Tribune sports reporter predicts Golden Throne

Q: Could you give a basic overview of both teams in both games going into the Golden Throne?
A: Honestly, both of the games this year are pretty tough to call.

For the boys, they played at the Avista Tournament earlier this year, and Lewiston won that game by 10 points.

The main thing the Lewiston boys have to do is stop Xavier Santana. He didn’t play in (Clarkston’s) last game against East Valley, but the other players on Clarkston’s team stepped up and got into double figures. So if Clarkston is going to want to win, they’ve got to get more people in double figures with Santana.

The Lewiston boys just need to play how they’ve been playing. They have Carson Way, they have Drew Hottinger, they have a lot of kids who are high scorers. So if they can stop Xavier and make sure nobody else reaches double figures, Lewiston should be in pretty good shape. [That’s] what they managed to do at the Avista tournament.

For the girls game, the Clarkston girls beat Lewiston at the Avista Tournament, so as far as the Golden Throne game itself, this is going to be one of the more competitive Golden Throne basketball games we’ve seen in a few years.

Q: Are there any notable players that you think it would be good to mention?
A: For the girls, for Lewiston, it’s Zoey Kessinger and Reese de Groot. [Reese] is more of a sixth man for them. She doesn’t really start the games, but she can come off the bench and she can score about 10-11 points, which is huge for Lewiston.

Zoie Kessinger, if she’s on, can shoot the ball from far away better than anyone I’ve seen this year. Addison McCarcher, too. She’s kind of had to step into a big role for Lewiston because they don’t have Katy Wessels. I think she’s done a good job of that, getting rebounds and that sort of thing.

For Clarkston girls, they’ve got Ashley Wallace, who is kind of like Zoie in that she can shoot the ball from pretty much anywhere on the floor. So kind of like Clarkston’s boys, if the girls for Lewiston can stop her, that’s going to be asking a lot from the rest of Clarkston’s team.

As for the Lewiston boys, they’ve got players like Austin Lawrence and Michael Wren. They can both score well but really, defensively is where they shine. Wren played well against Lapwai, which was a big game for Lewiston. So if he can step up defensively and guard guys like Vantine for Clarkston and stop Santana, Lewiston should be in good shape.

Q: Who do you predict will win both games?
A: For the boys, I’ll say Lewiston boys win that pretty handily.

The girls is the one that kind of throws it off. The Clarkston girls beat Lewiston at the Avista Tournament, which is good for them, and Lewiston is very hot and cold. I’ll go with the Clarkston girls just because they won last time. We’ll have to see, though. I wouldn’t be surprised if Lewiston wins, but I think this one will be close. If that game went into overtime, I could see either team winning.

Q: Why is the Golden Throne important?
A: Probably just for me, it’s fun, knowing that I graduated from Lewiston High School, and for people that used to go Lewiston or Clarkston high schools, it’s one of those school spirit things. You can go and get to see people you haven’t seen in a long time, watch some good basketball, and the atmosphere will always be off the hook. It’s just fun.