The Central Valley Bears haven’t ascended to the top of the girls State 4A basketball rankings this season by being timid.
And they certainly weren’t Saturday, when they dominated defending state champion Lewis and Clark 56-36 in the Tigers’ gym.
The Bears, 12-0 overall and 10-0 in Greater Spokane League play, had played a bit tentatively Friday night as they fell behind Mead by five after three quarters. But coach Freddie Rehkow liked the fact they picked up the intensity in the fourth quarter and won by 10.
And he loved their first-half performance against the Tigers (7-5 overall, 7-3 in GSL play, with two of the losses to CV).
“I am just happy with our defensive effort, especially in that first half,” Rehkow said of a first half that ended with the Bears leading 30-12, having held LC to 4-of-22 shooting and forcing 10 turnovers. “Our defense in the first half was the best defensive half we’ve had this season.
“I thought we controlled the boards extremely well, especially coming out of last night when Mead wouldn’t have been in the game if we had blocked out.”
The charge on the boards was led, as most everything is for the Bears, by senior Brooke Gallaway, who came in averaging 19.5 points a game and topped that with a game-high 20.
Gallaway’s presence was felt the most in the first half, as she pulled down five of the Bears’ six offensive rebounds.
“I really haven’t gotten a lot of offensive boards this season,” said Gallaway, who was 6 of 10 from the floor before leaving with 3 minutes, 28 seconds left. “And just found the opening and found the ball.
“We knew that they were a really aggressive team and we had to come (hard) from the start. And they’re tall, so we knew we had to get into them.”
Gallaway wasn’t alone on the boards, as 6-foot sophomore Mariah Cunningham seemed to get every contested rebound on the defensive end. CV won the rebound battle 34-28.
“When Mariah’s there to rebound, she rebounds,” Rehkow said. “She’s had some foul trouble, but she’s starting to to settle in a little bit and get more comfortable.”
The Tigers never felt that way.
Central Valley, which opened the season with a 20-point win over the Tigers at home, led 12-7 with 2 minutes left in the first quarter. But LC converted only one basket – a drive by Devyn Galland, who fouled out while trying to guard Gallaway – and two free throws from Nakia Arquette – who led LC with eight points – over the next 10 minutes
“I thought we acted like we shouldn’t have been on the same floor as them,” LC coach Jim Redmon said. “There was no competition at all. You can do a lot of things, but when you don’t have that, (you can’t win).”
The Bears will have to do a lot again Tuesday, when they host Gonzaga Prep, now alone in second place at 8-2 (10-2 overall).
“This is kind of murderer’s row right now,” Rehkow said, “and it’s the week right before finals.”
Gonzaga Prep 65, Ferris 56: Lindsey Stockton scored 12 points and pulled down 10 rebounds as the Bullpups (10-2, 8-2) topped the host Saxons (4-8, 2-8).
Gonzaga Prep shot 41 percent from the field while Ferris connected on 31 percent of its shots.
Laura Stockton had 13 points and Cassie Anderson and Madison Wright chipped in 11 apiece for the Bullpups.
Cassidy Phillips led the Saxons with 20 points and nine rebounds.
North Central 42, Mt. Spokane 39: Hailey Markham-Patti had 13 points, four assists and three steals as the Indians (3-9, 3-7) edged the visiting Wildcats (3-9, 2-8).
Brianna King added 11 points for North Central.
Mt. Spokane was led by Brooke Reilly’s 10 points.
University 59, Mead 33: The Titans (9-3, 7-3) jumped ahead early and cruised past the host Panthers (5-7, 5-5).
The Titans outscored Mead 18-7 in the second quarter to take a 16-point halftime lead.
Hallie Gennett made three 3-pointers and finished with a game-high 21 points for University.
Jade Redmon had 13 points for Mead.