A lethargic effort Tuesday in the first night of the 4A regional has put Gonzaga Prep’s boys basketball team in a hole.
The Greater Spokane League champions were outplayed in every facet of the game by visiting Richland and lost 54-45.
But, like their explorer namesakes, Lewis and Clark continued to chart new ground with a 75-73 double overtime victory in Pasco.
The Tigers (14-10) play Walla Walla (18-6) at 9 p.m. at Kennewick’s Toyota Center on Friday for a berth to state. The Bullpups (20-3) drop into a 9 p.m. loser-out game Friday against Wenatchee (15-10), needing three straight wins to get to state.
Walla Walla defeated Davis 55-44, and Eisenhower (23-1) defeated Wenatchee 71-52 to advance against Richland in other regional games.
“The object is to play games, right?” a disgruntled Gonzaga Prep coach Mike Haugen said afterward. “We just got ourselves some extra games. We’ll see what we’re made of.”
The Bombers’ (15-7) rebounding, coupled with 6-for-7 3-point shooting in the first half, put G-Prep on its heels. Stifling defense kept the Bullpups there.
Even though Richland didn’t score a second-half field goal until 3 minutes, 33 seconds remained in the third quarter, the visitors never lost ground. They had but four baskets the entire second half and still stretched a lead that was six points at intermission.
They did it by keeping pressure on the guards out front, yet denying G-Prep any semblance of an inside game.
“We’ve always stressed it, but haven’t played good defense the last couple of ball games,” Bombers coach Earl Streufert said. “We kind of had to buckle down.”
He said he felt Richland dictated the kind of shots he wanted G-Prep players to take and added, “They weren’t able to exploit us inside as much as maybe I thought they were going to.”
Some of that was of G-Prep’s own doing, Haugen said.
“I thought we made it easy in many ways for them,” Haugen said. “I didn’t think our movement was very good and didn’t think we got the ball inside nearly well enough. That’s so crucial to us.”
Richland hit four 3-pointers in the first quarter while taking a 16-10 lead.
If a Bomber player missed, they were quicker to the ball than the Bullpups.
Although G-Prep twice rallied to lead by a basket in the second quarter, they were short-lived. Brett Jacobs, who had one of the first-period 3-pointers, hit two more to put Richland ahead for good.
“I’m proud of Brett,” Streufert said. “He’d been struggling a little bit lately and to put them in was awesome.”
The score was 33-27 at intermission and the closest G-Prep came in the second half was to within three points. Richland’s only field goal of the fourth quarter came with less than a minute remaining, but the Bullpups couldn’t capitalize and the victors made 10 free throws in 15 attempts to head home with an upset.
Ryan Nicholas scored 14 points and David Stockton 13, but both were troubled by turnovers. Jacobs had 11 of his 14 points in the first half. Calvin Douglas, a 6-foot-6 sophomore scored 14 points and Clint Smith added 13, including a critical 3-point play that put the Bombers up 42-36 to end third-quarter scoring.
“Defensively, they did a great job of forcing us to take bad shots,” Haugen said.
Lewis and Clark 75, Pasco 73 (2 OT): Tigers point guard Taylor Eglet went the length of the floor after the Bulldogs (16-9) had tied the score and scored the winning basket as time expired. But it was the work of Levi Taylor and Sean Hoffmann that got LC to that point. Taylor scored a career-high 28 points and Hoffmann had 21 points and 21 rebounds. LC led by as many as 12 points in the third quarter after jumping to an 18-13 lead after a quarter.
But Pasco roared back in the fourth period to wipe out a nine-point deficit and force overtime. The Tigers scored first in both overtime periods and never trailed, but needed Eglet’s sprint to move on.
It’s always tough to beat a team three straight times. The fourth time proved impossible for North Central against Rogers.
The Pirates (11-13), who had lost three times previously to the Indians (12-11), eliminated them 55-43.
The Pirates play at home Saturday at 7:15 p.m. against CBBN No. 1 seed West Valley-Yakima (14-7). GSL No. 1 Shadle Park hosts Sunnyside (12-11), which eliminated Mt. Spokane (8-15) 51-45.
Jesse Vaughan scored 26 points, 13 of them at the line in the second half, and the Pirates broke a 27-all tie at intermission. Vaughan was 11 for 12 in the fourth quarter and finished with nine rebounds. Zach Nelson added 12.
Sunnyside 51, Mt. Spokane 45: Chaz Johnson and Connor Haley each scored 16 points, but their season ended as the Grizzlies took a four-point lead at halftime and nursed it throughout the game.