Adam Chamberlain scored a season-high 24 points, including 17 after halftime, as Central Valley rallied from a 12-point deficit Friday for a 64-44 Greater Spokane League victory at Shadle Park.
The Highlanders (1-2, 1-1 GSL) took their biggest lead, 28-16, on George Pilimai’s fast-break layup less than a minute into the second half.
Up to then, just about everything had been dropping for Shadle, especially from beyond the 3-point arc. At that point the Highlanders were 5 of 7 from long range. But in the final 15 minutes they missed seven of the eight they tried.
And that helped fuel Central Valley’s comeback.
“Our defense picked up in the second half, for sure, and that kind of gave us the momentum for offense,” said Chamberlain, who came in averaging 15 points per game.
Nowhere was that more true than the final quarter. With Chamberlain and sophomore reserve Cameron Tucker supplying the points, CV trailed 38-33 with less than minute left in the third.
But Chamberlain scored on a drive, A.J. Knudsen converted two free throws, part of his 13 points, and Tucker scored as time expired, giving the Bears (3-0, 3-0) their first lead, 39-38.
Chamberlain and Shadle’s Alvin Welch, who finished with a team-high 11 points, traded layups to start the fourth, then the Bears scored the next 13 to put the game out of reach, culminated with Tucker’s steal and dunk, the last of his nine points.
Shadle didn’t score for more than 5 minutes.
“If our 3s aren’t hitting, we can go big game, go down low, start attacking,” said Chamberlain, who noted the Bears shot 22 percent in the first half, including missing all of their eight 3-pointers. “Our shots weren’t hitting at all, so we started taking it to the rim.”
Usually the Bears can count on getting the ball inside to 6-foot-6 senior post Beau Byus, but that wasn’t an option Friday, mainly because Shadle’s Dale Hagan wasn’t letting them.
The 6-5 senior didn’t score a point, but limited Byus, who had scored 25 points in the first two games, to four shots in the first half and just three points overall.
“He’s physical, he did a great job,” said CV coach Rick Sloan, who appreciates Hagen’s type of game. “It was a good fun battle. It was kind of fun to watch those two go at it.”
Still, the Bears found a way to score 64 points.
“That’s the one strength of this team is there are a lot of parts that contribute on a different night,” Sloan said. “I think you’re going to see on different nights you’re going to have different scorers.”