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Kendalyn Brainard from Coeur d'Alene High rips the ball away from Post Falls High's Lexi Smith during the second half.

Photo Courtesy of JEROME A. POLLOS/Press
No. 3 Coeur d'Alene girls knock off No. 1 Post Falls, which had started 15-0

Post Falls had won its first 15 games by an average of 28.1 points, with only one win by less than 13 points.

But Coeur d’Alene delivered an early blow, jumping out to a 12-0 lead after 5 1/2 minutes. The 5-foot-7 Sumner, Sydney Williams and Caelyn Orlandi each scored four points during that run, mostly fueled by defense.

“To get a lead is kind of nice, isn’t it? ” Coeur d’Alene coach Dale Poffenroth said. “Because they’re so good. They’ve got so many weapons, and they’re so strong, and quick, a cushion is pretty nice to have. Can we get that again? I don’t know.”

“I did not see that coming at all,” Post Falls coach Marc Allert said of Coeur d’Alene’s early run. “I thought with the seniors we had, and all the games they had played, that we’d come out ready. We just didn’t make shots. Obviously you have to give Coeur d’Alene credit, they made things difficult.”

The Trojans spent the rest of the game battling back. The 5-11 Gennett scored Post Falls’ first basket on a drive to the hoop with 1:34 left in the first quarter. Coeur d’Alene led 18-4 midway through the second quarter before the Trojans came within 20-9 at halftime.

Dani Failor’s putback right before the buzzer pulled Post Falls within 32-28 after three quarters. The Trojans tied it for the first time when Gennett came off a baseline screen from Failor, took a feed from Brooke Litalien and stuck a 3 from the right wing.

After Sumner’s 3, Gennett sank two free throws with 1:45 left, but Post Falls never scored again.

The Vikings lost junior guard Sydni Parker to an ankle injury late in the first half. But junior Brittany Tackett stepped up with eight of her 10 points in the fourth quarter.

Williams finished with 14 points, seven rebounds and three assists for Coeur d’Alene. Sumner added 12 points and Kendalyn Brainard chipped in seven rebounds and three assists.

Failor had 12 points and 10 rebounds for Post Falls, and Gennett finished with 11 points.

Sumner said she knew from the beginning of the season that she would be guarding Gennett when the two teams finally matched up.

“She’s a lot bigger than me,” Sumner said. “So it’s very difficult. I was very tired, but I just told myself, ‘we’re going to beat them, and I wasn’t going to give up.’ My goal was to not let her score — obviously she was going to, but not to the extreme that she had been in other games.”

The teams play again Jan. 25 at Post Falls, then could meet again at the Region 1 tournament and possibly at state.

“As good as these two teams are, I don’t think that one can beat the other four times,” Poffenroth said.

“Everything’s still within the grasp of what we want to do,” Allert said. “It’s one game. To play as bad as we did, and still make it close, we’ll be all right. It’s not the last time we’re going to see them, that’s for sure. And they’re all going to be a battle.”

Post Falls 2 7 19 13 — 41

Coeur d’Alene 12 8 12 15 — 47

POST FALLS — Allert 5, Gonzales 5, King 3, Meehan 0, Smith 3, Litalien 2, Gennett 11, Failor 12.

COEUR d’ALENE — Parker 0, Sumner 12, Chalich 0, Orlandi 6, Tackett 10, Brainard 5, Williams 14.