Boys 3A State Tournament

Community School 2, Bonners Ferry 1

For the fourth year in a row, Community School and Bonners Ferry met in the state tournament, and for the fourth year in a row, the Cutthroats came out as the victors on Thursday.

This year’s final score of 2-1 was much closer than last year’s first-round game, when Community School won 6-0, but thanks largely to two goals and strong midfield play by freshman Ridley Lindstrom, the Cutthroats are moving on to the state semifinals.

“Ridley was the man of the match,” said Community School head coach Richard Whitelaw. “Both teams really played well. Bonner’s Ferry is a really good team. They defended well and gave us a scare.”

After Lindstrom scored his first goal midway through the first half, Bonners Ferry senior Elijah Price lofted a shot off the top of the Cutthroats’ keeper’s fingertips to tie the game at 1 heading into halftime.

In a back-and-forth affair that saw both teams’ scoring chances come in waves, Community School dominated possession early in the second half, narrowly missing several chances to take the lead.

Lindstrom scored what wound up being the game-winning goal when he cleaned up a teammate’s shot that was deflected by Bonner’s Ferry defender, pushing a shot just inside the far post for a goal.

“We’ve played a lot of freshmen this season, so I wasn’t too nervous. But this was definitely our most important game so far this season,” said Lindstrom. “At halftime, we thought if we could just pass around them and keep possession, we could come out with a win.”

Community School moves on to play Sugar-Salem, who knocked off defending champion Weiser in the first round, at 2 pm Friday in the 3A state semifinals. With the twin, the Cutthroats improve to 16-3-0 on the season.

3A Boys’ Soccer State Tournament

Bliss 1, Wendell 0

In their first state tournament appearance in eight years, the Bliss boys’ soccer is just one win away from the state championship game.

In a fast, physical matchup, the Bears topped Wendell in the first round of the 3A state tournament Thursday by a score of 1-0.

The two teams played twice in the regular season, with Bliss winning by a combined score of 10-1.

Wendell has been battle-tested since then, however. Just making the state tournament required three prior postseason wins for the Trojans, and traveling nearly 800 miles round trip for a single qualifying match, which they won over St. Maries.

Bliss’ strong defense, which has now recorded shutouts in three of the Bears’ past five games, was on full display against the Thursday.

Wendell attacked relentlessly, particularly with senior forward Bryant Alvarado, but was thwarted from finding the back of the net each time. The Bears’ defense bent, but never broke on the day. Several players on the Bliss back line made goal-saving tackles, including several by junior Luis Cordova.

“Our defense is the rock of this team. When we have a lot of pressure on us, they stay strong. I’m really proud of them,” said Bliss head coach Dustin Henkelmann. “We did a good job of containing their forwards and our center backs worked really together.”

The game featured very little midfield possession, with both teams opting to play balls into their respective offensive thirds of the field in an attempt to create scoring chances instead.

Wendell keeper Felipe Paniagua did his part to reject several dangerous shots from the Bears, but near the end of the first half, Bliss’ junior Fernando Marez knocked in a goal when the ball landed at his feet after a scrum inside the 18-yard box.

“They’re a really great team. I was happy when that shot when in, but we knew they would continue to bring it. Our chemistry is so good right now. We all trust each other,” said Marez.

Bliss advances to the 3A state semifinals, where they will take on Teton tomorrow at 2 pm. With the win, the Bears improve to 13-2-1 on the season.

Girls’ 3A State Tournament

Community School 4, Teton 3

Community School girls’ soccer held off a feisty Teton team Friday afternoon to advance to the 3A state semifinals, winning by a score of 4-3.

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The Cutthroats scored first when senior Sage Rheinschild converted on an assist from junior Ella Viesturs, but Teton netted a goal right before halftime, and another right after halftime to take a 2-1 lead.

Teton’s lead didn’t last long, however, as Community School junior Libby Kaiser scored just minutes later to tie the game.

The Cutthroats’ leading goal-scorer, Lily Fitzgerald, couldn’t find much daylight in the first half, but she broke free twice in the final 20 minutes to net her 36th and 37th goals of the year to give Community School a 4-2 lead.

“Lily is a threat to score at any time. If you’re going to mark her, we have other players who can step in and score too, but she’s been huge for us,” said Community School head coach Kelly Feldman.

Teton added another goal late, but could not find the equalizer.

“You expect games like this at state. I was really pleased that we were able to rebound and stay together. We were really challenged today. We made some mistakes, and Teton made us pay for it. But I was pleased that we stayed up and could come out with a win,” said Feldman.

Community School advances to take on Marsh Valley at 2 pm in the 3A semifinals Friday at Sunway Soccer Complex. With the win, the Cutthroats improve to 18-1-0 on the season.

Coeur d’Alene Charter 7, Filer 0

Filer girls’ soccer fell to Coeur d’Alene Charter in the first round of the 3A state tournament Saturday afternoon by a score of 7-0.

The Panthers scored four goals before halftime, and added three more in the second half, as they controlled the ball and utilized their superior athleticism and ball skill to find openings in the Wildcats’ defense.

“We knew they would be a really talented team. We made some mistakes early in the game, then we were on our heels all day,” said Filer head coach Shane Hild. “After we gave up those early goals, we played much better. We relaxed a little bit and just started playing soccer.”

For CdA, sophomore Cali Shipman compiled a hat trick, and senior Brooklyn Cunningham added two goals.

Filer will take on Shelley, who lost their first game of the season Thursday against defending state champion Weiser, Friday at 11 am in the consolation bracket. With the loss, Filer falls to 8-5-1 on the season.

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