District Champions!


Carson Seay hoist the trophy up in celebration

Liam Bradford, Sports Editor

Game, series, Districts, over! The Lakeland Hawks had a back-and-forth three-game series with the Moscow Bears, and all three games were entertaining from the tip to the final buzzer. 

Lakeland won game one of three, 54-49, and jumped out to a strong 1-0 start needing only one more game to advance to state. However, on Friday, Moscow fought back and defeated Lakeland 67-56.

 However, this second game was not all one-sided and was very back and forth until the Bears started to run away with the lead in the fourth quarter. The Bears were just more prepared and dominant during this game.

 Regardless of the Moscow victory, the Hawks showed resilience led by Noah Haaland, who earned a double-double and scored 30 points which was more than half of his team’s scoring. Jalen Skalskiy also had a powerful game scoring 10 points and playing tough defense. 

Ammon Munyer was ejected from the game after earning two technical fouls, and he wasn’t allowed to play in Saturday’s championship game either. This ejection led to a lot of momentum for the Bears. 

Led by Bryden Brown, Benny Kitchel, Cody Isakson, Sam Kees and Jamari Simpson who all scored ten or more points, the Bears were able to secure the victory and tie the series at one. 

In the final game of the series, Lakeland came out on top 72-59. Different from the first two games, the winner of game three was determined from the start. The Hawks dominated all game and played stellar defense.

 The entire team played very well but led by Jalen Skalskiy, who scored 28 points, the Hawks were able to win the 4A district championship and punch their tickets to the state tournament. Grant Roth, Alden Waddington, and Bryce Henry all scored double digits and, along with Skalskiy, led their team to victory. 

Jamari Simpson scored 17 in the championship game, but it wasn’t enough to overcome the Hawks’ teamwork. 

The Lakeland student section was electric in all three games and was a significant factor in the Hawks’ home court success, helping them advance to state. Lakeland will play in the state tournament in southern Idaho later this week.