Despite their youth, the Ferris boys are a relatively experienced basketball team. It was their rookie, however, who made the biggest impression Tuesday night.
Chris Wilson scored 12 of his 17 points in the third quarter, tipping the scales in the Saxons’ favor, 47-41, to move within a game of visiting Mead in the Greater Spokane League.
The Panthers (5-4, 3-1 GSL) controlled things for a half during the surprisingly deliberate play by both teams.
But Wilson helped wipe out a 27-20 deficit with his first seven points of the third period and added back-to-back baskets to put Ferris up 34-30 with 3 minutes of the quarter to play.
It was a lead that Ferris (4-5, 2-2) eventually stretched to nine points. Mead, which scored just 14 second-half points, got no closer than six.
“He’s capable of that,” Ferris coach Don Van Lierop said of Wilson’s outburst. “We’re fine with him shooting early in the shot clock any time.”
Besides the young guard’s scoring – he’s averaging 10.6 points per game for the year with a high of 21 – Ferris also benefited from the return of Taylor Kamitomo.
The junior veteran, who plays bigger than his listed height of 6-foot-3, had missed the first eight games with a wrist ligament injury. He added eight points, but more important hauled down seven rebounds in the second half.
“It felt good to get back on the court,” he said. “I’m a little slow but just getting back into the flow.”
Zone defenses by both teams made penetration difficult, resulting in a game played mainly on the perimeter, particularly in the first half. The Panthers got the better of it, shooting 55 percent from the field to build a lead that early in the second quarter was nine points.
Bo Tully scored a dozen points, hitting his second 3-pointer with 5 seconds remaining, for the advantage at intermission. Aaron Dunn scored most of his points a little more than a quarter into the contest. But Tully didn’t score again and Dunn did little more in the game’s final 23 minutes-plus.
“They did a good job of doubling Aaron and limiting his touches, and we settled on outside shots instead of driving to the basket,” Mead coach Glenn Williams said.
Wilson had five minutes of glory when Mead briefly went man-to-man for a time and that determined the outcome.
“I just try to shoot the ball as much as I can,” Wilson said. “(In the second half) we got our confidence up at the start of the third quarter, just got our energy up and held it the entire time.”
Gonzaga Prep 60, Central Valley 49: After the host Bullpups (7-1, 3-1) jumped to an 11-point first-quarter lead, they and the Bears (4-5, 0-4) played evenly the rest of the way. Although CV packed in its zone to negate G-Prep’s size advantage, Ryan Nicholas scored 18 points, had nine rebounds and four steals. Scott Simon, CV’s 6-foot-8 sharpshooter, tallied 20 points.
Lewis and Clark 61, University 58: The visiting Tigers (4-5, 2-2) tied the Titans (5-4, 2-2) in the standings on Levi Taylor’s basket and free throw with 23 seconds left in the game. LC outscored the hosts 18-10 in the third quarter to take a seven-point lead. Joe Dahl capped a Titans rally, knotting the score at 58-all with 33 seconds remaining. Tiger Austin Ehlo scored 31, hitting seven 3-pointers.
Shadle Park 69, Mt. Spokane 63: The Highlanders (8-2, 3-0) escaped on the road at the Wildcats (1-8, 0-3) by making 20 of 28 free throws. Mt. Spokane was 6 for 7 at the line. The score was tied after three quarters. Brett Boese had a significant impact, posting up and scoring 19 points, plus causing turnovers. Robby Douglas hit three 3-pointers as he and Taylor Pettersen contributed 34 points combined. Mt. Spokane’s Kellen Clute, Matt Lloyd and Hunter Hahn combined for 41 points.
Rogers 49, East Valley 34: The Pirates (6-3, 2-1) outscored their hosts 14-5 in the final quarter to pull away from the Knights (1-8, 0-3)