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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Sports >  High school sports

Thomas’ defensive stop lifts CV past U-Hi

Considering how the game started for the Central Valley boys basketball team, the fact the Bears needed a defensive stop on the game’s last play was curious.

Central Valley started afire, scoring the first 11 points, but the Bears went cold in the vastness of the Arena before holding off the University Titans 40-39 in a Greater Spokane League game Friday.

Landon Daines hit the front of a 1-and-1 situation with 16 seconds left to provide the final margin for CV. Then after a U-Hi timeout, CV’s Josh Thomas switched on a screen and put defensive pressure on Spencer Matt.

Matt flung a shot that was well short of the rim and time expired, allowing the Bears to escape after their offense went dormant in the fourth quarter.

“We were running a switching man-to-man and I got on him at the end so they couldn’t get anything off of screens,” Thomas said. “It was me and him. One of us was going to come out the winner and I wanted it. I wanted to win that game. We bore down and played defense.”

It was Matt’s fifth game back from recovering from reconstructive knee surgery. It was a good thing the Titans had him. He finished with more than half his team’s points with 20.

It appeared CV (12-3 overall, 10-3 league) had things in hand when it stretched the lead to match its opening start. Tanner Sloan made a 3-pointer to put the Bears ahead 37-26 with 4:33 remaining.

But CV scored just one more basket while the Titans (6-9, 6-7) took advantage of Bears turnovers.

Josh Hager hit a deep 3-pointer to pull the Titans within 39-36 with 2:17 to go.

Matt made both ends of a 1-and-1 to make it 39-38.

With 18 seconds to go, Noah Martin made a free throw to tie things at 39.

“Great start, we just didn’t finish it real well,” CV coach Rick Sloan said. “You always worry about this game (spirit doubleheader) because of the emotions that go into it. You always worry about the shooting in here.”

Both teams played stingy defense. But being in an arena with no depth perception for shooting had much to do with the final numbers. U-Hi shot 33 percent (13 of 39) and CV shot 32 percent (13 of 41).

“We got it at the end and we were fortunate,” Sloan said.

Sloan chalked up much of CV’s offensive woes in the fourth quarter to turnovers.

“A lot of untimely things,” Sloan said. “What I liked is we never panicked. We kept playing good defense and never let them get ahead of us.”

Sloan praised Thomas’ defense at the end.

“That’s what Josh will do for you,” Sloan said.

Thomas finished with a team-high 12 points and Ryan Rehkow had a team-high eight rebounds.

Thomas said it was a typical game between friends from the same school district.

“They’re great players,” Thomas said of the Titans. “I played AAU with them for a long time. We’re all friends. Those are the games you love to play.”

Gonzaga Prep 71, North Central 32: Braden Morse had 12 points and 11 rebounds and the league-leading Bullpups (14-1, 12-1) cruised past the visiting Indians (0-15, 0-13). Logan Adams added 10 points for the Bullpups. All eleven Bullpups scored. Riley Smith and RJ Tensley led NC with 10 each.

Shadle Park 53, Ferris 47: Markieth Brown and Tanner Groves scored 14 and 13, respectively, and the Highlanders (11-4, 10-3) got a big win at home over the Saxons (7-8, 6-7). Shamrock Campbell led Ferris with 14 and Mike Ervin had 10.

Lewis and Clark 52, Rogers 42: The visiting Tigers (12-3, 11-2) got out quickly, opening a 32-19 lead by halftime over the Pirates (3-12, 3-10). Isaiah Hernandez led LC with 15 points and Dominick Oliveri added 10. Denzel Brantley led Rogers with 17.

Mead 58, Mt. Spokane 31: The Panthers (9-7, 6-7) opened a 21-2 lead and never looked back at home. James Baird led Mead, scoring all 13 of his points in the first quarter. Chris Lawton had five assists. Kyle Griffiths led Mt. Spokane (2-13, 1-12) with eight points.

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