POST FALLS — Clark Fork girls basketball’s season came to a close with a 56-34 loss to 3-seed Genesis Prep Jaguars (10-10, 5-3 NSL) in the first round of the District 1 1A Division II tournament on Wednesday night.
“I told the girls in the locker room, but the moment they knew the game was over, Ellie Lambert was still laughing, Brooke was still moving. You could tell they were still having fun,” Clark Fork head coach Jordan Adams said. “They really make the best of everything, and I couldn’t ask for a better group of kids.”
Despite splitting the series earlier in the season, the Lady Cats had to handle Genesis Prep senior (and Washington State commit) Bella Murekatete, who wasn’t present in the teams’ first meeting. Clark Fork routinely had two or three defenders on the 6’4 senior, forcing the rest of the Jaguars to beat Clark Fork by themselves.
“At our home game, we doubled up on her,” Adams said. “This game, we doubled her up and also tried the same against [Rachel] Schroeder.”
Once Murekatete found her footing in the second quarter, Genesis Prep took over the game.
The Lady Cats went on a 10-0 run midway through the third quarter to cut the Jaguars’ lead to 32-26. Tessa Sutton kickstarted the run with her corner three, then got fouled on a midrange jumper on the next possession. Lily Simko drew contact twice — first on a put-back attempt, and then on a layup of her own — in order to complete Clark Fork’s run.
“She got some really good steals and deflections,” Adams said of Sutton’s efforts. “When she really steps up and plays defense like she means it, it’s phenomenal. She has so much natural talent in her pinky finger [alone]. When she puts it all together, it’s really fun to watch.”
Murekatete countered, scoring four points in 23 seconds in order to quell the Lady Cats’ comeback hopes.
Naturally, Clark Fork’s seniors shone. Brooke Stevens finished with nine points, while the aforementioned fellow senior Tessa Sutton added nine points, eight rebounds and four steals off of her defending the Jaguars’ entry passes to Murekatete.
Genesis Prep’s Rachel Schroeder finished with 20 points, six rebounds, four assists and steals. Emily Martinez added eight points and 10 rebounds.
Clark Fork’s season ends with a 7-6 record, with a 5-3 record in NSL play. The Jaguars will take on top-seeded Lakeside for the District 1 1A Division II title tomorrow.
Genesis Prep 8 18 14 16 — 56
Clark Fork 7 6 13 8 — 34
GENESIS PREP — Schroeder 20, Morrow 0, Martinez 8, Greiner 0, Murekatete 28, Blood 0, Neely 0, Williams 0, Nies 0, Reidt 0, Bohannan 0.
CLARK FORK — Stevens 9, Hathaway 0, Kiebert 6, Simko 8, T. Sutton 9, Lambert 0, A. Sutton 0, Shelton 0,