It’s the type of girls basketball game the Lewis and Clark Tigers frequently lost a year ago.
It’s the kind of game the Mead Panthers hope to win with some seasoning.
Heavily favored to win the Greater Spokane League championship, Lewis and Clark built as much as a 13-point lead in the second half Friday only to hold off a frenetic Mead rally, 54-48 at Mead.
Last year, the Tigers found ways to lose games like Friday’s contest. From that standpoint, LC coach Jim Redmon was satisfied.
For Redmon’s Tigers to take it to the level they want to be at by season’s end, though, they must find a way to maintain sizeable leads.
“For whatever reason we’re not doing the little things,” Redmon said. “You can have all the talent in the world, but you’ve got to do those things. We let them back in and basketball’s a game of runs. It turned into a battle the rest of the game.”
A layup in transition by Nakia Arquette gave the Tigers a 33-20 lead with 5:50 to go in the third quarter. But the young Panthers fought back, pulling within 37-35 when Taylor Ingebritsen completed a three-point play with 1:06 remaining in the period.
Two free throws by Devyn Galland allowed LC (2-0 overall, 2-0 league) to take a 39-35 lead into the final quarter.
LC got the lead back to double digits when Arquette finished off another fastbreak thanks to a nice pass from Galland, extending the lead to 51-41 with 2:08 to go.
The Panthers (1-2, 0-2) weren’t finished, though. They used four free throws from Jade Redmon to pull within 51-45 with 37 seconds remaining, then freshman Delaney Junkermier hit a high-arcing 3-pointer with 22 seconds to go, slicing the margin to 51-48.
LC made 3 of 4 foul shots in the final 14 seconds to seal the win.
The Tigers shot uncharacteristically poorly, hitting just 9 of 26 in each half. Galland struggled the most, making just 4 of 19 shots.
“I was proud of most of the decisions at the end just to keep the separation that we had,” LC’s Redmon said. “Give credit to them. Once they got back into it and it was a battle, they stayed after it.”
Mead coach Regan Drew took solace in a moral victory at this point, especially after the Panthers opened league with a 61-49 loss to University on Tuesday.
“I’m really proud of the effort,” Drew said. “We’re really young. We’ve improved a lot just this week. I thought they were really resilient. I thought our kids played mentally tough. In this league, there’s no time for being young. I thought our kids really stepped up to the challenge.”
Arquette led a balanced LC attack with 15 points and eight rebounds. Hayley Hendricksen added 12 points and 10 rebounds.
Ingebritsen made 12 of 14 foul shots to lead Mead with 17 points. Redmon had eight points to go with a team-high 10 rebounds.
Mt. Spokane 48, Ferris 46: Rachel Jones came off the bench to score 10 points and grab nine rebounds to lead the Wildcats (1-1, 1-1) to the win over the visiting Saxons (0-2, 0-2). Kennadie Clute added eight rebounds to Mt. Spokane’s cause. Katara Belton-Sharp led Ferris with nine points.
Gonzaga Prep 53, Central Valley 39: Tia Presley filled up the stat line while leading the Bullpups (2-0, 2-0) past the visiting Bears (0-3, 0-2). Presley had a game-high 22 points to go with 15 rebounds, four steals and four assists. Teammate Lindsay Stockton had five steals. Brooke Gallaway led CV with 14 points.
Shadle Park 73, University 49: Big second and fourth quarters sparked the visiting Highlanders over the Titans. The Highlanders (3-0, 2-0) outscored U-Hi (2-2, 1-1) 45-26 in the second and fourth periods. Aleisha Hathaway led Shadle with 24 points, 10 rebounds, two assists and two steals. Freshman Cassie Shillam led the Titans with 19 points, six rebounds, two assists and two steals.
North Central 66, Rogers 17: The visiting Indians (2-1, 2-0) jumped on the Pirates (0-2, 0-2) early. Three players finished in double figures for NC. Riley Holsinger led with 15 points.