Bears And Eagles Facing Decisive Basketball Showdowns
The domination by both the Central Valley and West Valley boys basketball teams continued in games last week against area rivals.
In a pair of thrillers, however, girls victors won by upset.
Central Valley’s sweep of the University Titans during the annual Stinky Sneaker Spirit Game, left the boys tied for second place with games against co-runnerup Lewis and Clark and at league-leading Mead scheduled for this week.
Upcoming games are no less big for the Titans. University shared fifth place going into the week with games at North Central and Friday in the Coliseum against Gonzaga Prep. A 22-point loss to the Indians bode ill.
“Conceivably, we could have had only one loss,” said CV boys coach Terry Irwin of his 6-4 Bears prior to Tuesday night’s triple overtime loss to LC.
It was the second OT win by the Tigers and meant the difference between a continuing share of second and fourth place in league.
Irwin said that with the improvement of second division teams that CV still has to play, finishing second in league for an automatic berth in the regionals is important.
“Those games between sixth and third and fourth and fifth place teams can go in any direction,” he said of the Greater Spokane League’s loser-out district first round.
Central Valley’s 19-point win over U-Hi was a continuation of team effort by the Bears. Three players, Geoff Courchaine, Corby Schuh and Ben Platt, scored in double figures, while Jeremy Nesbitt ran the show both on offense and defense. He had 6 treys and 20 points Tuesday.
“It’s been our way all year,” said Irwin. “We don’t have one guy to stand on. Nesbitt is as close as it comes.”
The unbeaten, Frontier League-leading Eagles welcomed back previously injured Sabron Stone who scored a dozen during an 85-64 win over East Valley.
The Knight girls upset the Eagles, winning for the first time in league, 64-63 in overtime. A pair of 5-foot-10 seniors, Brenda Hall and Kathy Knisley pointed the way.
The loss prevented the Eagles from regaining a share of second place in league and left the league playoff race wide-open. Five teams are chasing three available berths.
The CV girls, who reversed an earlier loss by nipping the Titans, share fourth place in the GSL.
CV’s young team, which has lost so many times late in the game, has won four straight games to overtake slumping U-Hi, losers of its last four.
“They’re learning,” said CV coach Dale Poffenroth. “The difference between this game and the last one - there is no difference.”
CV was forced to foul after squandering a lead when first they met and University hit its free throws to hang on 42-39.
This time the Bears rallied from a five-point deficit and made the necessary free throw with 29 seconds to go for a 44-43 triumph.
The Bears were playing without Lisa Lentz who reinjured her knee. Players from both teams wrote the number 14 on their socks or shoes to honor her.
“It hurt us not having her,” said junior Carrie Sanders. “We needed her leadership and support to calm us down.”
Without her, Sanders assumed the role, getting two clutch rebounds, including one during a seven-second scramble for the ball as time ran out, to preserve the win.
Sophomore Katie Carpenter scored a game high 14 points and hit the winning free throw.
But it was a sub, sophomore Marcy MacPhee, who got an offensive rebound and basket with five seconds left in the third quarter to put CV ahead that Poffenroth singled out.
“For a kid who doesn’t play long, you can’t ask for much more,” he said.
Take the NEA lead, please
Leading Northeast A League basketball is something boys teams have done reluctantly.
Last weekend, Freeman became the latest leader to fall, losing to sixth-place team Newport and temporarily dropping off the pace.
Next night, however, Medical Lake was upset by seventh-place Kettle Falls and the Scotties became part of a four-way tie at the top.
The Scotties, who shot only 28 percent from the field, played without scoring leader Travis Goldsmith.
Two AAU tournaments offered
Spokane Regional AAU basketball is hosting two tournaments in late March.
The first Rosauers AAU Boys Basketball Classic will be March 17-19.
The third annual Darryl Bean Memorial Girls AAU Basketball Tournament is March 24-26.
Entry fees are $150. Boys competition is for fourth grade and up, including three high school divisions.
Girls competition is for fifth grade and up, including three high school division.
Teams are guaranteed four games.
For information contact Jan Nottingham at 927-9167 or 928-6005.