Arrow-right Camera
The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Gonzaga Prep boys, girls sweep Hanford in District 8 4A first-round games

Most coaches don’t expect to get into a running clock in the playoffs. But Gonzaga Prep’s boys and girls teams turned up the defensive pressure, built 40-point leads, and finished their games with reserves on the floor.

Both teams will host a District 8 semifinal on Saturday.


Gonzaga Prep 78, Hanford 35: Keagan Savage scored a season-high 18 points and the Bullpups (17-7) beat the visiting Falcons (5-18) in a first-round game.

Gonzaga Prep will face Kamiakin in a semifinal on Saturday.

Dylynn Groves had 16 points in the first three quarters, while Brogan Howell and Nate Christy added 10 points apiece.

G-Prep allowed fewer than 10 points in the final three quarters. Coach Matty McIntyre was pleased with his team defense.

“We handled our ball screens a little bit differently tonight,” he said. “We really wanted to pressure the ball and dictate where we allowed the ball to go, and I think we did a really nice job of that. We had tremendous on-ball pressure to lead us to turnovers, and we did as good of a job tonight getting out in transition and our defense allowed for that.”

Savage, a senior bench player for much of the season, has taken a larger role for the Bullpups with only nine players on varsity down the stretch.

“He can (score) when he gets on the open floor. He can put on a pretty spectacular show,” McIntyre said. “He’s a high flyer for sure. Very athletic kid.”

G-Prep got out of the gate slowly and trailed midway through the first quarter. Defensive pressure turned into transition baskets and the Bullpups got a boost by four points from Savage off the bench. Gonzaga Prep led 19-11 after one.

Savage started the second with a one-handed jam off a fast break. Henry Sandberg hit a long 3 with 2 minutes left in the quarter and the Bullpups led 37-20 at the half.

The lead reached 30 with 2 minutes left in the third quarter on a floater by sophomore Carter Nilson, his first bucket of the game, and Gonzaga Prep extended its lead to 64-29 entering the fourth quarter. Savage added a quick six points at the start of the quarter to trigger the running clock.

Hanford faces an elimination game Saturday.


Gonzaga Prep 64, Hanford 25: Freshman Aylah Cornwall scored 19 points before leaving with injury in the third quarter and the second-seeded Bullpups (17-4) handled the seventh-seeded Falcons (5-16). G-Prep hosts Chiawana on Saturday.

Junior Olivia McIntyre scored 12 points and senior Gillian Bears added 11 through three quarters.

“This tournament is just brutal with only two teams (going to state) and there’s four of us in the top 15 in the RPI,” G-Prep coach Geoff Arte said. “You’ve got to be playing your best basketball if you want to get out of this thing.”

Both teams found rough shooting in the first quarter, combining for more free throws than made baskets. McIntyre hit a late 3-pointer and the Bullpups led 16-5 after one quarter.

“We’re at the end of the year now, so we don’t like to say we’re young anymore,” Arte said of the rough early shooting. “But it was the first playoff game they’ve played, most of them. So, I think I think there’s a little bit of that.”

Cornwall heated up in the second quarter with a 3 and a couple of driving layups. G-Prep limited Hanford to one basket in the first half and led 40-9 at halftime.

“This time of year you’ve kind of got to turn the defense up to 11,” Arte said. “It’s that time of year where points are kind of at a scarcity all the time, so it’s hard to score against good teams and you got to be able to stop good teams from scoring. So, I thought we did a nice job defensively tonight.”

The game went to a running clock with 1:45 left in the third quarter.

Cornwall was involved in a collision in the third and did not re-enter the game. Arte indicated after the game Cornwall was “OK” and kept her out because of the score.