The Gonzaga Prep boys basketball team battled toe to toe with Mead until a late surge vaulted the Bullpups into first place by themselves.
Read my unedited game story and blurbs on the other games by clicking the tab below.
By Greg Lee
The final score of the Gonzaga Prep-Mead boys basketball game Thursday didn’t do it justice.
For 3 ½ quarters, the Greater Spokane League co-leaders found themselves locked in a tug of war.
Back-to-back 3-pointers by Parker Kelly, though, broke it open late for the defending champions, and the second-ranked Bullpups went on a scoring binge to finish off visiting Mead, 71-55, before a packed gym.
Mead’s 6-foot-7 senior post Aaron Dunn stepped out and buried a 3-pointer to pull the Panthers within 50-49 with 5:27 remaining. But Kelly, who had made just one of his previous 10 shots, found the spot in the left baseline corner, sinking the bombs within 24 seconds of each other.
The final 4:42 all of a sudden became a blur to 10th-ranked Mead as G-Prep (17-1, 12-1) avenged its lone loss – 53-52 at Mead – by outscoring the Panthers (13-5, 11-2) 21-6 to make sure the finish wasn’t in doubt.
“We didn’t get out to Kelly,” Mead coach Glenn Williams said. “We played a lot of zone and were really tracking him well for the most part. But he’s one of those fiery shooters and if gets a spot and an opening he’s going to take it. Those were huge.”
G-Prep’s efficiency, too, in the final minutes was impeccable. Counting Kelly’s treys, the Bullpups made all six of their last shots and 6 of 8 free throws.
Trying to use as much of the shot clock on each possession, the Bullpups set a double screen for 6-7 post Ryan Nicholas, who got loose under neath and took a feed from Chris Sarbaugh as the shot clock ticked to :02. The basket extended G-Prep’s lead to 61-52 with 2:40 left.
On its next possession, G-Prep burned off 33 of the 35 seconds on the shot clock before Sarbaugh hit a 3-pointer from the top of the arc.
The game featured a battle within the battle. Nicholas finished with a game-high 28 points and 12 rebounds while Dunn had 24, 19 in the second half.
Sarbaugh supported Nicholas with 18 points, 11 rebounds and six assists.
“Nicholas is amazing on how he can get his hands on so many balls that are in the air,” marveled Williams. “I just think that was a huge difference.”
Per usual, Nicholas gave his teammates credit. First, though, he complemented Mead.
“It was anything but a blowout,” Nicholas said. “They had their run in the first quarter and we came in the fourth quarter and had our run. The team did an unbelievable job.”
G-Prep coach Matty McIntyre praised both teams.
“That was a sheer test of wills,” McIntyre said. “Our execution was outstanding and the kids kept their composure.”
The Highlanders (14-4, 10-2), who are tied with Mead for second in the loss column, got 21 points from Robby Douglas. Shadle shot 43 percent from the field to NC’s 24 percent. Gunnar Swager led NC (9-9, 7-5) with eight points.
Ferris 61, University 56: Three players scored in double figures as the visiting Saxons moved into fourth by themselves.
Jason Bates had a team-high 18 points for Ferris (10-8, 8-5) and teammates Connor Halliday and Riley Stockton had 15 and 10, respectively.
Spencer Drury had a game-high 20 points to lead the Titans (8-10, 5-8) and Kyle Bailey had 17 and nine rebounds.
The Wildcats (1-18, 0-13) outscored
Deavon Daniels led
Lewis and Clark 59,
lead the Tigers (9-9, 7-6) past the visiting Bears (2-11, 6-12).
Damond Justice led CV with 10 points.