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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

U-Hi boys make certain

Central Valley teacher Earnest Tate is treated like a queen at the Stinky Sneaker spirit game. The Bears' theme was

When University and Central Valley last met, at the start of the boys basketball season, the Titans squandered a 12-point halftime lead and ultimately lost in overtime.

“We just let them stick around too long,” said 6-foot-5 Titans post Calvin Jurich. “This time we knew what we had to do and closed the door.”

They locked it, as a matter of fact, on Sunny Khehra’s buzzer-beating 3-point basket to end the third-quarter of their 56-35 win.

It was Khehra’s fourth long-range shot of the night and Kyle Olson made three more, coming during a critical juncture in U-Hi’s season.

On a night when University (7-4, 2-2) hosted the annual Stinky Sneaker spirit game in front of a standing-room only crowd exceeding 2,500 fans, victory ended a two-game losing streak. And it thrust the team into the middle of a wide-open Greater Spokane League race on a Friday night of upsets.

There are no unbeaten teams. Five now share first place and the Titans and Bears (8-3, 2-2) are now among five others a game out of the lead.

“We needed it big time,” said Titans coach Marty Jessett. “Going in as coaches, we said this is one we had to have after the way we played the last couple of games.”

Both teams stuck to a patient offensive game plan and the first-half was low-scoring and close despite good shooting by both. The difference was U-Hi’s 3-point shooting and Central Valley’s inability to make free throws, missing all five of its first-half attempts.

Khehra tied the game at 12-12 in the second quarter with his first 3-pointer, broke a 14-14 tie with his second and made it 20-16 with his third, all coming in just over the span of a minute.

“I was feeling pretty good about my shot,” he said. “I think my team got me the ball tonight pretty good.”

Olson helped the Titans to an eight-point halftime lead with his first long shot and had his second midway through the third quarter after CV had pared the lead down to four points.

Then came the dagger, Khehra’s shot as time expired.

“Kyle got me the ball, I had a pretty good stroke right now and just let it fly,” he said.

Olson opened the fourth quarter with his third long shot, and game scoring leader Jurich finished it off inside with nine fourth-quarter points.

“We were so much more patient on offense,” said Jessett of the turnaround. “We really hammered on them Wednesday and Thursday about moving the ball and getting the shots we wanted. In the fourth quarter we talked about using the clock and still being aggressive. We played pretty good defense, but really it was on the offensive end that was the difference for us.”

The Bears, whose Nick Ambrose scored 12, made only four second-half baskets in 18 tries.