Poised G-Prep handles Shadle
At some point in their basketball careers, the entire Gonzaga Prep girls starting lineup, including post Hannah Murray, played point guard.
Perhaps that’s why they have successfully handled the rigors of the Greater Spokane League.
Friday night, the Bullpups (9-1 midway through their season and 8-0 in the GSL) flummoxed a veteran Shadle Park team 57-35 thanks to a blend of selflessness and poise.
They were manifest in the solid defense, relentless rebounding and unselfish passing that enabled them to turn the host Highlanders’ turnovers into a 16-4 first-quarter scoring spurt. That, in effect, settled the outcome.
“That was a good team effort,” G-Prep coach Mike Arte said. “It might have been our best team effort all year. It was the most assists we’ve had this year.”
Credit much of that to resident point guard Lindsay Stockton and high-scoring guard Tia Presley, Arte said.
Stockton also wound up the scoring leader with 17 points. Presley and Murray finished in double figures. But Presley’s major contribution came on the boards, where she pulled down nearly half her team’s rebounds with (by unofficial count) 15.
Arte said he Bullpups worked hard on help-side defense and positioning.
Murray said that as they’ve matured, the players have become better at finding each other on the court.
“Four of the five starters have been together for eight years,” said Murray, who moved to post when expected starter Jazmine Brown, a 6-foot-2 returnee, tore her ACL. “Coaches stress working together and we did that well tonight. This is big for us. Shadle Park is a good team.”
G-Prep trailed 4-3 in the first quarter before a 5-minute tear for a 19-8 lead on Presley’s buzzer-beating 3-pointer to end the period. She had eight points and six rebounds in the quarter.
The lead was 31-15 at the half, with Shadle hitting just 4 of 17 shots and turning over the ball 11 times. The Highlanders (7-3, 6-2) got untracked in the third quarter, but couldn’t make headway.
It was an atypically flat effort for a team coming off back-to-back top-three state finishes and a disappointing defeat for one that entered the season with thoughts of a GSL title.
“We just didn’t play the kind of basketball we normally play,” said coach Chad Dezellem, ticking off a list of things that went awry. “Hopefully, it’s a lesson learned. Gonzaga Prep played very good basketball and fundamental basketball.”
Lewis and Clark 63, University 44: The host Tigers (8-1, 7-1) kept in contact with the league leaders with big second and fourth quarters to dispatch the Titans (5-5, 4-4). Julia Moravec came up big, scoring double figures, in the absence of Nakia Arquette. Devyn Galland scored 16 points and had five steals, Hayley Hendrickson pulled down 14 rebounds to go with 15 points.
North Central 57, Ferris 49: The visiting Indians (6-4, 5-3) outscored the Saxons (1-8, 0-8) 24-9 in the fourth quarter, scoring half of those off seven Ferris turnovers. Riley Holsinger scored 15 of her game-high 26 points in the final period. Tara VanWeerdhuizen added 17.
Mt. Spokane 47, Central Valley 42: The visiting Wildcats (4-5, 3-5) kept the defending GSL champion Bears (3-7, 3-5) reeling. They took an 11-8 first-quarter lead and maintained it. Danielle Beltrame hit three third-quarter 3-pointers.
Mead 59, Rogers 12: The host Panthers (7-3, 5-3) had a 46-point lead after shutting out the Pirates (0-9, 0-8) in the third quarter.