Execution broke down at times and the usual shots wouldn’t fall. In other words, postseason tension arrived a little early in Greater Spokane League girls basketball Thursday.
Both Central Valley and Mead served up stingy defense, but the Bears’ was a smidge better.
Central Valley captured the GSL championship outright and top seed to the 4A District 8 tournament by holding off the visiting Panthers 45-36.
“This was playoff basketball,” CV coach Freddie Rehkow said. “I got a little ornery early because I thought it was a little too physical, but it’s playoff basketball and once we settled in a little bit we understood we had to play playoff basketball.”
Mead went from having an opportunity to grab a share of the league title to dropping to the fourth seed. The Panthers (15-5 overall, 11-4 league) finished in a three-way tie for second with Lewis and Clark (13-7, 11-4) and Gonzaga Prep (15-5, 11-4). In anticipation of such a scenario, a coin flip was conducted Wednesday. As a result, LC is the second seed and G-Prep is the third.
Consequently, Mead will play host to No. 5 University (7-13, 5-10) in a loser-out district opener Monday at 7:15. The winner will play at CV on Tuesday while G-Prep goes to LC. Both games tip off at 5:30. The winners earn berths to the Eastern Regional in Kennewick and face off Thursday to decide the district title and top seeding to regional. Tuesday’s losers square off the same night to determine the third and final regional seed.
Mead’s defense ruled in the first half before CV’s took over the final two quarters, limiting the Panthers to 15 points. The Panthers’ 36 points is a season low and the GSL’s second-leading scorer, Gonzaga University-bound guard Jazmine Redmon, finished with a season-low five points – five below her previous low and 12.9 fewer than her average.
“We didn’t knock down shots that we can hit,” Mead coach Regan Drew said. “Sometimes you’re going to have those nights and you have to find ways to work through it. We had open shots. We just didn’t knock them down. Our biggest thing right now is we’ve got to regroup.”
Brooke Gallaway led CV with 12 points and nine rebounds. Redmon’s freshman sister, Jade, led the Panthers with 12 points, 10 in the first half, and 13 rebounds.
“We both worked our butts off,” CV senior Kelsey Matthews said of both teams. “I can’t describe it (winning the league title). It means the world. And to share it with my best friends out here, there’s nothing better.”
East Valley 39, North Central 38: The Knights upset the visiting Indians, and the teams will turn around and play in a first-round 3A District 8 game Wednesday at NC. Jenni White made a driving basket with 4 seconds for the winning shot.
Shadle Park 57, Rogers 34: The Highlanders secured the top 3A seed to district. Shadle plays host to Mt. Spokane in a district opener Wednesday.
Gonzaga Prep 65, University 55: Tia Presley led the charge in the second half for the Bullpups as she scored 22 of her game-high 28 points. Zoe Scott led U-Hi with 21 points and 10 rebounds.
Lewis and Clark 78, Ferris 51: The Tigers shook off a two-game losing streak by topping the Saxons at the Arena in the Rubber Game. Daisy Burke led LC with 16 points.