The University-Gonzaga Prep boys basketball game Thursday was a good tune-up going into postseason.
Gonzaga Prep played its usual sticky man-to-man defense and University’s 1-3-1 zone coupled with some full-court pressure caused the Bullpups fits at times.
The Bullpups found the open spaces in the zone and used transition and press-breaking baskets to stop the visiting Titans 56-45 in a Greater Spokane League regular-season finale that was taut until late.
G-Prep (17-3 overall, 16-2 league) finishes in sole possession of second, while U-Hi (15-5, 14-4) takes third. The Titans, the No. 1 seed in the District 8 3A tournament, open the postseason Saturday at home against second-seeded North Central (8-11, 8-10) at 7:15.
The No. 2 Bullpups open the District 8 4A tourney Tuesday at home against No. 3 Central Valley (10-10, 9-9) at 7:15.
Junior guard Ryan Gregory came off the bench to score seven of his 14 points in the fourth period for G-Prep. He hit a 3-pointer to start G-Prep’s scoring in the final quarter, then had two baskets in a stretch that saw the Bullpups take a commanding lead. A 3-pointer by Stephen Ferraro with 2:39 remaining, stretched the Bullpups’ lead to 50-37.
“We came through in the fourth quarter and got things done,” Gregory said. “They ran zone on us and we just had to move (the ball). We started going to our No. 1 play and it worked for us. We just ran it over and over.”
G-Prep coach Matty McIntyre singled out Gregory.
“He gave us a huge spark,” McIntyre said. “The guy is fearless. He’s got something special inside of him offensively. He’s got an offensive mentality.”
Especially key for the Pups was their assist-to-turnover ratio. G-Prep had 19 assists and just 10 turnovers. Senior point guard Chris Sarbaugh led with eight and seniors TJ Bracey and Shane Schmidlkofer had four each.
U-Hi coach Garrick Phillips liked his team’s reaction afterward – disappointment.
“It’s hard to say that you ever gain confidence in a loss because in the big picture as far as the standings and the playoffs and everything, (the loss) means nothing,” Phillips said. “But it was a big deal to those kids. I could see it in their faces in that locker room. That’s a quality opponent that I think we got better against leading into district play, for sure.”
Senior Parker Kelly led G-Prep with 17 points and grabbed five rebounds. Sarbaugh had 13 points and seven rebounds. Sophomore Brett Bailey led U-Hi with 12 points and junior Zech Martin had 10 and six rebounds. Senior post Joe Dahl had 10 rebounds.
Ferris 77, Shadle Park 57: The visiting Saxons (19-1, 18-0) got their offense rolling quickly, erupting for 48 points in the first half as they finished league unbeaten with their 18th straight victory.
Taylor Kamitomo led balanced Ferris with 21 points and Chris Wilson, who buried four 3-pointers in the first half, scored 16.
Antwan Johnson led the Highlanders (4-16, 3-15) with 15 points. Shadle opens district Saturday as the fourth seed, traveling to No. 3 Mt. Spokane for a loser-out game. Tipoff is at 7:15.
Ferris plays Tuesday against the Mead-Rogers winner from the Monday loser-out opener.
Rogers 67, Lewis and Clark 53: The Pirates opened up a close game in the fourth quarter, outscoring LC (5-15, 5-13) 24-16. The Tigers needed a win to earn a district seed or at the least force a tiebreaker playoff for a postseason berth.
Deavon Daniels led Rogers with 23 points, 11 rebounds and five assists and Therone Tillett added 13 points, 10 assists and five rebounds.
Central Valley 75, North Central 71: The Bears overcame a 17-point deficit at home.
Gaven Deyarmin led CV, scoring 21 points, 19 coming in the second half. Zac Hill led NC with 27 and five rebounds.
No. 2-seeded NC opens district Saturday at top-seeded U-Hi at 7:30. Third-seeded CV goes to No. 2 G-Prep on Tuesday.
Mead 61, Mt. Spokane 39: The Panthers (8-12, 7-11) secured the fourth seed to district.
The Wildcats (5-15, 3-15), who are seeded third in 3A, will play host to No. 4 Shadle Park in a loser-out game Saturday at 7:15. Rogers, the fifth seed in 4A, travels to Mead on Monday in a loser-out district opener.
Garrett Swanson led Mead with 14 points and eight rebounds.
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