The sequel has been green-lighted.
University and Lewis and Clark’s girls basketball teams will meet again tonight, this time with the District 8 title at stake.
The setting is the same, U-Hi at 7:45, but LC coach Jim Redmon expressed hope the plot would be different after Thursday night’s 53-34 district-opening win over Gonzaga Prep.
“Last Thursday (in U-Hi’s 73-58 Greater Spokane League-clinching win before 2,500) we didn’t show the Spokane community how we’ve been playing all year,” Redmon said. “We didn’t show our heart. We’ll see if we can show it (tonight).”
Redmon’s counterpart, U-Hi’s Mark Stinson, is hoping for another boffo performance.
“It will be a tough game (for us) because we just played, there is no prep time and they have the revenge factor,” Stinson said after the Titans had routed Mt. Spokane 75-38 in Thursday’s nightcap. “I think (LC has) the advantage in every aspect of the game.
Right. In its first-round win that assured the Titans a home game in Tuesday’s regional opener, U-Hi showed why it is the top-ranked team in the state.
The Titans (21-0) shot 63 percent from the floor. They turned the ball over just 10 times. They held the fourth-seeded Wildcats (17-5) to 30 percent shooting. They had runs of 15-3 in the first half and 18-6 in the second to ensure the outcome.
“We’re fairly good shooters,” Stinson said. “And, if we don’t shoot well, we usually make it up on the defensive end. I don’t think we played all that well defensively. Maybe we were rusty.”
Senior Emily Kuipers, one of four Titans in double figures with 12 points, expressed disappointment with her personal defense on Mt. Spokane center Emily Wittkopf, who finished with nine points, all in the first half. But Kuipers was happy with the top-seeded Titans’ shooting, and she knew the reason why.
“We spent a lot of time in practice this week on our shooting, since we didn’t have a game, working on the fundamentals,” she said.
It paid off with nine Titans scoring, led by Angie Bjorklund’s 18, sister Jami’s 14 and Kuipers and Tonya Schnibbe with 12 apiece.
Katelan Redmond paced Mt. Spokane with 10, while Sam Patrick took center stage on the glass, leading both teams with 11 rebounds.
Rebounding was at the heart of second-seeded LC’s tough win, which also clinched a regional home game. G-Prep and Mt. Spokane will travel to undetermined Big Nine sites.
The Tigers (20-1) stepped up with 55-34 advantage on the boards, including a 26-7 edge on the offensive glass. But the offensive rebounds came courtesy of 25-percent shooting.
“Rebounding was definitely our goal, especially on offense,” said 6-foot-2 junior center Heather Bowman. “We knew we were bigger, so we thought it would be a key for us.”
Bowman, who had 10 boards (seven offensive) and guard Briann January, who led with 14 (half on offense), were the stars with 17 point apiece, with Bowman hitting 7 of her 14 shots.
But it was LC’s defense that was the key as the third-seeded Pups (17-5) hit just 9 of 39 shots, including 2 of 20 second-half attempts.
Sophomore Tara Cronin, who started in the post offensively and then moved out front when point guard Corrina O’Brien fouled out with 4 minutes left, took top billing for Prep with 10 points and 14 rebounds.
Prep and Mt. Spokane will meet at U-Hi tonight at 5:45 for third place in district.
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