Central Valley sophomore Brooke Gallaway took over the game, scoring 15 fourth-quarter points, and offered further evidence how unpredictable this year’s Greater Spokane League girls basketball is.
Behind Gallaway, the Bears (14-4, 11-2 GSL) pulled away at Lewis and Clark for a 71-60 triumph and – coupled with Gonzaga Prep’s 55-53 victory over Mead – took sole possession of first place with two games remaining.
Five teams are separated by two games, four of them in the 4A classification.
“The district tournament is going to be ‘Wow!’ ” said LC coach Jim Redmon, at a loss to explain the sudden ineffectiveness of the Tigers’ (12-6, 10-3) pressure defense, a staple leading to years of state tournament success.
Perhaps it’s the youth of the league, although CV coach Freddie Rehkow said his seniors have at times been just as inconsistent as his sophomores.
Whatever the case, CV shredded LC’s defense, banged down timely 3-pointers, won the rebound battle and – tellingly – made 30 of 34 free throws on a foreign court to earn a season’s split.
“Tonight the difference was patience,” Rehkow said. “We played with confidence. We had them down the first (matchup), but they put us away in the fourth quarter.”
This time the fourth quarter belonged to the Bears, Gallaway in particular. A play to isolate her, get her the ball and let her go 1-on-1 resulted in a surge that sent CV, ahead by two points after three quarters, to a 59-49 lead with 2 minutes, 31 seconds remaining in the game.
“I just go with it and see what’s open,” said Gallaway, who didn’t have a first-half field goal and just five points. She finished with 25.
Down the stretch the Bears hit 12 of 14 from the line. LC did not have a fourth-quarter field goal until 1:43 remained.
“I thought the difference was they outrebounded us,” Redmon said. “And we were unable to stop them without fouling.”
CV bolted to an 18-8 lead in the first quarter. The Tigers went in front 19-18. The score was tied at 44 with 10 seconds left in the third quarter, but CV’s Loree Hill, racing to the basket, put back a missed shot as time expired. Gallaway then took over.
Hill, fellow senior Kelsey Matthews – who made four 3-pointers – and sophomore Whitney Black combined for 44 points.
“This was huge for our seniors,” Rehkow said. “They hadn’t beaten Lewis and Clark before.”
Gonzaga Prep 55, Mead 53: Trailing by double digits in the third quarter, the Bullpups (13-5, 9-4) switched to a zone defense and further tightened the GSL 4A race. They took their first lead against the visiting Panthers (14-4, 10-3) with 1:10 left. Lindsay Stockton hit a free throw for the two-point lead with 30 seconds left and Mead missed three shots at a tie. Tia Presley (29 points) of G-Prep and Jazmine Redmon (28) from Mead were involved in an individual shootout.
Shadle Park 48, North Central 35: In a game to determine the top two 3A district seeds, the Highlanders (11-7, 8-4) took a game lead during Groovy Shoes night at the Arena. Shadle outscored the NC (10-8, 7-5) 32-14 in the middle two quarters. NC had one field goal in the third period.
Ferris 52, University 47: The Saxons (5-13, 4-9) made 12 3-pointers to beat the host Titans (7-11, 5-8) and remain mathematically alive for postseason. Sareya Bishop made five 3-pointers and Haley Seiverding three for all their scoring. Ferris closed out the game with four 3-pointers to break a tie in the final minute. Nyesha Joseph of U-Hi led all scorers with 17 points.
Mt. Spokane 44, Rogers 28: The Wildcats (4-15, 3-10) bolted to a 12-2 lead at home and held the Pirates (0-19, 0-13) to 9-for-43 shooting to secure a postseason 3A berth.