When Valley Christian was outscored 18-0 by Odessa in the fourth quarter of a Bi-County League basketball game two weeks ago, Panther coach Steve Altmeyer called the loss a blessing in disguise.
His team, said Altmeyer was not hitting on all cylinders. It was not putting away teams like it should, despite a 12-1 record.
Odessa didn’t turn up the pressure to get back into the game. If anything, they played softer, said Altmeyer. The Panthers didn’t respond.
“Odessa was a real freak game, but it was a good lesson,” he said. “I think it was something that really helped the team. I didn’t think we were playing at the level we could. That got us going.”
Valley Christian followed by pummeling Lind 91-23 and then beating Class 2A Riverside 65-45.
The second game, in particular, was an indicator of the type of team Valley Christian could be, Altmeyer said.
“We played Riverside the first game of the year and they are the most improved team I’ve seen,” said Altmeyer. “I know we beat them by 20, but they are a very good ball club. That’s the closest this year we’ve come to playing to our potential.”
During last week’s two wins, freshman Brent Decker, sophomore Jared Evans, and seniors Brian Sears and Michael Spuler were in double figures both times.
Derek Sandin scored 12 against Lind.
The post-season Bi-County tournament will involve all 10 league teams. The fifth through 10th placers will play loser-out games with two survivors advancing into double-elimination play against the top four.
Should Valley Christian finish No. 1, the Panthers will have a bye into the Saturday round of four on Feb. 14.
“If we do like we did last weekend we’ll be where we belong as a team,” said Altmeyer. “I’m pleased with what happened.”
The beat goes on
For the fourth straight year University High’s gymnastics team is unbeaten.
The Titans have won 34 straight meets and 107 consecutive duals since their last loss, to Central Valley the first week of the 1993-94 season.
Thursday night’s 167.50 to 163.65 victory over Central Valley wrapped up a perfect 24-0 season for the Titans and their sixth straight league title.
U-Hi has won seven of the last eight GSL championships under coach Stacey Heaton.
Their closest pursuer has usually been the Bears, whose GSL title in 1992 interrupted the Titan string. CV has been second four of the last six seasons and third the other two.
Heaton has a pair of freshmen, Alisa Brandle and Vanessa Cordova, to thank for continuation of the streak.
During the season finale Brandle tied CV sophomore Emily Roberts for all-around honors.
They finished in front of U-Hi senior Coleen Pierce, Cordova and CV senior Lindsay Linerud.
Brandle won both the balance beam, where U-Hi took the first three places and floor exercise.
Titan senior Tara Hulbert beat Roberts and Brandle on the uneven bars.
CV’s Linerud won the vault over Titan two-event runnerup Cordova.
Gymnastics federation meet at U-Hi
Teams from Washington, Idaho and Montana will bring 275 gymnasts to a United States Gymnastics Federation meet today and Sunday at University High School.
The event, for high level, intermediate, beginner and advanced beginner gymnasts is sponsored by Spokane Elite Gymnastics.
Level 6 and 7 gymnasts will compete today at 10 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. with Levels 8, 9 and 10 competing at 7 p.m.
Sundays sessions will be for Level 4 gymnasts at 11 a.m. and Level 5 at 3:30.
Day admission price is $5 for adults and $2 for children.
Spokane Elite competes
Spokane Elite gymnasts last week were in Bellevue where Level 7 team finished second at the Cascadian Team Challenge.
Bailey Scholze won balance beam and Courtney Spear won floor exercise. Rachel Matthews was third on vault, Amy Snyder placed fourth on bars and also placed during floor exercise.
Amy Brandle finished sixth all around during Level 8 competition and along with Elizabeth Kelley was among top nine in flloor excercise. Casey Dobyns was third on vault and Alix Herr was sixth on balance beam.
Katie Dinsmore was second all around for Level 9 gymnasts, winning balance beam and placing third on ault. April Mims was third on beam.
SEG has announced it will be moving to a larger facility at 5808 E. Sharp. The club has grown to 68 girls and has added boys competition.
James Ito, son of coaches Bob and Nancy Ito, finished third all-around in class six during the Jan. 17 Lilac Cup.
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