As contradictory as it might seem, these are heady times and humbling times for University High School’s boys basketball team.
The Titans have defeated rival Central Valley and on Wednesday whipped previously unbeaten Ferris 66-52 in the Saxon gym. But U-Hi, now 3-2 in the Greater Spokane League, also lost to seventh-place Shadle Park two weeks earlier.
“I think they were upset with themselves,” said coach Jay Humphrey of U-Hi’s turnaround.
But he was quick to point to other league results that show no GSL team is immune to a loss or incapable of winning.
“The biggest thing (the Ferris win) tells the kids is they can play with anybody,” Humphrey said.
University never trailed against the Saxons. The Titans parlayed sound defense and an amazing eight three-point baskets to lead Ferris by as many as 17 points in the fourth quarter.
Kelly Hineman maintained a hot hand, scoring 26 points against Ferris, including 11 of 14 free throws. He and Joe Jeffries hit three treys apiece.
Hineman has 76 points in the team’s last four games.
And the Titans used the same defensive formula they have used to good effect all year.
“Defense was the key and has been the last four or five games, even against Shadle Park,” said Humphrey. “It’s pretty good for a team to hold teams two 20 points or less in a half.
“And we rebounded well. We wanted to keep them off the offensive boards and did.”
Ryan Massey has been U-Hi’s unsung defensive stopper, guarding the opposition’s best player. He also scored 14 points, hitting the other two three-point shots.
University had only a day to savor the win. They played Lewis and Clark Friday night in yet another important game and still have North Central to play and host second-place Mead on Jan. 16.
“I like to tell these guys that the team or teams that can be consistent and win three or four games in a row, can be where they want to be at the end of the year,” Humphrey said.
The other five teams bunched at the top of the league, including CV, which got double figures from Corby Schuh (23), Ben Platt (15) and sophomore Ryan Smith (13) against NC to also go 3-2, are likely saying the same thing.
Whoops, there it was
Central Valley’s girls basketball team opened the eyes of even the casual sports fan when the Bears scored a 113-22 victory over winless North Central on Wednesday.
All 10 players on CV’s roster scored, with five players in double figures and three others just a basket away.
Three Bears players had career-best individual scoring nights: Katie Carpenter, with 18 points, including four of CV’s 10 three-pointers; Ginger Clark, 14 points, and Andrea Kallas, 13.
It was the third time this year CV broke its team scoring record. The effort came against a team that made only 5 of 47 shots.
CV’s 113 points eclipsed the GSL single-game scoring record of 100 points (which Shadle Park hit twice) and the 91-point margin of victory was also the biggest ever.
Same team, different effort
Defending wrestling champion University is back in the Greater Spokane League title picture.
Two weeks after losing to Mead, the Titans won easier than expected against North Central. Midway through the season they are part of a four-team tie for second place behind Central Valley.
“I felt we were a better team than Mead,” said coach Don Owen, following Wednesday’s turnaround against NC. “The thing we had that was missing at Mead was we were the aggressors tonight.”
There were several impressive performances among the nine straight victories and 10 overall turned in by U-Hi wrestlers.
“A lot of kids who hadn’t spent a lot of time in the lineup wrestled well,” said Owen.
Among them were 275-pounder Jeff Hollenbach in just his fifth match and 135-pounder Ben Peterson who competed in his first GSL test.
“Jeff Schmedding and Mike Clark hadn’t had a league win and it was important for them to get on track,” said Owen.
The same held true for Jason Berger at 141.
They complimented the efforts of five tournament-seasoned veterans who among them are 51-10 this year going into today’s Pacific Northwest Classic at U-Hi.
Champions return to Titan tourney
University’s PNW Classic features defending team champion Missoula Sentinel, plus a number of returning individual weight winners.
Also entered in the 12-team event are Central Valley, East Valley, Gonzaga Prep, Mead, Lakeside, Ellensburg, Othello, Richland and Davis.
U-Hi, Mead, Davis and CV are all ranked among Washington’s top 10 AAA teams.
Rounding out the field is a squad from Palmer, Alaska, which is passing through Spokane on its way to competition in Las Vegas.
Fifteen returning placers, including five champions and three runners-up will be in the field for the tournament which begins at 10 a.m. and concludes with finals at 6 p.m.