nothing fishy about Friday's Inland Empire League girls basketball game between Lake City and Coeur d'Alene at Viking Court.

Although, it didn't stop the Vikings from performing their own version of a catch and release.

Sophomore Madi Symons hit four 3-pointers and scored 17 points as the Vikings defeated the visiting Timberwolves 67-40.

Previously scheduled to be the annual Fight for the Fish spirit game, but canceled due to the pandemic, the contest was played in front of a limited number of parents and other family members.

"It was different this year without the students here," Madi Symons said. "Our goal from the start of the year was to be league champs, so we just put our heads down and grinded toward that."

"It's been such a weird season, I know they knew it should have been the Fish game," said Coeur d'Alene coach Nicole Symons, Madi's mom. "But it was another game to play at home. It's just been weird to not have fans, then have a few. We're just happy to play, bottom line. We wanted to win the Fish game with all the fans here. It was a goal this year — win the Fish game, win the league and districts and get back to state. But you've got to take it one game at time because you just never know what's going to happen."

"Mentally it was an important game for us," Lake City coach James Anderson said. "I think it's one of the best rivalries in the country. We were excited to play, but we didn't transfer that into 32 minutes of good basketball."

Coeur d'Alene (11-1, 7-0 IEL) improves to 5-0 against other 5A league opponents, with only a game against Lewiston on Tuesday at home remaining against teams from the same classification. Lake City (6-4, 3-2) has yet to play Post Falls, and has one game with Lewiston remaining.

This year, all games between 5A and 4A IEL teams count in the league standings

"These girls play hard," Nicole Symons said. "They buy into what we're teaching them, and they listen. We're able to do a lot more stuff with them that we weren't able to do last year because we've got more figured out. But they're doing their jobs."

Brooklyn Rewers scored 17 points for Lake City, which visits Sandpoint on Tuesday.

"I think we did a good job of staying on our matchup and making them take the shots we wanted them to take," Anderson said. "We set a good tone and started the game well defensively, but weren't able to sustain it like we wanted to."

Coeur d'Alene hit eight 3-pointers, including three straight — one by Emma Whiteman and two by Symons — to take a 49-30 lead after the third quarter.

"Our team has done a great job of getting into the gym and getting shots up," Madi Symons said. "Emma has been shooting really well. Tori (Younker) has been shooting really well and Jaelyn (Brainard-Adams) is hitting some. And it's tough with our inside-out game for teams to guard. They can guard the kickout and they can't guard the drive."

Skylar Burke scored 15 points, Brainard-Adams and Whiteman 11 each for Coeur d'Alene, which visits Sandpoint today at 3 p.m.

"Lake City came out working hard against us and we know that we're going to get their best game," Nicole Symons said. "I just told our girls to stay level-headed. We just know that our defense by the second quarter is going to start wearing them down and we're going to get the buckets that we depend on. We went in and out of some different defenses tonight and the girls did a good job."

Lake City 8 11 15 6 — 40

Coeur d’Alene 8 19 22 18 — 67

LAKE CITY — Pickford 2, Miller 4, Zufelt 5, Bowman 0, Shanley 1, Reynolds 0, Roberts 0, Rewers 17, Jenkins 3, Parks 0, Hawkins 8.

COEUR d’ALENE — Matheson 0, Brainard-Adams 11, Whiteman 11, Symons 17, Ja. Johnson 0, Younker 11, Chavez 0, Phenicie 2, Burke 15, Mitchell 0, Naccarato 0, Je. Johnson 0.

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JASON ELLIOTT/Press Coeur d'Alene's Emma Whiteman (10) and Madi Symons (11) attempt to chase down a loose ball from Lake City's Brenna Hawkins (24) during the second half of Friday's game at Viking Court.