PRIEST RIVER — The Kellogg Wildcats dashed Priest River’s hopes for a first Intermountain League win by using a 17-0 second-quarter run and a 20-0 third-quarter run in a 69-34 game on Saturday night.
But things weren’t always easy for the Wildcats (3-11, 2-1 IML). The Spartans (0-9, 0-2) struck first by breaking the Wildcats’ press and getting everyone on offense involved.
“Our first quarter was pretty strong,” Priest River head coach Kevin Wylie said. “We were patient on offense, we got good looks and our defense forced some tough shots.”
Not only that, the Spartans looked balanced. Four of Priest River’s starting five either scored or assisted on its 15 first-quarter points.
But Kellogg picked up the pace on both ends of the floor and stymied Priest River’s offense, which has been susceptable to disappearing after solid starts this season.
“We hit a brick wall,” Wylie said. “We got in some foul trouble, [Kellogg] made some adjustments and we never seemed like we could regroup.”
Kellogg’s first half semeed to prove the law of averages: After missing all of their attempts from beyond the arc in the first, the Wildcats hit six threes in the second quarter alone. Getting open looks finally paid off, which could not be said for the Spartans.
Despite scoring 15 points in the first quarter, the Spartans managed only 19 points for the rest of the game.
“If we can start rebounding and being more aggressive in the paint, then we can compete,” Wylie said.
Priest River senior guard Keegan Hegel led all scorers with 17 points. Kellogg reserve guard Brennen Atkins — who re-entered the lineup after eligibility concerns — led Kellogg with 16 points, and teammate Gavin Luna added 11 points and a team-high eight rebounds.
Priest River’s next game is at home against North Idaho Christian on Thursday at 6 p.m. The Spartans will then take on Sandpoint on Saturday at 6 p.m.
Kellogg 11 24 24 10 — 69
Priest River 15 7 4 8 — 34
KELLOGG — Waller 2, Rickets 4, Atkins 16, Oertli 9, Nearing 9, Luna 11, Miller 6, Davis 4, Jerome 8, Alexander 0, Allen 0.
PRIEST RIVER — Anselmo 2, Hegel 17, Brennan 4, Lucas 1, McCracken 10, Mathews 0, Bell 0, Parkes 0, Zapfe 0.