NAMPA – In a matchup of two of the best 1A Division I teams Friday evening, the defending state champion Lapwai Wildcats flexed their muscles early and often.
They’ve been working out.
Lapwai ran up and down the floor with ease, scored at will, and defeated a very good Oakley squad 51-34 Saturday night at Columbia High School.
Rachael Mitton put the Hornets on the right path early as she hit a layup in the opening minute. Lapwai came right back and took the lead. But, no matter how far down Oakley got, it kept fighting with everything it had.
After the first quarter, the score was tied 8-8.
Lapwai countered with talent and execution beyond anything the Hornets had seen this season. Behind do-it-all senior forward Koyama Young, the Wildcats seized control.
With crisp passes, superb athleticism and a team-first, aggressive mentality, Lapwai showed why it only lost one game this season, it to a 3A school.
Oakley trailed 31-18 at the half.
It was much of the same in the second half as Young and the Wildcats struck with tenacity and assertiveness.
Oakley junior post Rachael Mitton did her best to help the Hornets come back, and on a number of occasions they went on scoring runs of their own. The shots weren’t falling, however, and Lapwai’s defense was a tough egg to crack to begin with.
The Hornets were behind 41-20 heading into the fourth quarter and were never able to get any closer.
Lapwai got 26 points from Koyama in the win.
Oakley was paced by Brittany Harry’s 11 points. Mitton added 10, and also recorded six rebounds.
The Hornets play for third place today against Horseshoe Bend. Tipoff is slated for 11 a.m. at Columbia High School in Nampa.
Lapwai 50, Oakley 34
Lapwai; 8; 23; 10; 9;- 50
Oakley; 8; 10; 2; 14;- 34
Hardy 11, Mitton 10, Elquist 5, Cranney 4, Whittle 2, Payton 2 Totals: 15 3-10 34