In a span of 21 hours, the Mead boys basketball team had to play the two top teams in the Greater Spokane League.
It wasn’t as if the Panthers were seeing double, but it was close.
League-leading Central Valley flummoxed Mead on Saturday afternoon as the visiting Bears applied a 69-38 beat down.
Mead suffered the same margin of defeat Friday, falling 63-32 to Gonzaga Prep.
“It’s almost like a blur. In less than 24 hours we’ve been blitzed twice,” Mead coach Glenn Williams said. “We never look for excuses but our kids played that double-overtime game Tuesday night and you’ve got to recover from that and the spirit game (against Mt. Spokane). Then you face Prep and CV in back-to-back days. It’s no easy task.”
CV, which improved to 12-0 overall and 10-0 in league, did little wrong. The Bears shot 52 percent, outrebounded Mead 41-22 and finished with 20 assists.
At the head of the class for the Bears was senior guard Austin Rehkow, who scored a game-high 18 points to go with seven rebounds, five assists and two steals.
“We came out early and shared the ball,” Rehkow said. “That was really the difference. It’s something we take pride in. We credit a lot of our success to being unselfish.”
A 9-0 run allowed CV to open a 9-2 lead. Then in seemingly a blink, the Bears were ahead 17-4 on a 3-pointer from A.J. Knutsen and a jumper from Rehkow to go with two free throws.
Mead (8-4, 6-4) pulled within 19-13 early in the second quarter behind back-to-back 3-pointers by Gunnar Kayser. But that’s as close as the Panthers would get.
Saturday marked the start of the second half of league play. It was also the third game this week – the only time three games occur in a week during conference action.
In the league opener between the teams in early December, CV stopped Mead 61-54.
To go from beating Mead by seven in the first game to 21 Saturday shows how much CV has improved.
“Like I’ve said all along – with Austin Rehkow, Beau Byus and Adam Chamberlain back as a nucleus – I thought we’d be solid,” CV coach Rick Sloan said. “We just needed some of our newcomers to fill in the holes and they’ve exceeded all of our expectations.”
CV took a 34-23 lead into halftime when Byus, who got behind Mead’s defense, took a nice feed from Chamberlain and scored with 1 second left on the shot clock.
The Bears finished the third quarter on a 14-0 run to extend their lead to 58-31. A 3-pointer by Justin Fayant to open the fourth made it 61-31.
“I like what we’ve accomplished so far,” said Williams, whose team was 4-16 a year ago. “What I told (my players) is against good teams like this you’ve got to do things even more fundamentally correct. You’ve got to trust what you’re doing. They tended to break us down. That really hurt us.”
Gonzaga Prep 47, Shadle Park 39: Max Gruber came off the bench to score five straight points in the fourth quarter as the Bullpups (10-2, 9-1) held off the visiting Highlanders (5-7, 4-6).
Sam Dowd led G-Prep with 11 points and Jacob Groh had 10 rebounds. George Pilimai led Shadle with 16 points.
Ferris 59, University 54: Cody Benzel and Jensen Rye combined for 37 points and the Saxons (9-3, 7-3) withstood the visiting Titans’ 3-point shooting. U-Hi made 7 of 15 shots from 3-point range in the first half but went 0 for 10 in the second. Brett Bailey led U-Hi (7-5, 6-4) with 15 points.
Lewis and Clark 42, North Central 39: The Tigers (5-7, 3-7) snapped a four-game losing streak, topping the visiting Indians (0-12, 0-10).
Nic Gibson made 1 of 2 foul shots with 9 seconds left to provide the final margin for LC. Connor Smith led the Tigers with 10 points. Ryan Hauenstein led NC with 12.
Mt. Spokane 71, Rogers 68: The Wildcats (5-7, 4-6) rallied from a 39-32 halftime deficit to knock off the visiting Pirates (2-10, 1-9).
Amaujae Daniels led Rogers with a game-high 31 points but fouled out with 8 seconds left when Dane Larson drew an offensive foul. Larson scored a career-high 20 points to go with 14 rebounds.