Monday, April 22, 2024

EDITORIAL: A standing O for our amazing girls

| February 21, 2024 1:00 AM

North Idaho couldn’t lose.

In the girls state basketball championship game Saturday in Nampa, Coeur d’Alene and Lake City squared off for the third time this season. While the Vikings captured their second straight title and 11th overall, the Timberwolves fought with ferocity, finally falling 58-49.

But afterward, it felt like a healthy sibling rivalry where both combatants had earned high praise. Consider that under first-year Coach David Pratt, Lake City went 25-3; two of the losses coming to their crosstown rivals. Finishing second in state is far more than a consolation prize, especially considering how darned good the Vikings are.

CHS Coach Nicole Symons stands alone in Idaho history. Not only did she win back to back championships in her fourth and fifth year as CHS coach, but she also won a pair of titles as a player. In 1994 Symons’ Vikings prevailed, and in 1995, just after Lake City opened, Symons helped carry the T-wolves to their first championship.

But enough with stats. There was so much effort, so much sweat left on the court that fans of both teams had to feel satisfied with the result. Certainly, nobody got cheated. And for all of North Idaho, few things feel better than relegating the boys and girls from the Great State of Ada to the sidelines, watching rather than playing for glory.

Both of our Coeur d’Alene squads know each other well. Some have been playing with and against each other since they were old enough to dribble a basketball. 

Several are going on to play college hoops. Who knows? Maybe the next Caitlin Clark — who is to American college basketball what Taylor Swift is to popular music — suited up for one of our teams Saturday in Nampa.

The Press joins the thunderous ovation from across the region for these two championship-caliber teams, their athletic departments and their student bodies. You’ve made us all proud. Greater still, you’ve brought us all a little closer.