Except for some silly fouls in the first half, Central Valley boys basketball coach Rick Sloan saw a lot he liked Friday.
He was surprised, though, by the final score.
“I wasn’t expecting that kind of margin of victory,” Sloan said after his team thumped the University Titans 67-35. “They’re always scrappy, they can shoot a lot of 3s, but our kids really defended well in the second half and gave us a chance to pull away.”
The visiting Bears used good ball movement to find the open shot and clamped down on defense. Those were the two biggest differences.
It seems like the Bears have had a different player step up each game through a 5-0 start, and Friday wasn’t any different. Senior guard Justin Fayant had a career-high 16 points, hitting four 3-pointers.
Fayant said his scoring wasn’t anything special. He said it was a product of good offense in general.
“We just played really well as a team,” Fayant said. “We came out with a lot of energy. Even though there were fouls called against us, we kept our heads in the game and kept pushing offensively. We had really good ball movement and set some good screens. Daisy (Austin Daines) set a few good screens for me.”
Sloan wasn’t surprised by Fayant’s total.
“He’s going to have more games like that,” Sloan said. “He’s worked hard on his perimeter game and he’s one of our best shooters. Last year he was one of our better shooters and the confidence carried over to the summer and it’s carried over to the winter.”
Senior guard Adam Chamberlain led CV with 19 points. He made 7 of 10 shots from the field.
A.J. Knudsen, who went into the game battling the flu, led CV with eight rebounds.
CV took advantage of the Titans’ 20 turnovers for 29 points in transition.
The Bears scored the game’s first 13 points and took a 20-8 lead into the second quarter.
Robert Little hit a 3-pointer for U-Hi (3-2) to cut the lead to 24-18 with 5:11 to go before halftime. But the Bears stretched it to 16 points twice before settling for a 37-24 lead at halftime.
Then the Bears were all over the Titans in the third quarter. U-Hi’s lone points came on a 3-pointer at the 2:35 mark.
It carried over to the fourth. The Titans didn’t crack double digits for the half until a 3-pointer with 37 seconds to go.
Fayant said unselfishness is a big character trait for the Bears.
“I really like how we trust each other,” Fayant said. “I know if I pass the ball I can get it back for a shot.”
Lewis and Clark 76, Rogers 58: Taylor Duncan scored eight of his 12 points in the fourth quarter to help the Tigers (2-5, 1-4) pull away from the visiting Pirates (0-6, 0-5). LC was led by Connor Hojnacki with 16 points, including four 3-pointers. Robert Rucker led the Pirates with 16. LC outrebounded Rogers 30-18.
Gonzaga Prep 65, North Central 30: Reed Hopkins scored 16 points, including two 3-pointers, and Brendan McClary added 15 points as the Bullpups (3-2) rolled past the visiting Indians (0-7, 0-5). Sophomore Spencer Lawrence led NC with eight points. The Bullpups held NC to 12 points in the first half.
Ferris 56, Shadle Park 44: Cody Benzel scored 36 points as the host Saxons (5-0) shook off a three-point halftime deficit to secure the win over the Highlanders (2-3, 2-2). Jared Christy added seven rebounds for Ferris, which kept pace with Central Valley atop the GSL. The Highlanders were led by George Pilimai with 17 points. Ferris visits CV on Jan. 7.
Mt. Spokane 57, Mead 55: Dylan Moran made two free throws with 40 seconds left to lift the Wildcats (3-2, 2-2) past the visiting Panthers (3-2, 2-1). Stu Stiles of Mt. Spokane made 1 of 2 from the line in the final seconds and the Panthers’ desperation heave at the buzzer was off the mark. Stiles finished with 16 points, Moran had 14 and Jacob Krantz had 12. Mead was led by Thomas Kautzman and Brandon Pettersen, who combined for 32 points.