February 3, 2012 in Sports

G-Prep boys sputter early, roar back

By The Spokesman-Review
 

The Lewis and Clark boys basketball team had as much energy as a Mentos in a liter of Coke in the first quarter Thursday.

Gonzaga Prep, meanwhile, came out as flat as a soda pop left open on the counter for two days.

The tables turned quickly, though, in the second quarter as the visiting Tigers began fizzling.

Playing with much more energy, the Bullpups rebounded to clobber Lewis and Clark 74-62 in a Greater Spokane League game.

G-Prep (11-6 overall, 11-4 league) remained in third place, a game behind University and two behind league-leading Central Valley – both of which won Thursday. In the battle for the top seed to the District 8 4A tournament, CV’s lead over the Bullpups is even bigger considering the Bears swept G-Prep.

Even with the loss, LC (11-7, 9-7) secured no worse than the fourth and final seed to district. Rogers was eliminated in the loss to CV.

LC played one of its best first quarters of the season, parlaying its hot start into a 23-8 lead by period’s end. The Tigers made 10 of 17 shots from the field.

G-Prep senior point guard TJ Bracey saw the final numbers on the scoreboard after the first quarter, but he wasn’t concerned.

“The one thing we didn’t do was drop our heads,” said Bracey, who had a team-high 20 points and seven rebounds. “There was a look in our eyes.”

Sure enough, the Bullpups bounced back with abandon in the second, scoring the first 18 points. A putback by Mac Johnson gave G-Prep its first lead at 24-23 with 2:11 to go before halftime.

Austin Damon finally scored LC’s first basket in the period at the 1:20 mark. G-Prep took a 31-27 lead into intermission.

“We didn’t come out and match their intensity, especially on the defensive end,” G-Prep coach Matty McIntyre said of the first quarter. “The kids responded with a lot of heart and with a lot of maturity. It was certainly nothing that I did.”

Solid defense continued for G-Prep in the second half. And mistakes followed LC into the second half as the Tigers committed three straight turnovers to open the third.

The game was teetering on a blowout when two technicals were called on LC coach Jeff Norton and he was ejected.

But the Tigers were seemingly motivated at that point, digging out of a 58-41 hole to pull within 62-54 with 2:11 remaining.

G-Prep made 15 of 18 foul shots in the final quarter secure the win.

Johnson gave G-Prep a big lift off the bench in the second. He finished with 12 points and eight rebounds.

Jeff Livingston led LC with 20 points.

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