The Central Valley boys basketball team, with eight of its 12 players still in football mode when the winter season began, lost its first two games, including a Greater Spokane League opener.
It’s been a different den of Bears since their first win, 60-41 over Gonzaga Prep in early December.
CV completed a league sweep of Gonzaga Prep, pulling away from the visiting Bullpups 61-52 Tuesday to take over sole possession of first place.
It was the Bears’ seventh straight win and 10th in the last 11.
CV (10-3, 9-2) won with stingy defense and an offensive attack that ate up the Bullpups (8-5, 8-3) inside.
“We’ve been doing it all year and everyone has been finishing,” Gaven Deyarmin said of the points in the key.
Deyarmin had a game-high seven assists and Austin Rehkow had five. Most of those Anthony Brommer converted into baskets as he finished with a game-high 18.
“We knew we could out-physical them,” Brommer said.
The game was tight through three quarters as the teams were tied eight times and the biggest lead was four.
A 7-0 spurt to open the fourth by CV, though, was a margin the Bullpups couldn’t overcome. A basket inside by Deyarmin gave CV its biggest lead at 56-43 with 2:50 remaining.
“The way both teams were playing defense, it kind of felt like whatever team could get that five-, six- or seven-point lead was going to be in the driver’s seat because points were hard to come by,” CV coach Rick Sloan said. “I thought both teams worked hard defensively.”
But both teams weren’t efficient on offense. G-Prep finished with 23 turnovers to CV’s 11.
“We need to be a few possessions better to hang with a quality team like that,” G-Prep coach Matty McIntyre said. “You have to value every possession and keep your concentration on defense. It’s hard to do against a quality team like CV. We turned the ball over and our shot selection in the second half got really difficult.”
Sloan says the Bears are working themselves into basketball condition.
“This is a special group,” Sloan said. “Going as deep as we did in the football playoffs (semifinals), I just didn’t know what our legs would be like. We lost our first couple but we’ve got a lot of good senior leadership. Seniors have a tendency to be able to fight through fatigue.”
And CV’s seniors play some solid defense, too.
“Our execution both on offense and defense … we did what we wanted to, especially on defense,” Deyarmin said.
Lewis and Clark 53, Mead 50: Tanner Johnson hit a 3-pointer from the corner at the buzzer to lift the visiting Tigers (9-4, 7-4) over the upset-minded Panthers (1-12, 1-10).
Mead missed a shot earlier with 2 seconds to go. Then both teams exchanged turnovers before Johnson hit the game-winner. LC had to rally in the final period.
Johnson led LC with 17 points, Austin Damon had 13 and Matt Dovall added 12. Forrest Baker led Mead with 19 and Thomas Kautzman had 12.
University 66, Shadle Park 43: The Titans (10-3, 8-3) shot 50 percent from the field (19 of 38) to cruise past the visiting Highlanders (9-4, 7-4).
The win gave U-Hi a season sweep of Shadle. The Titans outscored the Highlanders 17-8 and 19-10 in the first and fourth periods.
Brett Bailey led U-Hi with 18 points, 10 rebounds, two assists and two steals. Conner Johnson had 14 points and Zech Martin had 13 to go with eight rebounds.
Brett Boese led Shadle with 12 points and Kionte Brown had 11 and six assists.
North Central 58, Rogers 55: Chandler George made three free throws with 4 seconds to go to lift the Indians (3-10, 3-8) over the Pirates (4-8, 3-8) at Rogers.
NC led 46-38 after three quarters before the Pirates’ rally fell short in the fourth.
Chase McDuffie led NC with 23 points, Jamil Foster had 12 and George chipped in 10. Steve Delvecchio led Rogers with 21 and Amaujae Daniels had 18.
Ferris 59, Mt. Spokane 39: The visiting Saxons (9-4, 7-4) outscored the Wildcats (3-10, 2-9) 37-24 in the second half.
Chris Wilson and Nathan Galgalo had 13 points and Jeff Hahn had 10 to lead Ferris.
Stu Stiles had 12 for Mt. Spokane and Jordan Weems had eight rebounds.