Deer Park Tribune
Deer Park Girls Set Sights on State Berth
Having earned a first round by as league champion, the Deer Park girls faced fourth seeded Colville on Thursday at West Valley High School.
The game was only a two point margin at halftime as the Lady Stags clung to a 19- 17 lead. The Lady Stags trademark fast start to halves returned as Deer Park scored the first eleven points of the third quarter for a 30- 17 lead. The Crimson Hawks would get no closer than eleven the remainder of the contest as the Lady Stags advanced to the championship game. Deer Park and Freeman will meet for the third time at West Valley High School on Wednesday tipping at 6: 30. A win sends the Lady Stags directly into the 16 team state tournament field. A loss would mean a home game against the number two team from district six, Caribou Trail League district tournament.
Sophomore sharpshooter Brooklyn Coe was top scorer with 18 as well as six rebounds. Berlynn Zimmerer and Allie Garry each contributed ten points League MVP Darian Herring, while held to nine points, found other ways to contribute. The future Lewis- Clark State Warrior had four blocked shots, an equal number of assists and eleven rebounds.
Prior to district play beginning, all league honors were presented. Joining MVP Herring ( her second in three years and fourth all league mention), were fellow Garry for the second consecutive season and Coe collecting her first. Lady Stags head coach K.C. Ahrens, leading the Deer Park program for his fifth season, was honored as coach of the year for a fourth time.
On the boys side, senior Seth Hickman picked up all league honors for the second time in three years and was joined on the squad by Stapf and Krepcik.
As the number three seed the Deer Park boys needed an extra game to reach the district semi- final round and “The Battle Of The Horns” took on greater meaning as it was a loser out affair.
Senior wing Ian Stapf made his presence known early and often with ten points in less that 2: 30 playing time before the visitors used a time out to stem the tide Stapf would end the opening period with 14 points.
The Rams got as close as seven in the second quarter behind the seven points of Daniel Schneider, before the home side closed with eleven straight for a 38- 20 halftime advantage. The senior trio of Hickman, Stapf and Krepcik accounted for all but two of the Deer Park first half points.
The third quarter opened with a Jake Gaffaney bucket, but the Stags answered with eight straight, split evenly between Stapf and Hickman. The lead would grow to 24 after three quarters with Deer Park leading 54- 30, on their way to a 6945 win.
Stapf finished with a season high 32 points. His six rebounds were second to Hickman's eight.
With a ticket to the district final on the line, the Deer Park boys took to the court for the late game last Thursday at West Valley. The points that were in abundance in the opening round, were harder to come by. The Stags lead 10- 8 after one period but saw the Eagles lead 21- 19 at intermission.
Trailing 38- 32 entering the final period, the Stags would battle back and have a shot from near midcourt by Cole Krepcik rim the hoop and come out as Lakeside took the win 47- 44. Seth Hickman was leading scorer with 15 and Ian Stapf had 14. The senior duo and junior Braydin Harper combined for 25 rebounds.
Next up for the Deer Park boys is the third place game, Wednesday at 5: 00 at West Valley High School against Colville. A win will have them on the road for a matchup with the top seed from the Caribou Trail League, district six tournament Omak, playing for a spot in the state tournament 16 team bracket on Saturday.
Photo Chris Rader