February 15, 1995 in Sports

Defense Lifts Pirates To Playoffs

By The Spokesman-Review
 

GSL boys

A runaway freight train roared through the Rogers gymnasium Tuesday night. When it stopped, it deposited the Pirates in the Greater Spokane League boys basketball playoffs.

A 17-0 run in the fourth quarter, fueled by defense, carried the Pirates to a 55-50 win over North Central, guaranteeing Rogers the sixth and final spot in the District 8 playoffs, which begin next Tuesday at the Coliseum.

“That was great defense,” said Rogers coach Rick Mergenthaler, after enduring a post-game butchering of his hair by the jubilant Pirates. “We said we wanted to be a good defensive ball club, and we are becoming a good defensive ball club. Good defensive teams get those kind of runs.”

NC scored the first two buckets of the fourth quarter to take a 39-36 lead, the seventh lead change of the second half. The Indians then had seven turnovers and missed their next 11 shots in a 6-minute span to see their playoff hopes dashed.

“They stepped up the pressure and we made some real bad turnovers,” NC coach Don VanLierop said. “Depth is not a strength for us, and if we get caught up in a fastpaced, up-tempo game, that is a disadvantage to us. Turnovers made us do it.”

After a Derrick Simpson free throw started the run, Ryan Metcalfe made a pair of baskets to put Rogers up 41-39. Richie Fischer made two free throws, Modesto Spencer scored on a feed from Alfred Muse, and then Fischer made a layup. After a Fischer free throw, Rick Mergenthaler swished his fifth 3-pointer and converted a Muse assist, making it 53-39 with just over a minute left.

That was the complete opposite of the start, with NC leading 14-2 after one quarter as Jerry Holdren had eight of his 14 points.

“There are skeletons in our past,” Coach Mergenthaler said. “When things don’t go well, we’re still unsure.”

The Pirates adjusted their zone offense and Rick Mergenthaler hit three 3s in an 11-0 run to start the second quarter and added another in a 7-0 run to end it, helping Rogers forge a 22-22 tie at halftime.

“It was senior night and I was feeling it,” said Rick Mergenthaler, who had 17 points. “My teammates found me for open shots and I hit them.”

Fischer had 10 of his 14 in the second half to go with five steals and six assists to help the Pirates win, making up for blowing a fourthquarter lead in losing 44-43 at NC last month.

“I think we were too keyed up,” Fischer said. “We just wanted to kill them for beating us the first time. And we had a lot of other stuff on our mind, the last home game and the parent thing we did. We just started playing defense. We didn’t turn the game around until the start of the fourth quarter when we started playing defense.”

Muse had six steals, six assists and six rebounds. Adrian Olson came off the bench to jump-start the defense, drawing two charging fouls and slowing down Holdren.

Sophomore Dartise Johnson led NC with a career high 16 points.

Rogers 55, North Central 50

North Central 14 8 13 15 - 50

Rogers 2 20 14 19 - 55

NORTH CENTRAL Johnson 6 2-4 16, Lake 2 1-2 6, Rosengrant 0 0-0 0, Blanchat 1 2-3 4, Etter 2 0-0 4, Kuhlman 1 0-0 3, Holdren 5 4-6 14, Kapelke 2 0-1 4. Totals 18 9-17 50.

ROGERS Muse 3 0-0 7, Simpson 0 3-4 3, Fischer 5 4-5 10, Spencer 1 0-0 2, Metcalf 3 0-4 6, Olson 2 0-0 4, Olsen 0 0-0 0, Mergenthaler 6 0-1 17, Smith 1 0-1 2. Totals 21 7-15 55.

3-point goals - Johnson 2, Kuhlman 1, Muse 1, Mergenthaler 5. Total fouls - NC 17, Rogers 19. Fouled out - Metcalfe.

Lewis and Clark 74, Mead 64

The Tigers broke to an early 21-12 lead and then hit their free throws down to stretch to beat the 10th-ranked Panthers at the Coliseum.

Mike Homer scored 21 points for LC.

Mead 12 13 17 22 - 64

Lewis and Clark 21 15 21 17 - 74

MEAD Morris 1 1-2 3, Naccarato 0 0-0 0, Donovan 2 4-4 10, Armitage 1 0-1 2, Long 7 3-3 18, Smith 7 4-4 18, Pilkington 3 0-0 6, Castaneda 3 1-2 7. Totals 24 13-16 64.

LEWIS AND CLARK Osborne 0 0-0 0, Lynch 4 0-0 8, Stueckle 0 0-0 0, Olson 6 4-5 19, Homer 6 6-8 21, Kane 5 0-0 10, Mencke 7 0-0 14, Haynes 1 0-0 2. Totals 29 10-13 74.

3-point goals - Olson 3, Homer 3, Donovan 2, Long. Total fouls - M 16, LC 16. Fouled out - none.

Ferris 61 Gonzaga Prep 57 (OT)

Marius Gix had six of his 14 points in overtime and Scott Stocum scored 24 points to lead the Saxons past the Bullpups at Gonzaga Prep.

Prep’s Justin Powell hit a 3-pointer with 30 seconds left to send the game into overtime, but the Bullpups, playing without leading scorer Paul Sweeny, had their six-game winning streak snapped.

Ferris 11 16 13 13 8 - 61

G-Prep 15 19 7 12 4 - 57

FERRIS Bursch 0 0-0 0, Coulter 0 2-2 2, Hardan 1 0-0 2, Gix 6 2-3 14, Henneberry 2 4-5 8, Oenning 1 0-0 3, Harmon 4 0-1 8, Stocum 10 4-7 24, Weatherred 0 0-2 0. Totals 24 12-20 61.

GONZAGA PREP Strahl 5 0-0 10, Kocharhook 0 0-0 0, Thielman 0 0-0 0, Herrin 1 1-2 4, Jordan 5 0-0 14, Powell 3 0-0 7, McFarland 6 1-2 13, Knight 4 1-2 9. Totals 19 3-6 57.

3-point goals - Oenning, Herrin, Powell, Jordan 4. Total fouls - Ferris 9, Gonzaga Prep 18. Fouled out - None.

Shadle Park 66 University 51

Rob Debeaumont tossed in 22 points as the Highlanders beat the Titans at University.

Jeff Burningham had 20 points on five 3-pointers as University lost for the eighth time in the last nine games.

Shadle Park 14 20 10 22 - 66

University 5 13 17 16 - 51

SHADLE PARK Grote 0 1-3 1, Kingsbury 0 0-0 0, Dunham 2 1-3 7, Baune 1 0-0 3, Monahan 0 0-0 0, Nelson 2 0-1 4, Anderson 3 0-0 6, Mobbs 2 5-6 11, Wood 5 2-2 12, Debeaumont 11 0-1 22. Totals 26 9-16 66.

UNIVERSITY Burningham 7 1-2 20, Jeffries 0 0-1 0, Johnson 1 0-0 2, Wetzel 2 0-0 6, Dewey 0 0-0 0, Stark 2 1-2 5, Cortez 0 0-0 0, Hineman 2 1-1 5, Carlson 2 3-5 7, Massey 0 0-0 0, Flanary 0 0-0 0, Allen 3 0-0 6. Totals 19 6-11 51.

3-point goals - Burningham 5, Wetzel 2, Dunham 2, Baune, Mobbs 2. Total fouls - SP 15, U 20. Fouled out - none. Technicals - Dunham.

MEMO: See also sidebar which appeared with this story under headline “GSL boys”

See also sidebar which appeared with this story under headline “GSL boys”


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