Central Valley’s “Misses Outside” got the better of Gonzaga Prep’s “Misses Inside”.
But it wasn’t until Rikki Jackson went inside that the Bear girls basketball team moved closer to a Greater Spokane League championship with Tuesday night’s 62-54 triumph.
CV shooters hit three successive 3-point baskets for an 11-2 lead to open the game and added another after Prep rallied to tie.
They banged home three more long-range baskets in the second half to stave off the relentess Bullpup fast break.
But when all was said and done, Jackson took it to the hoop for a basket and three free throws in the game’s final 1:30 to offset the one-two punch of Prep’s 6-foot-1 posts Jennifer Williams and Theresa Palmer.
“That was probably the key, something I’ve been trying to get her to do for a long time,” said coach Dale Poffenroth. “And our free throw shooting (21 for 26) helped a bunch. We didn’t get a lot of field goals for awhile.”
The Gonzaga pair combined for 35 points and led Prep to a whopping 24-7 second-half rebound advantage that produced easy inside baskets, many off transition.
Their size made things difficult offensively inside for Crystal Lee and Ginger Clark.
So the Bears lit it up from afar. Lee, Jackson and leading scorer Andrea Kallas had two treys each. Jenny Coyle had another. All finished in double figures.
Clark made things happen with her defensive hustle.
The Bears, 12-1 in league and 15-2 overall, have three games remaining. Their last likely obstacle to a title comes tomorrow night at Lewis and Clark.
Crunch time for Frontier teams
With four games remaining, three boys teams and three girls teams are still positioned for runs at Frontier League basketball championships.
West Valley’s girls team, 13-2 overall and 8-0 in league, is at league runnerup Riverside Saturday in a biggie.
The West Valley boys, who suffered a horrendous Jan. 24-25 weekend, losing twice, have since won three times and find themselves as part of a virtual three-way tie for the lead with Cheney and Colville.
The Eagles play those teams back-to-back to end the season Feb. 21 and 22.
Last weekend basketball was secondary to the league’s version of Mardi Gras, the Golden Throne game.
Squeezed in among the partying WV and East Valley crowds, both Eagle teams took huge early leads to avoid getting caught up in the histrionics.
“You try and block it out,” said Eagle Keisha Sowers, “but when you’re running warmups you get excited.”
“It’s all right except during timeouts,” said teammate Gabby McClintock of the game-prolonging booming music and wild routines.
The girls led 20-6 after a quarter and held on, although East Valley rallied to within 22-19.
The Eagle boys stormed to a 23-5 lead on 9 of 16 shooting.
East Valley played the Eagles even thereafter, although without Brad Wilson in the second half. He tore a ligament in his thumb 10 seconds before intermission after scoring 12 points.
The winless Knight boys are three games out of playoff consideration. The girls need wins Friday night at Colville and at home against Pullman in order to maintain playoff hopes.
But EV won its third straight Golden Throne for a 4-3 lead in the annual spirit rivalry.
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