Quantae Anderson knew he had a good girls basketball team.
It was just a matter of when his Mead Panthers were going to emerge as challengers for a postseason berth.
The Panthers arrived after finding themselves in a 15-point hole at halftime Friday night.
Mead erased the deficit and then some in the second half, rallying to knock off the visiting Central Valley Bears 56-50 in a Greater Spokane League game.
“It was a big win. They’re the second-best team in our league,” Anderson said. “Now we know what we’re capable of.”
The Panthers were outrebounded 18-9 in the first half. But when CV wasn’t turning the ball over in the second half, Mead limited the Bears to one-shot possessions with an active 2-3 zone.
“Defense has definitely been our issue the whole season,” Mead’s Sue Winger said. “In the second half, we relied on each other and trusted each other. That’s why it was such a huge win.”
The Panthers (7-4, 6-3) went on a 17-0 run in the third quarter to forge ahead 37-35 going into the fourth quarter. During the Panthers’ surge, CV (9-2, 7-2) committed seven turnovers, and the Bears made just 1 of 12 shots from the field in the quarter.
Mead used a 9-0 run early in the fourth to build a 46-37 lead it wouldn’t relinquish.
Winger had two baskets in the run and Sarah Dever hit the fourth of four 3-pointers.
Megan Dimmler gave CV some hope in the fourth. She scored off back-to-back steals, and Madison Hovren scored a key basket. Lexie Hull pulled the Bears within 47-45 with a putback with 2:08 remaining.
A free throw from Brenna Junkermier, a putback by Payton Douglass and two foul shots from Winger allowed Mead to extend the lead to 52-45 with 57 seconds left.
Dimmler hit a 3-pointer and Hull scored off a baseline drive to cut the lead to 52-50 with 28 seconds to go.
Winger secured the win by going 4 for 4 from the foul line in the final 24 seconds. She finished with a team-high 17 points, 14 rebounds and three blocked shots.
Hovren tallied a game-high 22 points, nine rebounds, three steals and two assists.
Gonzaga Prep 86, Ferris 49: The Bullpups (11-0, 9-0) got out to a 43-15 lead by halftime at Ferris (4-7, 4-5). Oona Harrington and Mia Padon had 20 and 11 points, respectively, both season highs, for G-Prep. Otiona Gildon had 22 points and 11 rebounds and Laura Stockton finished with 17 points and eight assists. Megan Muelheim led Ferris with 10 points.
North Central 54, Rogers 49: The visiting Indians (1-10, 1-8) got their first win. Leading NC were Megan Dean (15 points) and Hannah George (14). Makala Peterson led Rogers (1-10, 0-9) with 15 points, 12 rebounds and six blocked shots.
Lewis and Clark 54, Mt. Spokane 43: Riley Lupfer led the balanced Tigers (8-3, 7-2) with 12 points at Mt. Spokane (5-6, 3-6). Jordan Smith had 19 for the Wildcats.
University 67, Shadle Park 30: The Titans (7-4, 6-3), led by four players in double figures, got out to a 21-4 lead at home. Kaitlin Pannell had 14 points, 11 rebounds and three assists and Emma Kennedy had 11 points, six rebounds and four assists. Abby Bauernfeind led Shadle (2-9, 2-7) with 11 points.
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