Shadle Park continued to share second place in the Greater Spokane League after Tuesday night’s basketball victory over University.
But the Titans remained a thorn in the Highlanders’ (10-2) side.
Sophomore season scoring leader Chelsea Chandler, quiet for much of three quarters, scored eight of Shadle’s final 10 points in the 47-45 home victory that salvaged a split of their season series with the Titans (6-7).
“That was ugly, wasn’t it?” coach Chad Dezellem said. “We don’t play with much confidence against U-Hi. They’re a good, solid team that makes you work.”
Earlier this year, U-Hi won 41-36 when the teams were a combined 0 for 25 on 3-pointers.
This time the teams combined to make eight, five by Shadle in the first half when it took a 28-22 lead.
None was bigger than the two that came back-to-back by Hilary Ambriz, that broke a 22-all tie in the half’s final 40 seconds.
Ambriz, who played sparingly, came off the bench and took kick-out feeds from penetrating teammates to stake the Highlanders to the six-point lead.
“When I get in, I try to make myself useful and do what I can to help the team,” Ambriz said. “I hit the big 3s that put us up before the half, so that was good.”
Still, the Titans, who after an early lead had clawed their way back from a 16-9 deficit to tie, wouldn’t go away. Crystal Pakootas and Zoe Scott hit 3-pointers early in the third quarter and combined for 10 points to take the lead back, 32-30.
Shadle, however, struck quickly with four points off turnovers to go up 37-34 in the fourth quarter. Then Chandler, who was just 1 for 5 from the field and didn’t take a shot in the third quarter, took over the game.
Every time U-Hi scored, she countered. The lead was just 41-40 before Lindsay Niemeier’s rebound basket with 2 minutes, 40 seconds left.
Scott answered, but Shadle hit the offensive boards and Chandler put in another basket. Then she hit two free throws for a 47-43 lead with 25 seconds left.
Pakootas cut the lead to a basket with 14 ticks left, but the Titans failed to foul following a timeout. Shadle had escaped.
Dezellem said the Highlanders have tended to tighten up this year against the Titans when they didn’t get what they expected right away. Chandler concurred.
“I wasn’t feeling too good about my shots in the first half,” Chandler said. “It was a little frustrating, I was kind of forcing things. But I had to relax and let the game come to me.”
U-Hi is fifth among 4A teams and experiencing growing pains with only two varsity returnees – Pakootas, who scored 15 points, and Scott, who added 13.
“We dug ourselves shallow holes, but battled back the whole game,” Dezellem said. “We’re at a spot where we just want to get into the playoffs and see what we can do.”
Gonzaga Prep 57, Mt. Spokane 52: The Bullpups (7-6) converted 20 of 32 free throws to fend off the host Wildcats (3-8). Tia Presley was 11 for 12 from the line on her way to 26 points. Mt. Spokane had three double-figure scorers, led by Sammie Peterson’s 15.
East Valley 54, Ferris 42: The visiting Knights (7-6) outscored the Saxons (2-11) 18-6 in the second quarter, when Ferris made just one field goal, for a nine-point halftime lead. Morgan Manchester scored 21 points, including 8 for 9 at the line.
Lewis and Clark 66, North Central 30: The Tigers (13-0) trailed after a quarter, then poured in 47 points in the middle two to prevail over the host Indians (1-11). Sarah Kliewer scored all 10 of her points in the second quarter and Jeneva Anderson had eight of her 12 in the fourth. Mary Blevins led the way with 13.
Mead 57, Rogers 23: Taylor Ingebritsen scored 17 points and the Panthers (10-2) shut out the host Pirates (0-12) while tallying 19 in the first quarter to build an insurmountable lead.