The 4A No. 1-ranked Central Valley girls’ toughest basketball games so far in the Greater Spokane League have come against the 3A teams.
It was no different Tuesday, especially considering the Bears were visiting Spokane Valley rival University.
The Titans fought back from a 15-point deficit in the third quarter before the Bears escaped with a 64-48 win.
It was a physical game throughout. While it appeared CV (10-0 overall, 8-0 league) was on the brink of blowing out the Titans (7-3, 5-3) in the third quarter, U-Hi fought back and made it a much tighter game than the final score indicates.
CV, which equaled the number of wins it had overall last year, has won its league games by an average of 17.8 points. But the Bears have had difficult matchups with the four 3A schools, winning by 14 per game.
Bears coach Freddie Rehkow praised U-Hi coach Mark Stinson for a solid game plan.
“It was a big game and U-Hi wanted us,” Rehkow said. “They haven’t beaten us in a while. Our girls at first were a little tight because they knew (the Titans) were going to come after them. For some of these girls it was their first big U-Hi game. Mark had a good plan and they came after us. They played hard.”
Kayleigh Valley got U-Hi off to a fast start, scoring nine points as the Titans opened a 12-8 lead.
A 3-pointer early in the second quarter by CV senior guard Katie Estey – one of four – gave the Bears a 15-14 lead and seemed to loosen them up as they opened a 29-20 lead by halftime.
CV pushed the lead to 36-21 early in the third. But the Titans fought back, going on a 15-0 run to pull even at 36 when Kylie Collins made a basket inside while being fouled with 2:32 to go in the quarter.
But CV answered with 3-pointers from Estey and Sydney Emory, allowing the Bears to rebuild the lead to 45-38 by period’s end.
“They made a great run,” Rehkow said. “As we (the coaches) were sitting on the bench, we knew they were going to make a run. They weren’t going to roll over. Nobody is going to roll over against us. Our biggest question was could we answer that run. The good part was we could. That’s where our seniors came in.”
And composure took over for CV.
While CV had a rough shooting performance overall, the Bears’ three guards – Estey, Emory and Chantelle Fitting – stepped up to carry the load.
“The seniors finally said, ‘We’ve been there, done that’ and that’s what I’m proud of – to put another run back on them,” Rehkow said.
Estey and senior Brooke Gallaway, who struggled shooting, each had 15 points and Fitting and Madison Hovren had 12 apiece. Fitting also hit three 3-pointers. Hovren had nine rebounds and Gallaway had eight.
Estey says the Bears are getting closer to playing at the level they expect to be at this season.
“The team really pulled together (after U-Hi’s run) and had a strong finish,” Estey said. “We had a fantastic summer and now we’re starting to getting back to how good we were in the summer. We still have a lot more room to grow and we’re looking forward to it.”
CV adjusted to the physical play and benefitted at the free-throw line where the Bears made 24 of 28 shots.
Valley led U-Hi with 15 points and six rebounds and Hallie Gennett had 14 points.
Mead 38, Shadle Park 36: Jade Redmon hit a jumper just inside the free-throw line with 3 seconds remaining to lift the Panthers (5-5, 5-3) past the visiting Highlanders (6-5, 5-4).
Redmon caught fire in the second half, scoring 15 of her game-high 20 points. No Shadle player scored in double figures, but three finished with seven.
Shadle led 19-14 at halftime, taking advantage of 11 Panthers turnovers in the first half. Mead got back in the game by outscoring the Highlanders 11-5 in the third.
Ferris 75, Rogers 42: Brittney Johnson had a game-high 25 points, eight rebounds and seven steals to lead the Saxons (4-6, 2-6) over the visiting Pirates (1-9, 0-9).
The Saxons’ Abby Liss added 18 points and 10 rebounds. Jasmin Andrews led Rogers with 16 points and 18 rebounds and Mercedes Slawter had 11 points. Ferris made 11 3-pointers.
Lewis and Clark 52, North Central 43: The Tigers (6-4, 6-2) jumped out to a 31-17 lead to stay in a tie for second.
Nakia Arquette led visiting LC with 18 points and 11 rebounds. Brianna King led NC (2-8, 2-6) with 15 points and Hailey Markham-Patti had 12 to go with eight steals.
Gonzaga Prep 62, Mt. Spokane 46: The visiting Wildcats (3-7, 2-6) gave the Bullpups (8-2, 6-2) all they could handle for three quarters.
The Bullpups outscored Mt. Spokane 28-17 in the decisive fourth period. Madison Wright led G-Prep with 15 points and five rebounds. Ashlee Pedersen had 13 for the Wildcats.