Gonzaga Prep entered Friday’s game against Greater Spokane League rival Lewis and Clark rated No. 1 in state Class 4A. It looked every bit the part.
Anton Watson scored 24 points, including 18 in the first half, and the Bullpups (14-0, 8-0) systematically handled the visiting 16th-rated Tigers (8-6, 5-3) 64-25.
“We came out with great energy, great focus,” Gonzaga Prep coach Matty McIntryre said. “I thought we did a good job getting the ball where it needed to go for us to be successful. Simple plays are winning plays. We kept the game very simple tonight and I was proud of that.”
Jamaari Jones had 13 points and Jacob Parola added 10 for G-Prep, which held LC to single digits in each of the four quarters.
“We put a lot of emphasis and pride in our defense,” McIntyre said. “We think the defense can come every night and play intensely.
“Sometimes your offense, you can’t always rely on that. We put a lot of pride in our defensive effort and tonight was absolutely outstanding.”
G-Prep held LC star Naje Smith to four points.
Watson and Jones were forces, scoring the first 14 points of the game – all in the paint.
“Jamaari’s got a great feel for the game, and Jamaari and Anton complement each other so well,” McIntyre said. “They’ve played together a long time. They have a great feel for what one another are going to do.”
Smith ended the run with a layup, but the Tigers trailed 14-2 midway through the first.
Parola picked up a layup on a fast break and Watson added two more baskets from the inside. G-Prep led 20-5 at the end of one.
The Bullpups continued the onslaught in the second quarter. Sam Lockett fed Watson for a backdoor alley-oop, and the next time down Watson converted a three-point play. Lockett later drilled a 3-pointer to make it 32-7.
LC’s Jonny Love answered with a 3 to end a 12-point run, but Parola got loose for another layup, then made a pair at the line late and G-Prep took a 38-11 lead into intermission.
The Bullpups played ball control in the second half, often running plays for Devin Culp, playing his first game of the season after recovering from injury.
“Devin creates so much more depth for our team,” McIntyre said of his 6-foot-5 senior. “We can move our pieces around in different positions. It gives us a variety of the lineups we can put out there and how we can play.
“We can play big and strong, try to overpower people. We can spread it out, we can put shooters in. So Devin’s presence, whether he scores or not, is not important to me. But his presence, playing hard and disciplined, is going to be a huge asset to us moving forward.”
Culp finished with two points and three fouls. He admitted to not quite being in midseason shape.
“I’ve got some old-man syndrome going on, for sure,” he said. “But coach is catching me up on the lungs side, the legs are doing all right, though.”
Watson came out of the game with a little more than 5 minutes remaining and did not return. The lead hit 40 on a pair of free throws by Parola with 4 1/2 minutes to go, prompting a running clock the rest of the way.
Xavier Guillory led LC with six points.
Ferris 63, Mt. Spokane 61: Jadon Bowton’s putback as time expired lifted the fifth-rated visiting Saxons (13-1, 7-1) over the Wildcats (10-3, 4-2), rated 14th in state 3A. Bowton finished with eight points. Shamrock Campbell and Damion Carter paced Ferris with 17 points apiece. Jerry Twenge hit seven 3-pointers and finished with 29 points for Mt. Spokane.
Shadle Park 62, Mead 61: Jake Groves hit a late 3-pointer, Adrian Conway scored 21 points and the Highlanders (5-7, 2-4) beat the visiting Panthers (3-11, 1-7). Groves finished with 17 points and three 3-pointers. Tyson Rogalette led Mead with 27 points.
Central Valley 61, Rogers 53: Jase Edwards scored 19 points and the visiting Bears (6-8, 4-4) beat the Pirates (5-8, 2-4). Grant Hannan had 16 points and Zach Stocker added 14 for Central Valley. Jahil Frans led Rogers with 15 points and Maks Babich added 13.
University 60, North Central 48: Tanner Christensen scored 17 points, Cameron Cavanaugh added 13 and the visiting Titans (7-7, 2-6) handled the Indians (8-7, 1-5). Leon Sayers led North Central with 16 points and Bryce Meadows had 10.