Lewis and Clark girls basketball coach Jim Redmon didn’t start freshman Riley Lupfer in the Tigers’ opening game on Tuesday.
Redmon wanted Lupfer to earn the job. She started Friday and it’s doubtful she’ll come out of the lineup anytime soon.
Lupfer led the balanced Tigers with 16 points as LC seemingly toyed with the visiting Central Valley Bears before posting a 66-56 decision in Greater Spokane League action Friday.
The 5-foot-8, left-handed guard played all summer with the Tigers, so getting her first start didn’t shock her.
“There was a lot of excitement, my first varsity start,” Lupfer said.
“She’s the real deal,” Redmon said. “I like her composure and her decision-making. She wasn’t very successful shooting outside tonight – she usually shoots better. We just love her and every game she just gets better. I didn’t want to throw her to the wolves (Tuesday). I like kids to earn it. As you can see, she has.”
After CV led 3-2 early, the Tigers (2-0 overall, 2-0 league) didn’t look back once they assumed the lead.
LC got the lead to double digits late in the second quarter but couldn’t shake the Bears (0-2, 0-2). Then the Tigers extended the margin to 13 twice in the third and CV fought back.
Had CV made a good look inside and two free throws in the opening 36 seconds of the fourth quarter, it would have pulled within one point. But LC pushed the lead back to double digits. The Bears didn’t have another rally in them.
“We’re kind of a team that has some moments where we really run well and then we just shoot ourselves in the foot,” Redmon said. “We’re going to have to be able to control our emotions. We’ve got to take care of the ball and we can’t foul. When we foul it stops the motion of the game and we want it up and down.”
CV used a steal and a basket by Mariah Cunningham to pull within 12-10 early in the second quarter. But a 6-0 spurt allowed LC to briefly get some separation.
But the Bears fought back within 20-18 only to watch LC use a 9-0 surge for a 29-18 lead when sophomore Janieva Bates hit a 3-pointer with 1:12 to go before halftime.
LC got into more of a flow in the third quarter, twice opening 13-point leads. But CV clawed back within 48-43 going into the final period.
The Tigers used an 8-1 spurt to open the period for the last bit of separation they would need.
“We stopped their posts and our guards got a lot of steals and put pressure on their wings,” Lupfer said. “We can be really good if we can play every game like we can.”
Many of CV’s 26 turnovers were unforced.
Supporting Lupfer were Joelle Tampien and Emma Keenan, who each had 10 points.
Sophomore post Madison Hovren had a game-high 23 points to go with 13 rebounds, two steals and two assists for CV.
Shadle Park 61, Ferris 58: In a game of ups and downs, the visiting Highlanders’ downs weren’t as depleting as the Saxons’.
The Highlanders outscored Ferris 43-22 in the middle quarters only to watch the Saxons outscore Shadle 23-11 in the fourth to tighten things.
Kaycee Hert led Shadle (1-1, 1-1) with 15 points and 10 rebounds and Morgan Grier added 11 points. Brittney Johnson led Ferris (2-1, 1-1) with 19 points, including 5-of-6 shooting from 3-point range. She also had six steals.
Mt. Spokane 47, University 41: Kennadie Clute made all four of her free-throw shots in the final minute as the Wildcats (3-0, 2-0) held off the visiting Titans (0-2, 0-2).
Alyssa Lloyd had 10 of her team-high 12 points in the fourth quarter for Mt. Spokane, which also got 11 from Dallas Flager. Kayleigh Valley led U-Hi with 14.
Gonzaga Prep 58, North Central 29: Another home game for the Indians and another one-sided defeat to one of the top teams in the league.
The Bullpups (2-0, 2-0) opened a 39-19 lead in the first half and followed that up by outscoring the Indians (0-4, 0-2) 19-6 in the third quarter.
Madison Wright led G-Prep with 15 points and Laura Stockton had 12. Sophomore post Otiona Gildon had 11 points and 10 rebounds.
NC, which had 16 turnovers and shot 18 percent, was led by the 11 points and 15 rebounds from Jaclyn Bordner.
Mead 70, Rogers 24: The Panthers (3-0, 2-0) hit the accelerator early and often against the visiting Pirates (0-2, 0-2).
The Panthers opened a 39-14 lead in the first half and extended it to 62-19 after three quarters.
Ashlyn Lewey led Mead with 14 points and five rebounds. Mackenzie McPhee had 12 points and Sue Winger added 10 to go with eight rebounds, three steals and three blocked shots. Kristin Hunter led Rogers with nine points.