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PREP BOYS BASKETBALL: Rupp shoots Coeur d'Alene to season-opening win over Hawaii squad

| November 26, 2023 1:25 AM

COEUR d’ALENE — Junior Carter Rupp hit seven 3-pointers, five in the first half, and the Coeur d’Alene Vikings pulled away in the third quarter to beat Kamahameha Schools of Honolulu 72-61 on Saturday in the Vikings’ season opener at Viking Court.

Rupp finished with a game-high 21 points, all on 3s, as the visiting Warriors (1-1) played mostly zone defense throughout.

“I thought Carter would shoot them out of it, but they stuck with it,” Coeur d’Alene acting head coach Arnold Brown said. “He kinda got us through the first half, got us to where we needed to be, and that gave us time to settle in.”

Junior Kai Wheeler added 15 points for Coeur d’Alene. Senior Max Entzi had 13, senior Logan Orchard 10 in more of a facilitator role.

“I was impressed with this Vikings team,” said Kamehameha coach Larry Park, whose team flew to the mainland Friday for two games (the second being at Gonzaga Prep today), then is scheduled to return home Monday. “They shoot the ball really well. They’re real disciplined; they had a number of great possessions against our zone, moving the ball, finding the open guy.”

Coeur d’Alene led 36-33 at halftime, then broke it open with a 25-8 third quarter, as Brown (and assistant coach Colby Denton) stuck with six players in the quarter — Orchard, Rupp, Entzi, Wheeler and Caden Symons to start the quarter, and Trey Nipp off the bench.

“That third quarter was a beautiful quarter, defensively and offensively,” Brown said. “And I think it got a little frustrating for the Hawaii team.’

Five of the Vikings who played Saturday (Symons, Wheeler, Chris Zabel, Tucker Booth and Dylan Sutich) suited up for Coeur d’Alene in last Saturday’s state championship football game vs. Highland at Holt Arena in Pocatello.

Monday would have been their first basketball practice, though some needed an extra day or two to let their football wounds heal.

“We had a group that played all fall league together, without the football guys,” Denton said, “and now we’re trying to introduce the football guys back into it.”

Hawaii, like Idaho, is using a 35-second shot clock for the first time this season.

“We’re trying to do a zone press, to slow the game down a little bit, run the clock, then back into a zone,” Park said of Kamehameha’s game plan.

Guard Christian Togiah led Kamehameha with 16 points.

“They get after it, they penetrate well,” Brown said of the Warriors. “It’s hard when you play a team where everybody penetrates, because that’s hard on a defense. I thought we settled down on our ‘D’ in the second half.”

Brown, who previously coached at Shadle Park, Medical Lake, Wapato and Rosalia in Washington, is the acting head coach while Vikings head coach Jon Adams serves a five-game suspension for an offseason rules violation. Brown was an assistant coach at Whitworth when Adams played there.

“The guys, they wanted to get the win for him. They don’t want to let him down,” Denton said of Adams.

Adams went to college with a couple of Kamehameha alumni, and a parent of a Kamehameha player knew a coach at Gonzaga Prep, hence the road trip.

Coeur d’Alene travels to Bonners Ferry, last year’s state 3A runner-up, on Monday.

Kamehameha    12    21    9    19    —    61

Coeur d’Alene    14    22    25    11    —    72

KAMEHAMEHA — Nahale-a 12, Nakatsukasa 2, Aquino 4, Kahahawai 3, Barr 0, Harbottle 3, Togiai 16, Kainoa Wade10, Sniffen 6, Salvador 2, Tasi 3.

COEUR d’ALENE — Orchard 10, Rupp 21, Nipp 0, Entzi 13, Booth 1, Sutich 0, Riley 4, Wheeler 15, Zabel 0, Sylte 2, Symons 8.

    MARK NELKE/Press Carter Rupp (2) of Coeur d'Alene hit seven 3-pointers in a win over Kamehameha Schools of Honolulu on Saturday at Viking Court.