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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Sports

Eagles juniors rediscover touch

J.D. Larson Correspondent

On Tuesday night, West Valley juniors Greg Bradley and E.J. Richardson combined for four points.

The Eagles barely escaped with a win against Mt. Spokane.

At North Central on Friday night, the two exploded for season highs, combining to score 40 points in West Valley’s 75-58 Greater Spokane League win over the reeling Indians.

Bradley pushed the Eagles (9-0, 2-0) to an early lead, knocking down five 3-pointers in the first 10 minutes. Four of those came during a 23-9 WV run which gave the Eagles a 12-point, first-quarter lead.

“Greg’s probably our best shooter,” WV head coach Jamie Nilles said. “He just forced the issue a little bit tonight. He hit his first two and the gates opened a little.”

North Central (3-6, 0-2), which started the year 3-1, had no answer down low for the 6-foot-6 Richardson. NC had little inside presence without 6-3 junior Damal Neil, out with a broken finger.

Richardson had 23 points on 11-of-18 shooting, beating NC big men down the floor for layins and dominating the paint in the half-court offense.

“E.J. was humbled by it, having one point against Mt. Spokane,” Nilles said of Richardson, only playing his fourth year of organized basketball. “We know he’s learning. The guy runs the floor better than anybody in the league. He can be Bambi on ice skates a little out there. We just tell him to stay balanced and don’t rush and he’s starting to learn that.”

Eric Beal led the Indians with 20 points and six rebounds, but NC’s collective inexperience showed as it turned over the ball 23 times against the Eagles’ full-court, chaotic defensive pressure. Two seniors saw extensive minutes for the Indians, and a freshman and two sophomores saw a lot of floor time for NC coach Jay Webber.

“We’re making some strides,” Webber said. “A lot of this is youth. It’s hard to win in this league. For us, we need to get some games under our belt, which is hard to say, because it’s league play.”

Tyler Hobbs, averaging 14.5 points a game for WV, added 17 points and six rebounds, plus two of the team’s nine 3-pointers.

“He isn’t flashy,” Webber said of Hobbs. “But he does so many things well.”

After the first quarter, NC never got any closer than 10 as the Eagles added an 11-2 second-quarter spurt to go up by 21.

“They beat you inside and outside,” Webber said. “They beat us outside in the first half, and inside in the second half. They’re a real good team.”

“When teams are scouting us, and five guys can score, it’s tough to have to pick your poison like that,” Nilles said. “There isn’t one guy you have to shut down, and when we keep the ball moving, we can be tough to guard.”

Central Valley 54, Cheney 44

Central Valley outscored the Blackhawks (5-4, 1-1) 22-9 in the fourth quarter to rally for the home win. CV’s Braden Jensen scored 19 of his 23 points in the final half to lead the Bears’ charge. Jensen had four 3-pointers for the Bears (8-1, 2-0), and was 7 of 9 from the free-throw line to nearly double his scoring average of 12.2. Matt Brunell and Ben Camp combined for 24 points to lead Cheney, which had won four straight.

East Valley 56, Shadle Park 52

Shadle led by as many as nine points in the second half, but EV (4-5, 1-1) outscored the Highlanders (3-6, 1-1) 29-16 in the second half for the road win. Jared Smith had 17 points for the Knights, and Dylan Sattin, fourth in league scoring, added 11. Josh Landsverk and Zach Humphrey combined for 34 points for Shadle. Humphrey was 11 of 15 from the free-throw line, and Landsverk hit 6 of 7 from the line. The teams combined to shoot 65 free throws.

Mt. Spokane 47, Clarkston 38

Curtis Justice kept the host Wildcats (4-5, 1-1) in the game early – scoring all 10 of their first-quarter points – and the Wildcats outscored Clarkston 23-12 in the second half for the win. Cam Sower and Edwin Miller combined for 23 points and 11 rebounds for Mt. Spokane, and Justice finished with 12. Clarkston (3-5, 0-2), led by Ryan Turnbow’s 10 points, shot 14 of 48 (29.2 percent) from the field.

Mead 57, Rogers 48

Mead went on a 10-0 run to end the first half, taking a nine-point lead in the process, and host Rogers (1-8, 0-2) could get no closer than five as the Panthers (4-5, 1-1) snapped a four-game losing streak. Mead had four players with at least nine points, led by Andy Mattingly’s 11. Zach Nichols and Lucas Ashe were also in double figures for the Panthers, scoring 10 apiece. Sophomore Scotty Livengood, averaging 17.5 points a game, scored 22 to lead the Pirates.

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