If early returns mean anything – and in this case they should – the Gonzaga Prep girls basketball team is light years ahead of the other nine Greater Spokane League teams.
Gonzaga Prep showed why, too, Tuesday as the defending State 4A champion Mead Panthers were no match for the visiting Bullpups.
The Bullpups opened a double-digit lead with 3 minutes to go in the first half and they never were threatened thereafter as G-Prep throttled Mead 63-48.
The only thing that slowed down the Bullpups (5-1 overall, 4-0 GSL) was themselves. Specifically foul trouble.
G-Prep defended the taller Panthers well inside, and the frustration factor slowly increased from there for Mead (3-3, 2-2).
It was seen at the free-throw line where Mead made just 9 of 20 foul shots.
Mead used back-to-back 3-pointers from Delany Junkermier early in the third quarter to cut the lead under 10, but the Bullpups quickly righted themselves.
“That was really a good defensive effort – our best by far this year,” G-Prep coach Mike Arte said. “We were struggling early on and then made some adjustments. We did what we call shrinking on the back side and it really helped.”
Senior point guard Hannah Caudill, who has signed with Montana State University, led G-Prep with 18 points, making 4 of 7 3-pointers to go with four rebounds and two assists. Junior guard Laura Stockton, limited to two points in the first half, finished with 14. She also had three rebounds, three steals and three assists. And junior post Otiona Gildon avoided foul trouble enough to finish with 13 points and 12 rebounds.
“That’s our most complete game so far,” Arte said. “We’ve had complete quarters. But as far as start to finish it was our most complete game against a great team.”
Arte expects Mead to push his team well into the postseason.
“Our post defense was really good,” Caudill said. “Our team defense overall was super good.”
Junkermier, also MSU bound, scored 11 of her game-high 23 points in the third quarter when she hit three 3-pointers. She also had six rebounds. Senior Ashlyn Lewey, who is headed to Seattle University, had 11 points and seven rebounds.
But the Panthers had little offensive help after Junkermier and Lewey. In fact, the Panthers’ two tallest players – 6-foot-2 juniors Sue Winger and Coreen Labish – combined for 12 points.
Mead coach Quantae Anderson said he needs more offense out of them.
“They played really good defense. We could not get the ball in the hoop,” Anderson said.
University 48, Mt. Spokane 47: Cassie Shillam made the winning free throws to lift the visiting Titans (3-2, 3-1) past the Wildcats (2-3, 2-2). Shillam finished with a game-high 19 points. Dallas Flager led the Wildcats with 16.
Shadle Park 51, North Central 48: The visiting Indians (0-6, 0-4) couldn’t make a 30-22 halftime lead stand up. Abby Bauenfeind and Sam Foote led the Highlanders (2-3, 2-2) with 12 points each while Brianna King led NC with 22.
Lewis and Clark 66, Ferris 58: The Tigers (3-2, 3-1) outscored the visiting Saxons (2-3, 1-3) 24-14 in the fourth to secure the win. Riley Lupfer led LC with 20 points and Michaela Kay added 17. Jill Louthian made seven 3-pointers to lead Ferris with 21.
Central Valley 65, Rogers 24: The inside tandem of Madison Hovren and Mariah Cunningham was too much for the Pirates (0-5, 0-4). Hovren led CV (3-1, 3-1) with 24 points and Cunningham added 12.
Mercedes Hunter led Rogers with 10.