The Lady Indians opened the 4A District 5 Tournament with a win over Pocatello. However, loosing the next game to Century made the road to state that much more challenging. They must win three in a row, starting with Pocatello on Feb. 9 (score unavailable at press time), and then win back-to-back games on Century’s court on Thursday, Feb. 11, and Saturday, Feb. 13, or be eliminated. Both Preston and Century were ranked in the top five in the state last week but only one will go on to compete at the state level.
Unlike their meetings during the regular season, Preston led from the outset, 11-9 in the first quarter and 16-14 at the half. Both teams were strong on defense but had little production on the offensive end.
After the break, Century went on a 10-0 run before the Indians answered with back-to-back threes by Riley Ward, and another by Mickayla Robertson, making it a three-point game. Akazia Knapp and Kylie Larsen then tied the game from the inside, 29-29.
Century scored the first points of the fourth quarter and the Indians struggled to score despite some good looks. After being down by as many as seven, Preston battled back and made it a three-point game with 25 seconds on the clock, but had to foul. The Diamondbacks sank the freethrows and time ran out, leaving the Indians down 35-40.
Ward led the Indians with 10 points, Larsen added nine, two blocks and seven rebounds; Robertson six points, Knapp four, Marlow three points and four assists, and Hailey Meek three points.
The northern and southern Indian teams squared off against each other on Feb. 2, in Preston. The home town Indians jumped out to a 13-2 lead in the first quarter and never looked back. Though scoring was even at 11-11 in the second, Preston still took an 11-point lead to the locker room at the break.
In the third quarter, Preston widened the gap to 45-24, and finished up the game with the starters cheering on their teammates from the bench. They finished with a 63-35 victory over Pocatello.
Ward led Preston with 13 points. Kylie Larsen finished with 11 points, seven rebounds and two blocks. Sydnee Marlow had 10 points, nine rebounds and three steals. Addison Moser and Mickayla Robertson each had eight points, Akazia Knapp six, Hailey Meek four points, eight assists, three steals and two blocks and Karlee Lords three points.