Some of the turnovers in the 19th annual Jack Blair Memorial Classic girls basketball game can be chalked up to rust and some carelessness.
Most of them, though, were a product of a physical, well-played game by both the Metro and the Region.
Central Valley’s Brooke Gallaway hit a free throw with 5 seconds left to lift the Metro to an 80-79 victory Monday at University High School.
The teams combined for 50 turnovers – 30 by the Metro. The mistakes were excusable in the evenly matched game.
The final 2 minutes were the mostly fiercely contested overall.
Clarkston’s Jamie Weisner hit two free throws to tie the score at 77 with 1:34 remaining.
CV coach Freddie Rehkow, coaching the Metro, called a timeout with 1:24 to go. Jade Redmon drove but missed a shot, but Hallie Gennett of University got the rebound. Moments later, CV guard Katie Estey faked a jumper and drove left as her defender, Erin Legal of Coeur d’Alene, slipped and fell to the floor. Estey scored a layup, putting Metro ahead 79-77 with 33 seconds remaining.
CdA’s Kendalyn Brainard knotted it up at 79-all when she hit a 5-foot bank shot with 21 seconds to go.
Rehkow let the clock wind down to :06.5 before calling timeout. On the ensuing inbounds pass, Gallaway was fouled by Lewiston’s Chelsea Waters when she inadvertently hit her in the head.
Gallaway, who shot better than 80 percent for her career at the free-throw line, missed the first shot before sinking the second.
Weisner dribbled the length of the court and got off a fading jumper from the free-throw line at the buzzer that bounced off the rim.
“I better get out of here before they have another run,” Rehkow said.
It truly was a game of runs. Metro opened a 36-21 lead in the first half, but went on a 7-minute scoring drought.
Region took advantage, outscoring Metro 19-4 the balance of the half to forge a 40-40 tie at intermission.
The Oregon State University-bound Weisner, who finished with a game-high 18 points, opened the second half hitting a 3-pointer, giving Region a brief lead.
Moments later, Metro went on another run, opening a 67-56 lead that was capped when U-Hi’s Kayleigh Valley hit a 3-pointer with 9:17 remaining.
But Region fought back one more time, using some pressure to speed up Metro.
That’s the reason Metro lost its big lead in the first half, Gonzaga Prep senior Lindsay Stockton, who is heading to Montana State, said.
“I think we started to get a little sped up,” said Stockton, who finished with a team-high 16 points and was named the game’s most valuable player. “We started to try to do things by ourselves. When we were cutting and using each other that’s when we got our lead. We forgot to do that for a little bit. Same thing in the second half. We just got a little stressed and tried to do things by ourselves.”
Four other Metro players finished in double-figure scoring. Gallaway and Gennett each had 14 and Aleisha Hathaway of Shadle Park had 10.
Weisner was named the game’s most inspirational player for a second straight year.
Waters, who is going to Gonzaga University, was the only other Region player to score in double-figures (14). Ten of the 11 Region players scored.
Weisner said she had a good look on her final shot.
“I was fading to the left and it went off the left rim,” Weisner said. “You can’t make everything.”