Gonzaga Prep boys basketball coach Matty McIntyre wasn’t in the locker room for long at Central Valley Tuesday when he cautioned his team.
McIntyre reminded his players there’s a lot of season left, but to celebrate their 53-43 win over the Greater Spokane League-leading Central Valley Bears for a night.
“I’m happy, but there’s a long way to go,” said McIntyre, whose team improved to 10-3 overall and 9-2 in league. “This win is not going to be the paramount moment of our season.”
Senior Bullpups point guard Sam Dowd emphasized the season is a marathon not a sprint.
“That’s what coach has been preaching,” said Dowd, who led all scorers with 17 points and added six rebounds, three assists and three steals.
Still, G-Prep’s win does erase the zero in CV’s loss column in league and brings the Bears (10-2, 10-1) back a step to the field. The Bullpups will need more help to capture a piece of, if not an outright league championship.
In the other locker room, CV coach Rick Sloan also reminded his team there’s seven league games remaining.
“You keep playing games and every once in a while the other team is better than you,” Sloan said. “Tonight they beat us.”
G-Prep played outstanding defense, contesting most shots. Both teams forced each other to go deep into the shot clock often.
CV shot poorly, making just 32 percent from the field (15 of 47).
“Some of their shots weren’t falling that probably should have went,” McIntyre said. “Our kids played well defensively, but I know if we see them down the road I’ll expect them to shoot a lot better and make some of those shots in the paint they missed.”
It was a tight game throughout until the Bears were forced to put the Bullpups on the foul line with a little more than a minute to go.
A 3-pointer by Brendan McClary put G-Prep up 42-37 early in the fourth quarter. But a 3-pointer by Justin Fayant and a pair of free throws by AJ Knudsen gave CV the lead 43-42 with 4:33 to go.
That’s the last time CV led. The Bears went scoreless thereafter.
“Sam (Dowd) did a great job of getting into the paint and finishing at the rim,” McIntyre said. “He did a great job making decisions and getting his teammates open.”
McIntyre wouldn’t be surprised if his team sees CV in the district tournament.
“Look at Central Valley’s overall work and they’ve proven that they’re the best,” he said. “We played well enough to get them tonight. I’m looking for another gritty, grind-it-out game down the road against them.”
Every basket requires perseverance when these teams play.
“They’re a team capable of beating anybody and they’re on a little bit of a roll lately,” Sloan said. “I think what you’ll see is our senior leaders step up and take it personal and fight back.”
Ferris 74, University 34: The Saxons (11-2, 9-2) zipped to a 20-2 lead in the first quarter and 48-17 by halftime over the visiting Titans (7-6, 5-6). Cody Benzel made 4 of 9 3-pointers for a game-high 26 points, and Jared Christy and Jensen Rye had seven rebounds each. No Titan reached double-figure scoring.
Rogers 50, Mt. Spokane 39: The Pirates (4-9, 4-7) handed the visiting Wildcats (5-8, 3-8) a sixth straight loss. Rogers outscored the Wildcats 17-5 in the fourth quarter. Dominic Sanders led the Pirates with 15 points and Trysten Carl had nine rebounds. Stu Stiles led Mt. Spokane with 12 points. It was Rogers’ fourth win in the last five games.
Mead 55, North Central 42: The visiting Panthers (9-4, 8-3) outscored the Indians (1-12, 1-10) 17-8 in the fourth quarter to earn the victory. Mitchell Banaugh led Mead with 19 points and Max Hess added 10. Marcus Saugen led NC with 17.
Shadle Park 55, Lewis and Clark 51: The visiting Highlanders (4-8, 4-7) used a 13-8 advantage in the third period to snap a five-game losing skid. Skyler Kelley led Shadle with 12 points and Sam Stratton added 10. Isaiah Hernandez led LC (3-10, 2-9) with 13 points and Dominic Oliveri had nine rebounds.