The first time the Lewis and Clark and Mead girls faced off this season, the three-time state champion LC Tigers throttled the Panthers 80-50.
Mead coach Regan Drew asked her players to flush that game from their memory.
“The team that I saw that night isn’t what I think our team is made of,” Drew said.
It’s the team she saw Tuesday that most resembles the team she envisioned this year. Mead knocked off Lewis and Clark 64-57 to set up a showdown Thursday at league-leading Central Valley for the Greater Spokane League championship.
The Panthers (15-4, 11-3 GSL) could have been forgiven if they had a few lingering doubts early in the rematch. Their slow start was probably more because of poor shooting – Mead made just 3 of 15 from the field in the first quarter – as the Tigers (12-7, 10-4) opened a 9-0 lead, and that margin held up as LC took an 18-9 advantage into the second quarter.
The Tigers’ lead grew to 26-13, but a late first-half charge allowed Mead to go into halftime trailing 34-26.
“Our goal was to get it to single digits by halftime,” Drew said.
Then moments after LC scored the first basket of the second half, it’s as if somebody hit the intensity switch for the Panthers. They used a 14-0 run to take their first lead. A three-point play by Jazmine Redmon put Mead ahead 40-36 with 1:37 left in the third quarter.
The Tigers tied it at 40-40, but Mead regained the lead for good on a basket by Chenise Pakootas.
LC’s Devyn Galland, who had a team-high 16 points, pulled the Tigers within 56-54 when she made a 3-pointer with 1:54 remaining, but Redmon answered 21 seconds later with a 3-pointer.
“The big difference for our girls was energy, taking care of the ball and our rebounding got better,” Drew said.
It was the rebounding – particularly on the offensive boards – that LC coach Jim Redmon thought was the key in the second half.
“We gave up 11 offensive rebounds in the second half,” he said. “I thought that gave them enough momentum to get the lead. Then Jazmine kind of took over once that happened.”
She finished with a game-high 29 points, 18 in the second half and 13 in the fourth period. She also had nine rebounds and three assists.
Redmon is looking forward to visiting CV and another opportunity to avenge an earlier defeat (55-47).
“We’re going to go out and get CV,” Redmon said. “We’re going to play our best game on Thursday.”
Central Valley 53, University 41: Brooke Gallaway led the Bears (15-4, 12-2) with 19 points and seven rebounds at the Arena.
CV outrebounded U-Hi (7-12, 5-9) 28-17.
Gallaway had all 10 of CV’s points in the first quarter.
Zoe Scott led the Titans with 11 points.
Gonzaga Prep 63, Ferris 47: Behind solid defense, the Saxons opened a 26-18 lead in the first half, but the visiting Bullpups used four 3-pointers to knock out Ferris in the third quarter.
Tia Presley led G-Prep (14-5, 10-4) with 23 points and 10 rebounds. Katara Belton-Sharp led Ferris (5-14, 4-10) with 13 points and seven rebounds.
East Valley 45, Shadle Park 40: Courtney Connors hit two 3-pointers in the second quarter and the Knights (5-14, 4-10) upset the visiting Highlanders (11-8, 8-5).
Alicia Christiansen led EV with 11 points and seven rebounds. Kendra Knutsen led Shadle with 11 points.
North Central 52, Mt. Spokane 44: The visiting Indians cranked up the defense, especially in the middle quarters.
NC (11-8, 8-5) outscored Mt. Spokane (4-16, 3-11) 29-10 in the middle periods. Riley Holsinger led NC with 18 points. Sammie Pedersen led the Wildcats with 17.
Mead 64, Lewis and Clark 48: The visiting Panthers zipped to a 25-2 lead in the first quarter and coasted thereafter.
The Panthers (14-5, 12-4) made 7 of 10 3-pointers in the first half. Bo Tully led Mead with 15 points. LC’s top two players, Levi Taylor and Austin Ehlo, were held to two combined points.
Shadle Park 61, East Valley 52: Robby Douglas scored a game-high 25 points, 17 in the first half, for the Highlanders (15-4, 11-2) at East Valley.
EV (3-16, 2-11) pulled within six in the fourth quarter, but the Highlanders made 10 of 14 foul shots to hold off the Knights.
Ryan McIntyre led EV with 14 points.
University 52, Central Valley 45: Kyle Bailey had 13 points, seven rebounds, four steals and three blocks to lead the Titans (9-10, 6-8) past the Bears (6-13, 2-12) at the Arena.
Danny Nimri led CV with 11 points.
North Central 74, Mt. Spokane 64: Trailing 31-29 at halftime, the visiting Indians (10-9, 8-5) outscored the Wildcats 25-15 in the third quarter to seize control.
Isaiah Antoine scored 23 for NC, while Kellen Clute topped Mt. Spokane with 11 points.