ST. MARIES — A 22-21 halftime advantage wasn’t enough for Sandpoint boys basketball as they fell 52-42 to St. Maries in their season opener Thursday.
“I would say St. Maries came out and played harder than us,” Sandpoint head coach Wade Engelson said. “They executed their stuff and they wanted to win more than we did.”
Both teams struggled to score in the first quarter with the game tied at 9-9 after eight minutes of action.
Taking a 1 point lead into halftime, Sandpoint looked to come out in the second half and capture an upset victory over the 2A state runner-up from a year ago.
But the Lumberjacks had other plans in mind and used seven free throws in the final quarter to pull away from the Bulldogs.
“Its the first game of the season and for both teams it was rough,” Engelson said. “We struggled to execute our stuff the whole game. That’s the one thing we didn’t do. We reverted to just kind of running around hard and shooting shots versus running the things that we run and so when that happens it ends up being chaotic basketball.”
Senior Ryan Roos led the team with 10 points and Kobe Banks and Christian Niemela each chipped in 8 points.
Sandpoint will have a quick turnaround and faces Shadle Park 7 p.m. tonight at Les Rogers Court.
Engelson said mature teams are able to deal with playing games in back-to-back days and he hopes his team comes out with more energy in their home opener.
“It will be a test for us,” he said. “We have to learn as a program and a team that if we’re going to be successful, we have to go out and do the things that we practice and if we don’t, we won’t be successful.”
Sandpoint 9 13 12 10 — 42
St. Maries 9 12 13 18 — 52
SANDPOINT — R. Roos 10, Banks 8, Niemela 8, Vandenberg 1, Bailey 3, C. Roos 2, Treadway 0, Casey 6, Butler 4, Moore 0.
ST. MARIES — Sands 4, Ross 16, Becktel 13, Nelson 7, Stancil 3, Elliott 0, Gibson 9, Ledbetter 0.