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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883


Mead girls regional champs

The Mead girls basketball team captured the 4A regional title for the first time since 1992.

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By Greg Lee

Staff writer

KENNEWICK – The last time the Mead girls basketball captured a 4A regional championship, coach Regan Drew was a Panthers sophomore.

Mead went on to claim a state title. The year was 1992.

When Drew connected the dots following the Panthers’ 54-48 overtime win over first-year Pasco school Chiawana, it put an ear-to-ear grin on her face.

“That’s not a bad thing,” Drew said, still smiling.

Mead (21-5), which had to win a loser-out game to get into the District 8 tournament, Chiawana (22-3), Lewis and Clark (16-9) and Moses Lake (15-12) will represent eastern Washington at state, Wednesday through Saturday at the Tacoma Dome.

In an all-Greater Spokane League showdown for a state berth, three-time defending state champ Lewis and Clark posted a convincing 60-37 win over Central Valley in a morning loser-out game.

Mead 54, Chiawana 48 OT: The Panthers found themselves in familiar territory at halftime. They trailed the Riverhawks 27-20.

“We’ve been in that situation several times this year,” Drew said. “We kind of like it. We’ve been down nine a couple of times. We know with our speed and athleticism, we feel confident that in the second half we can be in the situation to wear people down.”

Mead shot poorly in the first half (6 of 27 from the field), and the Panthers didn’t have an answer for Chiawana post Mikaela Rivard, who had 12 of her 16 points in the first two quarters.

“She’s strong, so tough,” Drew said. “It’s a tough matchup for us. I thought our kids were scrappy and did what they could do to limit her.”

And Chiawana helped out. For some inexplicable reason, the Riverhawks quit going to her inside.

“We wanted to continue to do that but we weren’t getting her the ball,” Chiawana coach Steve Davis said. “We had the looks and the people making the passes just didn’t get it to her.”

As the game progressed, Chiawana also stopped limiting Mead’s dribble-drive penetration.

The Panthers took advantage, cutting the Riverhawks’ lead to 31-30 in the third quarter before going into the fourth behind 37-34.

Mead took its first lead at 40-39 on an up-and-under move by Jazmine Redmon with 4:56 to go. Redmon was named the tourney most valuable player.

The score teetered back and forth thereafter. With 27 seconds left, Chenise Pakootas skipped a pass across Chiwana’s defense to freshman Jade Redmon, who sank a 15-foot jumper to tie the score at 44-44 and force overtime.

Mead junior Kalee Junkermier hit two big 3-pointers in OT, the second extending Mead’s lead to 50-46 with 1:09 to go. She got a basket in transition moments later that secured the regional title.

“Kalee Junkermier came up huge,” Drew said. “I’ve been hard on her. It’s because I see that in her. What she did today is what she’s capable of doing.”

Jazmine Redmon led Mead with 23 points, 10 rebounds, three assists and two steals. Junkermier had 13 points and six rebounds.

It’s Redmon’s first trip to state since her freshman season.

“I’m excited to go to state and play other people,” she said. “I wanted to prove a point that the GSL is a strong league and we can hang with anyone that we play.”

Lewis and Clark 60, Central Valley 37: The explanation is the Tigers have recent state experience and the Bears don’t.

But it was more than that. LC used defense and turned up the physicality, and that led to easy transition baskets.

CV trailed just 22-20 at halftime. By the end of the third quarter, though, their hopes of snapping their state drought had evaporated as the Tigers took a 40-26 lead into the fourth.

LC is making its eighth straight trip to state.

“I think this weekend shows that we can play defense and we haven’t shown that all year,” LC coach Jim Redmon said. “We held CV to 37 points. That’s a tribute to team defense. I’m hoping that helps us over there (state).”

CV’s chance of winning took a big hit when sophomore Whitney Black possibly broke her left foot. CV led 17-15 with 2:42 to go before halftime.

“When she went down our spirits kind of went down with her,” CV coach Freddie Rehkow said. “They (the Tigers) picked it up and got more physical. It was tough to overcome the physical play. We didn’t respond the way we needed to.”

Still, the Greater Spokane League champion Bears took big steps this season – even if it ended one stride short of their goal.

“I’m very pleased with the girls’ effort,” Rehkow said. “They put in a lot of hard work. My heart goes out to them because I know they’re a team that deserves to be (at state).”

Devyn Galland led LC with 16 points and Mary Blevins added 14. Brooke Gallaway led CV (18-7) with 13 points and 10 rebounds.

“In the third quarter we didn’t really say a lot,” Redmon said. “The momentum started to change when we got out and ran.”

All-tournament team: Joining Redmon on the first team were Jamie Weisner (Walla Walla), Shelby Ellsworth (Chiawana), Taylor Ingebritsen (Mead) and Jordan Loera (Moses Lake).

Named to the second team were Hayley Hodgins (Chiawana), Devyn Galland (LC), Mikaela Rivard (Chiawana), Megan Sax (Richland) and Mary Blevins (LC).

Greg Lee
Greg Lee joined The Spokesman-Review in 1984. He currently is a prep reporter covering Eastern Washington and North Idaho schools.

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