As Greater Spokane League basketball teams concluded first-half play Friday, the Mt. Spokane girls find themselves in a comfortable position.
The Wildcats are clearly the second-best team. What was evident in the first half, though, is there’s a gulf between defending State 4A champ Central Valley and the rest of the league.
Visiting Mt. Spokane remained a game behind CV by handling Gonzaga Prep 48-30 in a physical matchup that bordered on out of control in the final three minutes.
The margin could have been wider. The Wildcats went more than a quarter without scoring and they committed 23 uncharacteristic turnovers.
Mt. Spokane coach David Pratt talked to his team about the scoring drought.
“We talked about it at halftime,” Pratt said. “We told them, ‘Hey, we’re good, settle in.’ And we hang our hats on defense, right? We give them credit because they play phenomenal defense that caused us to rush some shots and run the shot clock down. And then we started the third quarter as cold as could be. So we talked about it.”
Mt. Spokane (10-1 overall, 8-1 league) missed its final 15 shots of the second quarter and first five of the third. This after a 19-4 start.
Three baskets to open the third allowed G-Prep (6-5, 6-3) to pull within 20-17. Finally, Aspyn Adams hit a shot that probably shouldn’t have gone in – a flip from behind her head, no less – with 3:32 to go in the third. That started an 8-2 run, allowing the Wildcats to take control.
Many of the difficulties that plagued G-Prep in the first half when it committed 17 turnovers followed them in the second half. They finished with 31 turnovers.
Playing without starter Molly McDermott (ankle), the Bullpups turned to freshman post Olivia Mayer, who scored 21 points and hauled down 13 rebounds. Every time Mayer touched the ball inside, it was an automatic basket.
The Bullpups didn’t have anything else to package with Mayer.
The Wildcats, meanwhile, received contributions from many. Leading the way was senior point guard Jaidyn Lyman, who scored 20 points to go with five steals. Adams added 18 points and seven rebounds and workhorse Miahna Waters had eight rebounds and three steals.
CV topped Mt. Spokane 43-25 last month, The rematch is Feb. 2, and count Lyman, who has played on the same club team with several Bears, as one looking forward to a second shot.
“I don’t think anybody else expected this from us except for us,” Lyman said “We need to continue to play poised. There will be lots of teams coming for us now that we’re right behind Central Valley. We played really good defense, we just didn’t put the ball in the hole (the first time against CV). If we can shoot better, I think we can beat them.”
Pratt likes where his team is headed.
“We were tough mentally,” Pratt said. “And then we were able to finish and keep our poise down the stretch.”
Rogers 54, Ferris 48 OT: Akon Aleu scored 16 points to go with 14 rebounds and six steals in leading the Pirates (2-8, 1-7) past the visiting Saxons (1-9, 1-7). Atyzha Upton added 10 rebounds. Carin Scott led Ferris with 12 points.
Mead 46, North Central 40: Brenna Junkermier had 11 points and Aaliyah Pauling added 10 and the Panthers (6-4, 4-4) held off the visiting Indians (4-6, 3-5). Sativa Rogers led NC with 13 points and Quincy McDeid had 12.
University 54, Lewis and Clark 39: Ellie Boni had 16 points, six rebounds and three assists to lead the visiting Titans (7-4, 6-3) past the Tigers (5-6, 5-4). Claire Dingus added 11 points, five rebounds and three assists. U-Hi finished with 14 assists. Jacinta Buckley led LC with 12 points and 10 rebounds.
Central Valley 68, Shadle Park 12: The visiting Bears (11-0, 9-0) romped to a 28-2 lead after the first quarter against the Highlanders (0-10, 0-9). Lexie Hull led the way with 15 points, Hailey Christopher had 14, Lacie Hull had 12 and Mady Simmelink added 10. Willow Risinger led Shadle with six.
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