Gonzaga Prep held the hot early hand and parlayed it into an easy victory Tuesday night in a matchup of the last Greater Spokane League boys basketball unbeatens.
The Bullpups (4-0) shot 80 percent in the first quarter for a big lead and roared past visiting Shadle Park 65-47.
Better quickness out front and too much Sean Fischer, who scored 27 points on 11-of-13 shooting, doomed Shadle (4-1).
“He’s a special shooter,” G-Prep coach Mike Haugen said. “And really what he did came out of the flow (of the game).”
Five Bullpups scored in the first quarter as they raced off to a 12-2 start and led 18-6 after the quarter. Guards Fischer, David Stockton and Nick Hansen stuck to their Shadle counterparts like glue on defense and proved speedier in transition.
While the team was converting 9 of 11 attempts from the field, the Highlanders couldn’t buy a shot, making just 3 of 16.
“We had to make sure we kept Anthony Brown in front of us and away from the basket and make him beat us from the perimeter,” Haugen said.
Much of that task fell to post Travis Long, who also scored three first-quarter baskets. Haugen said that enabled his guards to take away the other Highlanders’ long-range looks.
Shadle’s first-half success came primarily off the rebounding and scoring of Matt Barnes.
In the third quarter, Brown started to heat up, and after the slow start, Shadle cut G-Prep’s lead to 32-25 at one point. Then the sweet-shooting Fischer, who had 10 first-half points, lit things up again.
He scored 13 points in the third quarter for leads of as much as 14 points. G-Prep turned on the afterburners – Stockton scoring three times and assisting on another – for a 56-36 lead early in the fourth quarter.
“We gave up too many points in the third quarter, but in the fourth came out and tried to make it hard on them, and did,” Haugen said.
Fischer’s favorite shot in the G-Prep gym came beyond the arc on the left baseline, from where most of his five 3-pointers rained.
“I really like that spot. That’s the shot I work on every day in practice,” he said. “We set really good screens and penetrated and dished really well. My team got me the ball at the right time.”
Stockton finished with 13 points, primarily slashing to the basket, and had several superb assists.
Brown finished with 21 points, 16 of those in the second half.
North Central 65, Central Valley 63: The host Indians (3-1) led 65-58 late before the Bears (1-3) hit a 3-pointer and added a layin with 14 seconds left. But NC ran out the clock.
Isaiah Antoine scored 19 points and Nathan Pelton added 17. CV’s Alex Howard scored 23.
Mt. Spokane 55, University 49: A career-high 25 points by Connor Haley rallied the Wildcats (2-2) to a home triumph.
Haley scored nine points in the fourth quarter, including 5 for 5 at the free-throw line as Mt. Spokane outscored the Titans (1-4) 20-10. Ryan McIntyre made four 3-pointers for U-Hi.
Mead 53, East Valley 35: The host Panthers (2-2) stifled the Knights (0-5) for three quarters, leading 50-23. Much of the damage was done during a 20-point first quarter. Grant Fink led the victors with 17 points.
Ferris 75, Rogers 65: The visiting Saxons (3-1) needed a fourth-quarter surge to escape the Pirates (2-3). Riley Stockton scored 21 points, had five rebounds and four steals. Connor Halliday and Jason Bates combined for 29 more. Dillon Franklin led Rogers with 19.