The Mead and Lewis and Clark girls basketball teams secured Eastern Regional berths with victories Tuesday.
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By Greg Lee
Mead girls basketball coach Regan Drew wrote down a succinct
message on her clipboard Tuesday before her team’s 4A District 8 tournament
It said “Defense starts it all.”
She might as well have scribbled down its twin sister: “Shooting finishes it all.”
Mead started hot and finished hot and in between played some sticky defense as the fourth-seeded Panthers knocked off top seed and Greater Spokane League champion Central Valley 65-48 to earn a berth to the Eastern Regional.
The Panthers (17-5) will visit No. 2 Lewis and Clark (14-7) Thursday to decide the district championship and the top two seeds to regional. Lewis and Clark also punched its advancement ticket, stopping third-seeded Gonzaga Prep 60-48.
Gonzaga Prep (15-6) will go to CV (16-5) Thursday to decide the third and final seed to regional. Both games begin at 5:30 p.m.
“It’s tough to beat anybody when they shoot that well,” CV coach Freddie Rehkow said. “I give them credit. They deserved it tonight. They outplayed us.”
Mead broke open what had been a taut first half with a 12-0 run in the third quarter. The Bears were never able to recover.
Then the Panthers finished the game by making their final five shots, including two 3-pointers.
“A lot of that comes from energy,” Drew explained about her team’s shooting. “We did some good things defensively and we rebounded well. For us, that’s what gets those things going. And when you have some players knock down a couple (shots), it (the basket) becomes bigger for everybody.”
Leading the shooting barrage, especially from 3-point range, was junior guard Taylor Ingebritsen. She made her first three 3-pointers and 4 of 6 overall to finish with a game-high 18 points. Teammate Jazmine Redmon had 17 points and nine rebounds and Chenise Pakootas added 15 points and seven rebounds.
“That was the difference maker – our shots went down,” said Pakootas, who noted that Mead shot about 15 percent when CV clinched the league title in a 45-36 win over the Panthers last Thursday.
Rehkow wasn’t displeased.
Effortwise, I thought we hustled and played hard,” Rehkow said. “They just executed better and played defense better than us.”
Drew thought the fact her team had to win a loser-out game Monday to get into the double-elimination portion of district was an advantage.
“As much as we didn’t like the outcome last Thursday, we liked the fact that we were playing (Monday) because you’re going to have to play back to back in regionals,” she said. “It’s a mindset. If you worry about the fact they might be fresh and we might be tired, then mentally you’re not in the right frame of mind.”
Loree Hill led CV with 15 points.
Rehkow challenged his team to bounce back Thursday.
“It’s win or stay home,” he said. “That’s what it boils down to. That’s what we talked about in the locker room.”
Drew hadn’t heard which team won the other district game. But it didn’t matter which team Mead would play.
“Look at our district tournament. I don’t think the seeding meant a whole lot,” Drew said.
Lewis and Clark 60, Gonzaga Prep 48: A big third quarter allowed the Tigers to build a comfortable cushion.
LC outscored the Bullpups 21-10 in the third.
The Tigers benefitted from balanced scoring. Devyn Galland led four players in double figures with 15 points. Nakia Arquette and Hayley Hendricksen each had 13 and Daisy Burke added 11.
Tia Presley led G-Prep with 24 points and Lindsay Stockton had 11.