Luna For The Win!

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Courtesy photo/ The Kellogg Wildcats added another district championship to their ever growing collection on Thursday night after Gavin Luna (holding the trophy) hit a three pointer and a free throw with 1.1 seconds remaining in the game to propel the Wildcat to a 51-50 win at Timberlake High School.

SPIRIT LAKE 末 It was a moment that will go down as one of the biggest shots in Kellogg Basketball history.

With 6.7 seconds remaining and the Wildcats trailing Timberlake by three in the District I Championship, Kellogg center Gavin Luna caught an errant pass, turned, and fired from deep.

The whistle blew, Luna had been fouled, but then suddenly the pro-Kellogg half of building erupted as the ball banked smoothly off the glass and dropped through the net.

A game that will be defined by its last 7 seconds, was actually an instant classic for those watching or in attendance and really was a perfect representation of the rivalry that has blossomed between Kellogg and Timberlake.

Kellogg and Timberlake traded baskets early, with neither team really gain an advantage, but Graden Nearing痴 three-pointer late in the second quarter had the Wildcats trailing 29-26 at the intermission.

Historically the Wildcats had struggled in the third period, usually finding themselves unable to get any offense going, but that wasn稚 the case on Thursday.

Kellogg came out swinging

Behind a strong second half effort from senior Raiden Rickets(10 of his game high 15 points came in the second half), the Wildcats jumped all over the Tigers and put themselves on top by four points as the final eight minutes began.

Now, this was the fourth meeting of the season between these two teams and each time the margin had grown more and more narrow each game, and you could feel that this one was going to come down to something special.

Former Wildcat, and resident Tiger shooting guard Jacob James had the Timberlake crowd on their feet as he knocked down four free throws in the final minute to keep the Tigers in control, but as the clock wound down, and the Timberlake crowd began to celebrate, Luna ripped their hearts right from their chests.

的 was waiting for Brennan (Atkins) to shoot the ball, and it ended up in my hands, Luna said of the final play. 展e were running out of time.

Kellogg coach Jeff Nearing didn稚 exactly draw the final possession up the way it played out, but he also wasn稚 unhappy as he watched it develop.

鏑et痴 face it, the shot痴 the shot, a turnaround bank shot as you池e getting fouled to force overtime, Nearing said. 典he free throw痴 the big shot, and he痴 the kid I wanted to shoot the free throw; he痴 an 80-percent free throw shooter.

For Luna, it was the opposite, the three was easy, now it was time to win it.

的 was doing everything to make my arms have feeling, Luna said.

Luna痴 made free throw and amissed heave later, Kellogg had captured their sixth straight Intermountain League District Championship and punched their ticket to the state tournament.

Luna痴 big 4-point play capped off a marvelous district tournament where he averaged 17 points and 9 rebounds per contest.

的知 not surprised, Kellogg coach Jeff Nearing said of Luna. 敵ood things happen to good people. He痴 a great kid; he works his (tail) off for us.

The last time Kellogg wasn稚 the Intermountain League champs was in 2014, but (ironically) the Wildcats knocked off the top seeded Tigers to get into state that year as well.

Kellogg will now await the winner of Buhl and Marsh Valley to determine their opening round opponent at next week痴 3A State Tournament in Meridian.

That opening round game will be played at Meridian High School at 6:15 p.m. (MST).

Timberlake will host Bonners Ferry on Saturday to determine the Intermountain League痴 second seed to the state tournament.

Kellogg 13 13 14 1151

Timberlake 14 15 7 14 50

KELLOGG Waller 0, Rickets 15, Atkins 8, Oertli 1, Nearing 11, Miller 0, Jerome 2, Luna 14. TIMBERLAKE Cramer 4, Kluss 11, James 12, Kistler 6, Gardom 14, Dickinson 3.

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