If Greater Spokane League boys basketball teams didn’t know about Gonzaga Prep junior shooting guard Parker Kelly before Tuesday, they do now.
Kelly was deadly from long range, making 7 of 8 3-point shots. The combination of his shooting and the usual contribution from Ryan Nicholas inside spelled doom for University as the Bullpups ran away from the visiting Titans 81-53 in a league opener.
“He can fill it up,” first-year Bullpups coach Matty McIntyre said. “He works extremely hard. He’ll stay after practice and put up 200 shots. He’s a workaholic. He has the potential to be that kind of shooter all the time.”
That explains why G-Prep (4-0) wants to be an inside-outside team. If teams try to collapse on the 6-foot-7 Nicholas, the unselfish post will kick the ball outside to Kelly or another guard.
U-Hi (2-1) hung with G-Prep for half a quarter, even taking a 7-5 lead on a basket from Spencer Drury. But the Bullpups went on a 16-1 run to close out the first period, including a 13-0 stretch at one point, and the game was out of reach from there.
The Bullpups used another run to finish the first half.
A Kelly 3-pointer at the buzzer capped a 15-3 surge and allowed G-Prep to take a 44-20 lead into halftime.
Kelly finished with a game-high 23 points and Nicholas added 19 to go with 13 rebounds.
“They were something else,” McIntyre said. “It was special. We had great spacing. Spacing is what gave us the ability to do that.”
The Titans didn’t fare much better in the second half. Their bench managed to pull them within 78-53 thanks largely to eight turnovers by Bullpups reserves in the fourth period.
McIntyre pulled Kelly and Nicholas with 6:23 remaining and G-Prep leading 74-36.
“I was really pleased with our defense through the first three quarters,” McIntyre said. “We wanted to get back in transition and contest shots because U-Hi’s a good shooting team.”
The Bullpups got quality minutes out of guard Chris Sarbaugh and post Charlie Hopkins. They finished with a combined 16 points and 10 rebounds.
McIntyre said his team exceeded expectations in their league opener.
“It’s the kids,” McIntyre said. “They performed at a very high level. Hopefully, it’s just another building block to fulfilling our potential.”
Caleb Martin came off the bench to lead U-Hi with 15 points, 12 of which came in the fourth period on 3-of-3 shooting from 3-point range.
Kyle Bailey added 14 points and six rebounds for the Titans.
Mead 46, Central Valley 35: Bo Tully made a key 3-pointer with 3 minutes remaining, giving the Panthers (3-1) a seven-point lead as they eventually won by double digits in the league opener for both teams at Mead.
The Panthers’ defense came up big in the fourth quarter as they held the Bears (3-1) to four points.
Aaron Dunn led Mead with 21 points, all coming in the first three quarters, and teammate Taylor Farnsworth owned the boards, grabbing a game-high 14.
Scott Simon, who made two 3-pointers, led CV with 12 points.
Mead built a 27-21 lead by halftime, and the Bears pulled within 35-31 going into the final quarter.
CV went scoreless the final three minutes.
Mead shot 34 percent from the field while the Bears shot 31 percent.
North Central 48, East Valley 37: The Indians (2-3) outscored the visiting Knights (0-4) 14-7 in the fourth quarter to pull away in the league opener for both teams.
Isaiah Antoine led the Indians with 15 points and nine rebounds and teammate Zac Hill added 14 points and seven rebounds. Ryan McIntyre led EV with 15 points and teammate Korie Sherman chipped in 14.
The teams battled to an 18-18 tie through two quarters. The Indians outscored EV 16-12 in the third quarter before pulling away late.
Ferris at Lewis and Clark, ppd.: The game was rescheduled for Tuesday