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Friday, January 17, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Big second half earns Metro 20-point victory in Jack Blair Memorial girls basketball

They had one basketball but they could have used several for the talent-rich teams in the 22nd annual Jack Blair Memorial game.

That’s not to mean the players were too selfish. Far from it.

When the Greater Spokane League-based Metro got rolling in the second half, Region, which included many of the best players outside the GSL, couldn’t keep up.

Gonzaga Prep standouts Otiona Gildon and Laura Stockton, Madison Hovren of Central Valley and Lewis and Clark’s Riley Lupfer had spectacular moments as they led Metro to a 100-80 victory at University High School.

Gildon and Stockton each scored 19 points, Lupfer had 17 and Hovren had 15. Gildon was named the most valuable player and Lupfer the most inspirational as Metro ended a two-game losing streak.

Lupfer was largely responsible for getting Metro untracked in the first half. She made 5 of 6 attempts from behind the 3-point arc, including three in a row before halftime, allowing Metro to take a 46-42 lead into intermission.

“She’s a great shooter,” Stockton said. “She was feeling it. We were trying to find her the ball. I’m excited to see what she does next year.”

Gildon had 11 points in the second half and Hovren nine. And that was by design, CV coach Freddie Hovren said.

If Stockton and Gildon appeared a little fatigued in the first half there was good reason – G-Prep had its graduation on Sunday and they attended the all-night senior party.

“We got home about 4:30 in the morning and I woke up around 10 and couldn’t fall back to sleep,” Stockton said. “I’m a little tired.”

Region started well, propelled by Emily Drake of Pullman.

Drake, who had a game-high 26 points and seven rebounds, hit her first three shots, all 3-pointers, as Region got out to a 29-19 lead with 8:12 to go before halftime.

“We started off a little stiff and we were trying to get used to each other,” Stockton said. “Then we started clicking and we were passing the ball and not going one-on-one as much. We played more like a team and that’s when we started to see good stuff.”

Rehkow said Lupfer’s first-half shooting was key.

“I think everybody in the GSL knows what kind of player she is and if they don’t they haven’t played her,” Rehkow said. “We needed those 3s to get the lead. Then in the second half we decided to go inside. If (Region) could stop Oti and (Hovren) for a full game, they deserved to win.”

Lupfer was thrilled to play with the GSL’s best.

“During the season you have like a hate relationship with them but when you’re playing with them you don’t want to be playing with anyone else.”

Gildon, Stockton and Harrington – teammates on back-to-back state title teams – were glad to play together one more time.

“We had to go out with a bang,” Gildon said.

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