It took the Central Valley boys team three quarters to score 25 points Saturday.
Then it took the Bears just eight minutes to exceed it by one point.
Central Valley opened the final period with a 12-0 surge and didn’t look back in a 51-40 victory over the Ferris Saxons at Wayne Gilman Court.
Baskets were a premium for three periods. The Saxons’ array of defenses, especially their matchup zone, gave the Bears fits.
The Saxons’ offense hit a drought and they couldn’t defend CV in transition in the opening 4 minutes of the fourth quarter.
“It was a grind,” CV coach Rick Sloan said. “We knew it would be because we had a very tough physical game with (Lewis and Clark) last night. I was hoping we’d have enough energy to compete tonight. Ferris did a really nice job of defending us but we found a way down the stretch to get the (win).”
CV (14-4 overall, 12-4 league) opened a 16-8 lead midway in the second quarter, but the game tightened up and remained that way until the fourth period.
This week is the one during league play that features three games with back-to-back games Friday and Saturday.
“It’s challenging back to back,” Sloan said. “But like I told the kids, you’ve got to get ready because that’s what the playoffs are like.”
CV had to play most of the first half without one of its key offensive weapons. Cameron Tucker picked up his second foul with 3:55 left in the first quarter and sat the rest of the half.
That allowed a young Ferris team that has one senior but starts a lineup of underclassmen the opportunity to settle into the game – especially considering CV thumped the Saxons 63-39 last month.
“They mix up a lot of defenses and keep you off balance, and with no days to prepare it makes it a little challenging,” Sloan said. “We fought through it. We knew that if we started pushing the ball a little bit we might get some easy buckets.”
And the Bears did early in the fourth.
CV also rebounded better in the second half. Ferris (9-9, 8-8) outrebounded the Bears 16-7 in the first half, but CV ended up with a 32-28 advantage.
Josh Thomas was his steady self for CV, finishing with 14 points, six rebounds and three assists. Eli Emerson had 10 points, five rebounds and three assists off the bench and Ryan Rehkow, who does the physical work inside, finished with 10 points and five rebounds.
Shamrock Campbell led Ferris with 14 points and Mike Ervin had nine rebounds.
GSL play concludes next week.
“We talked about how we want to be playing our best basketball the last couple of games and not back into the playoffs,” Sloan said. “Our defense is starting to look pretty good. Offensively we’re not clicking yet. When it does come I think we’re going to be solid.”
Three teams – Ferris, Mead and University – are battling for the final two district seeds. The Saxons have a one-game lead on Mead and U-Hi.
University 68, Mead 59: Tied through three quarters, the Titans (7-11, 7-9) got separation from the visiting Panthers (10-9, 7-9) the final eight minutes. Spencer Matt led U-Hi with 23 points and Austin Dill had a double double with 20 points and 11 rebounds. Elijah Ramirez had eight assists. Dedrick Pakootas led Mead with 22 points.
Shadle Park 78, Rogers 47: Four Highlanders (14-4, 13-3) reached double figures as Shadle pulled away from the visiting Pirates (3-16, 3-13). Tanner Groves had 20 points and 14 rebounds and Markieth Brown had 14 points and four assists to lead Shadle. Brayden Olson led Rogers with 17 points.
Gonzaga Prep 66, Mt. Spokane 34: The league-leading Bullpups (17-1, 15-1) clinched the No. 1 seed to the District 8 4A tournament in the easy road victory. Devin Culp led the Bullpups with 15 points and Braden Morse added 12. Jack Schaefer led the Wildcats (3-15, 2-14) with 11.
Lewis and Clark 63, North Central 15: The Tigers (14-4, 13-3) held the visiting Indians (0-18, 0-16) scoreless in the second half. Justin Martin led LC with 11 points and Adam Thompson added 10.
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