After Lewis and Clark’s win on Tuesday, coach Jeff Norton said he believed the Tigers matched up better with Gonzaga Prep than most.
His Tigers had Prep where they wanted them Thursday night in the boys District 8 4A basketball championship heading into the fourth quarter.
But the host Bullpups (20-2) got clutch scoring and occasionally spectacular floor play by point guard David Stockton and timely baskets by Nick Hanson, then held on for a 57-55 victory for the title. They’ll play at home Tuesday in the first round of regional playoffs against the No. 4 team from the Columbia Basin Big Nine.
Four 3-pointers by Austin Ehlo, who scored a team-high 16 points, had LC ahead 41-40 after three quarters. But Stockton’s steal and layin to open the final period, and assist to Hanson put G-Prep back up for good.
The Bullpups led by as many as seven points, 53-46 with 1 minute, 50 seconds remaining and weathered LC’s late comeback attempt.
Stockton found Travis Long inside and Hanson scored a second-effort basket that made it 48-43.
Later, Stockton drove and found Nicholas with a behind-the-back pass for a layin. Hanson capped things with a difficult inside reverse move for the seven-point lead.
Full-court LC pressure caused enough havoc, however, that the outcome wasn’t decided until Fischer’s free throw with 7 seconds left. Turnovers and free- throw shooting by Levi Taylor, who had 13 points, kept a standing-room-only audience on its toes.
The Bullpups had taken a 17-12 lead in the second quarter, but found themselves trailing by as many as three points on the shooting of Taylor. It was 25-22 LC before Sean Fischer hit a 3-pointer with 25 seconds left and Ryan Nicholas tipped in a miss with 6 seconds remaining until intermission.
Every time it looked like the Bullpups were getting control of the game in the third quarter thanks to Parker Kelly, Ehlo would answer from afar.
His last 3-pointer came at the end of the period.
Stockton scored 18 points and Kelly 12. Long also reached double figures, but his in-your-face defense shut down Ehlo in the fourth quarter.
The Tigers host Ferris at 7:15 p.m. today for the second and final GSL berth to this year’s regional tournament.
The winner will play at the CBBN No. 3 team on Tuesday.
Ferris 53, Mead 44: A 26-point fourth quarter turned the tide as the visiting Saxons (11-11) ended the home-standing Panthers’ season. Ferris was bolstered by the return from injury of Taylor Kamitomo, who had missed the last six games of the regular season. He scored a team-high 18 points, eight of them in the fourth quarter. Riley Stockton scored 10 of his 12 in the period as well. Mead (11-11), whose Grant Fink scored 15, shot just 33 percent for the game.
Shadle Park 56, North Central 39: The host Highlanders (18-4), burst out of the gates to a 16-4 lead after a quarter, and 19-point lead at half over the Indians (12-10). The fast start earned them top seed in next week’s regional playoffs and 5:30 p.m. game Feb. 28 at Rogers. Luke Jordan hit four 3-pointers for 16 points and Anthony Brown added 12. NC hosts Rogers in a loser-out game at 6 p.m. Tuesday.
Mt. Spokane 64, Rogers 51: The visiting Wildcats (8-14) got 32 points from Chaz Johnson to turn back the Pirates (9-13). Johnson was 11-for-20 shooting, including four 3-pointers, and flawless free-throw shooting. A 25-point fourth quarter put a close game away. Mt. Spokane travels to CBBN No. 2 on Tuesday at 6, also loser out.