Central Valley entered play ranked No. 3 in Class 4A in the WIAA’s RPI system. The Bears enjoyed a two-game lead over Gonzaga Prep and three over its Friday opponent, Mead, in the Greater Spokane League 4A standings.
Make it four now.
Central Valley had nine players score in the first half as it built a 20-plus-point lead, and the Bears cruised to a 77-47 win over the visiting Panthers.
Noah Sanders led CV (16-1, 11-0) with 15 points. Jayce Simmons added 13 points and Gavin Gilstrap and Luke Sukut – off the bench – had 12 points apiece.
Jordan Mulder led Mead (9-8, 7-4) with 14 points.
“That’s a good team over there,” Simmons said of Mead. “It’s always nice to come in with a little bit of home cooking. We play well in this gym.”
The win gives CV some cushion heading into the last week of league play.
“We’re excited,” Simmons said. “This stretch, the next couple games, are some tough ones. We’ve really gotta focus in practice, and I think we’ll get the job done.”
The Bears’ size and athleticism were on display early as they got out to an 8-3 lead and Mead coach Glenn Williams called timeout. The pause didn’t slow CV down – Gilstrap scored twice on the inside, then Sanders scored nine unanswered points and CV led 24-5 after one quarter.
Mead scored a quick six points to start the second but Teagen Hoard stopped the run with a 3 from the top of the key. Dylan Darling hit a 3 from the wing and Sukut’s fastbreak layup made it 34-13 with 3 1/2 minutes left in the half.
“It’s nice having this amount of guys that can come in and affect the game the way they do,” Simmons said. “They play their roles extremely well. We have a lot of guys coming off the bench that can put the ball in the hoop.”
CV led 37-16 at intermission.
Gilstrap sat out the entire second quarter with two fouls, but CV ran its offense through him at the start of the third. The 6-foot-10 junior used all of his size to score three times at the hoop, and CV extended its lead to 51-29 midway through.
Sukut nailed a 3 from the corner as the horn sounded, and CV led by 21 entering the fourth quarter.
Simmons fed Sanders for an alley-oop and the Bears opened the lead to 69-40 with 4 minutes left.
Reserve player Lauren O’Neill hit a long 3 and added a layup late.
“It’s awesome to see some of the guys get to suit up for games,” Simmons said. “They’re mostly practice guys, but when they get to come in and contribute it’s awesome.”
Around the league
Ferris 64, Lewis and Clark 45: Zach Fleming and Kobe Smith scored 15 points apiece and the visiting Saxons (10-7, 6-5) beat the Tigers (4-13, 4-7).
Miles Heath led LC with 17 points.
Mt. Spokane 61, North Central 26: Tyson Degenhart scored 17 points and the Wildcats (14-3, 7-2) topped the visiting Indians (3-15, 3-7). JoJo Anderson ahd 12 points and Trayce Atkins added 10 for Mt. Spokane. Ayden Barnufsky led NC with eight points.
Rogers 62, Shadle Park 56: Evan Nomee scored 25 points, Kaiden Humbird added 16 and the visiting Pirates (3-14, 1-9) beat the Highlanders (2-16, 0-10).
Jake Wilcox led Shadle with 17 points, Denham Kehr added 16 and Logan Doyle had 14.
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