A 4-minute, 18-second stretch in the fourth quarter spelled doom for the Central Valley boys basketball team.
That’s how long the Bears went between baskets. More important, perhaps, were the four turnovers on consecutive possessions and the three missed free throws. And Central Valley took just one shot in that span, too.
Gonzaga Prep’s defense stepped up when it counted most as the host Bullpups prevailed 57-53 in the District 8 4A loser-out game Tuesday.
The Bullpups (18-4) entertain Chiawana (12-10) Friday in a doubleheader between the same girls teams. The boys tip off at 8.
It’s the third year in a row that CV and G-Prep faced off in a loser-out postseason game. It’s the first time the Bullpups eliminated the Bears (16-5).
“Our seniors, we just didn’t want to lose again to them,” said G-Prep point guard Sam Dowd, who finished with a game-high 17 points, two steals and two assists.
Beau Byus got a tip in for CV to start the fourth quarter, pulling the Bears into a 41-41 tie.
G-Prep’s Ryan Alexander hit a 3-pointer moments later and the Bullpups bumped ahead at 46-41 with 6:22 to go.
Adam Chamberlain got a steal and a basket to pull CV within 46-43 34 seconds later. That’s when the Bears’ offensive woes started.
The Bullpups opened a 51-44 lead before CV scored again when Cameron Tucker cut to the basket for an easy basket, pulling the Bears within 51-46 with 1:30 remaining.
G-Prep made 6 of 10 foul shots in the final 1:07 to hold off the Bears.
“We started guarding the spin move a little bit better and we had active hands and the help was there early,” G-Prep coach Matty McIntyre said of the key fourth-quarter stretch. “It led to some easy baskets. In a grind-it-out game you’ve got to find a way to score some easy ones. Our offense feeds off our defense and that was a key stretch.”
CV bolted to a 16-5 lead to open the game. G-Prep cut into that margin and managed to go into halftime trailing 27-25.
It was the Bullpups’ turn to get hot to open the second half. Reed Hopkins hit three straight 3-pointers as G-Prep used an 11-0 start for a 36-27 lead.
“We got dribble penetration which led to kick outs and boy, Reed got into a rhythm,” McIntyre said. “That was a critical juncture.”
Hopkins finished with 15 points to go with six rebounds. Alexander had six assists.
A.J. Knudsen led CV with 13 points and Chamberlain had 11 and four assists. Tucker and Austin Daines had 11 and 10 rebounds respectively.
McIntyre said it’s a shame that just one league team could end up going to state. He’s convinced his team, Ferris and CV could fare well at state.
“That’s a quality team,” McIntyre said of CV. “All three teams could make some major noise. We’re all state-quality worthy.”