It’s going to take a while before basketball coaches across the Greater Spokane League know what they have.
Practice for traditional winter sports didn’t start until May 10, and with spring sports not finishing up until Saturday, some teams have only had a handful of practices with their full complement of players.
So there may be a few surprises in the first couple of weeks of the season.
But Gonzaga Prep sophomore Lucy Lynn was ready to go in Game 1.
Lynn scored 20 points with three 3-pointers and the Bullpups downed visiting, short-handed Mt. Spokane 61-38 on Tuesday in the season opener for both teams.
Senior Lydia Myers added 18 for G-Prep.
G-Prep coach Mike Arte was happy with the performance.
“Yeah, real good considering that we had our full team (Monday) for the first practice,” Arte said. “We had three girls that ran track, two girls in golf, and two in quarantine. So of my 12 girls, seven were out the first week.”
Still, better than the alternative.
“Hey, first one, and it’s May 18,” Arte said. “The last time we were at an event, no summer ball, was Feb. 10 (2020). It’s been 15 months. And so, yeah, I was pleased with what we did.”
Lynn didn’t expect the offense to operate through her.
“Not really,” she said. “I just expect to go out and work hard, get buckets for the team, contribute where I can.
“We have a really good team atmosphere, everybody supporting each other.”
“We had her on the varsity last year as a freshman and you can start to see her development and her confidence growing,” Arte said. “We knew that she’s going to be a great player. She just has good basketball skills, good basketball instincts, and she’s a not a bad shooter.”
Lynn only practiced a few days last week since she’s a member of the golf team. Despite the lack of practice time, she felt comfortable first time out.
“Most of us work pretty hard outside of basketball, so we all came in (to basketball) in pretty good shape,” Lynn said.
The Wildcats managed just one point midway through the first quarter. Myers had eight points in the quarter, including a long 3-pointer, and the Bullpups led 17-7 though one.
Lynn took over for G-Prep in the second as the Bullpups’ midcourt press took its toll on Mt. Spokane. Lynn had 11 points in the quarter, but Mt. Spokane’s Allison Nelson popped a couple of late 3s to keep the Wildcats within striking distance, 32-19 at intermission.
Lynn opened the third with a 3 from the wing as G-Prep opened a 17-point lead, but 3s from Jaimyn Sides and Whitney Browning narrowed the gap to 12 with 3 minutes left in the quarter.
But Lynn drained a rainbow 3 from the corner at the horn and the Bullpups led 47-30 after three quarters.
Sides started the fourth with a corner 3, but Mt. Spokane didn’t find a run to cut into the deficit. Taliah Lee had six points off the bench, most on breakaways, for the Bullpups.
Mt. Spokane dressed seven players: two seniors, three sophomores and two ninth-graders. The Wildcats unexpectedly lost several players this spring that played key reserve roles on the 2020 State 3A fourth-place team.
“We’ve got a lot of young kids,” Mt. Spokane coach David Pratt said. “The numbers are down probably for everybody, right, but it’s just going to be a learning experience. We’re happy to play, but we’re not going to be happy to be mediocre either.”
Pratt knows there’s work to do.
“We’ve got to develop chemistry,” Pratt said. “We’ve got to work on a bunch of things and just not enough time to do it when we were given the green light.”
Jaimyn Sides hit three 3-pointers and led the Wildcats with 12 points.
Mt. Spokane boys 66, Gonzaga Prep 56: Reigning GSL MVP Tyson Degenhart scored 25 points, Kobe Simpson added 12 and the Wildcats (1-0) downed the Bullpups (1-1) in a 4A/3A matchup.
“It felt great,” Degenhart said. “I hadn’t played the game in 14 months and to come out with a win against a team I haven’t beaten in four years, it feels nice.”
“They still are a great program,” Mt. Spokane coach David Wagenblast said. “They’ve been the top for a long time. So to finally beat Prep, that’s something that we were excited to have that opportunity to play on this year.”
Degenhart thought his play was “pretty smooth for the most part,” despite the layoff. The Wildcats were inspired by fellow senior JoJo Anderson, who will miss the season with a shoulder injury.
“You missed the feeling of getting on the court with your brothers and just playing for one another, and especially without JoJo here,” Degenhart said. “We played for him tonight and we got the win for him.”
Hodges Flemming scored 40 points for the Bullpups.
“He’s a fierce competitor. He plays with great poise, and he’s a shotmaker,” G-Prep coach Matty McIntyre said. “What he did tonight was nothing short of incredible. And he makes the whole thing go for us, there’s no doubt about that.”
McIntyre saw improvement from the Bullpups’ 72-59 win over Lewis and Clark on Saturday.
“I’m really pleased with the way that we competed,” he said. “We just have areas that we need to improve upon, just like everybody, and so that’s going to be the goal moving forward.”
Central Valley 85, Cheney 63: The 2020 State 4A runner-up Bears (1-0) beat the Blackhawks (0-1) in a 4A/3A season opener. Details were unavailable.
Lewis and Clark 64, Mead 56 (OT): Gentz Hilburn scored 17 points and the Tigers (1-1) beat the visiting Panthers (0-1) in overtime in a 4A/3A matchup. Lucas Goeller and Landon Lewis added 16 points apiece for LC. Zack Reighard hit three 3-pointers and led Mead with 19 points.
University 74, Ferris 57: Jeremiah Sibley scored 27 points and hit five 3-pointers and the visiting Titans (1-0) defeated the Saxons (0-1) in a 4A/3A opener. Brian Caldera added 21 points for University. Jackson Floyd led Ferris with 24 points and Trayce Atkins added 15.
Clarkston 64, Rogers 21: Mason Van Tine was 6 for 7 with 13 points and the Bantams (1-0) beat the visiting Pirates (0-1) in a 2A opener. Zavier Santana had three 3-pointers and 11 points for Clarkston.
Shadle Park 55, Pullman 53: Jamil Miller scored 14 points, Reese Snellman added 12 and the Highlanders (1-0) beat the Greyhounds (0-1) in a 2A opener. Ayden Barbour led Pullman with 17.
Central Valley 65, Cheney 33: Grace Geldien scored 15 points and the defending State 4A champion Bears (1-0) defeated the Blackhawks (0-1) in a 4A/3A opener. Chloe Williams scored 14 points with two 3-pointers and MJ Bruno added 12 points for CV. Emma Evans led Cheney with 13 points.
University 44, Ferris 37: Alyssa Osborne scored 14 points and the Titans (1-0) defeated the visiting Saxons (0-1) in a 4A/3A opener. Katie Christensen added 11 for University. Kendall Omlin scored 11 points for Ferris.
Mead 59, Lewis and Clark 40: Olivia Moore had 18 points and the visiting Panthers (1-0) beat the Tigers (0-1) in a 4A/3A opener. Andie Zylak had 16 points, five rebounds, seven assists and two steals for LC.
Pullman 61, Shadle Park 41: Meghan McSweeney scored 27 points and the visiting Greyhounds (1-0) beat the Highlanders (0-1) in a 2A opener. MaKayla Uhlenkott added 10 points for Pullman. Kyleigh Archer led Shadle Park with 18 points and Josey Lawrence added 11.
Clarkston 83, Colton 44: Two-time Great Northern League MVP Ashlyn Wallace scored 23 points and the Bantams (1-0) beat the visiting Wildcats (0-1) in a nonleague game. Rylee Vining led Colton with 15 points.
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