The Gonzaga Prep boys basketball team feasted on finishing.
As is true with all Matty McIntyre-coached teams, everything good spawns from defense.
The Bullpups coupled multiple stops with efficient transition offense in a 58-40 victory over the visiting Ferris Saxons in Greater Spokane League play that reached the midway point Friday.
G-Prep’s win, coupled with a Lewis and Clark win, sets up a showdown between co-league leaders Tuesday at G-Prep. Tipoff is set for 5:30. LC beat G-Prep 63-53 in late December.
The Bullpups’ 31-18 lead at halftime can be easily explained. They finished the first quarter on a 6-0 surge and the half on a 7-0 run.
When the fourth-ranked Bullpups (10-1 overall, 8-1 league) had to set up an offense, 6-foot-6 senior post Braden Morse was difficult to contain.
Morse scored 10 of his 14 points in the first half, mostly on short turnaround jumpers or putbacks. He also had a team-high seven rebounds.
When G-Prep is using an inside-outside attack, that frees up senior sharpshooter Logan Adams, who led the league in scoring last year.
Adams got loose for three 3-pointers, finishing with a game-high 19 points.
G-Prep used a 9-2 burst to open the second half to squelch any Ferris (5-6, 4-5) hopes of a comeback.
“Our defense in the third quarter is the best it’s been all season,” McIntyre said. “We are close to getting things done right every possession. We’re not there yet but things are building towards that.”
Adams thought the defense was key.
“We hung our hat on the defensive end of the floor and we really buckled down and got stops and it led to easy buckets on the other end,” Adams said.
G-Prep’s league season was delayed because of the late but spectacular football season. McIntyre is thrilled with where his team stands halfway through.
“Pleasantly surprised,” McIntyre said. “With the football guys coming in late, nothing has been boring and the season hasn’t been dragging on. It seems like we’re on an upward trajectory.”
The development of Morse is a big piece to the Bullpups’ puzzle.
“He’s been working really hard,” Adams said of Morse. “We push him every day in practice to get better, get stronger. He’s got a long way to go but he’s come a long way also. It’s been great to watch him progress.”
“This was kind of his coming-out party,” McIntyre said. “For us to get a couple of post touches … he was in rhythm the whole night. I thought he did a wonderful job with a couple of post moves. Post presence will go a long way for us.”
Lewis and Clark 62, Mt. Spokane 48: Trailing 32-29 at halftime, the Tigers (9-2, 8-1) took control in the second half over the visiting Wildcats (2-9, 1-8). Justin Martin led LC with 17 points, the bulk coming on five 3-pointers, and Naje Smith added 13. Sam Stiles led the Wildcats with 15 and Ben Stevens had 13.
Central Valley 76, Mead 39: The Bears (9-2, 7-2) led by 10 points at halftime then scorched the visiting Panthers (7-5, 4-5) in the final two quarters. Cameron Tucker had a team-high 22 points for CV, Ryan Rehkow poured in 14 and Josh Thomas added 13. CV outrebounded Mead 31-20.
Shadle Park 66, University 34: Markieth and Andreas Brown combined for seven 3-pointers and 16 points each and the Highlanders (8-3, 7-2) cruised past the visiting Titans (4-7, 4-5). Tanner Groves added 11 points and 16 rebounds. Austin Dill led U-Hi with 18 points.
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