The Gonzaga Prep girls basketball team hasn’t been stinking up the gym lately, but the Bullpups haven’t played to the level that allowed them to reel off 10 consecutive victories to open the season.
The Bullpups returned to form Tuesday, blowing past the visiting Mt. Spokane Wildcats in the second half for a 65-46 win in Greater Spokane League play.
It’s coming at just the right time, too. The co-league leaders have a rematch with Mead, the team that handed them their lone loss and pulled even atop the conference, next week.
For Gonzaga Prep to play closest to its potential, it must be patient on offense and tenacious on defense. Those two elements were evident in the second half after the Bullpups went into halftime with a 30-22 lead.
“We’ve been having kind of a rough go,” G-Prep sophomore guard Laura Stockton said. “We’ve had a lot of close games and we haven’t really been playing our best. We’ve really worked on our defense in practice. Tonight we came out strong for our seniors on Senior Night.”
It wasn’t the strongest start for Stockton, though. She picked up her second foul with 1:37 to go in the first quarter and went to the bench. She played the second half of the second period, scoring just four points. But she sparked the Bullpups (16-1 overall, 14-1 league) the final two quarters, finishing with a game-high 18 points to go with four steals.
“She’s so instinctive and understands the game really well,” G-Prep coach Mike Arte said. “She was forcing it a little bit in the first half. In the second half, she was coming off screens with a purpose and driving to the hole with a purpose. And she was being real patient when she was stopped.”
And it doesn’t hurt that Stockton has a lot of help. Beginning with sophomore post Otiona Gildon, who had 16 points, 10 rebounds and two steals and junior Kayla Leland, who came off the bench to score 14.
Despite committing 18 turnovers in the first half, the Wildcats (11-6, 9-6) used two free throws from Lexie Hereford to pull within 25-22 with 37 seconds to go before halftime.
A basket from Gildon and a three-point play by Hannah Caudill allowed G-Prep to increase its lead at intermission.
The Bullpups pushed the lead to double digits just seconds into the third quarter, and continued to add to it thereafter.
Alyssa Lloyd led the Wildcats with 11 points. G-Prep held Mt. Spokane’s leading scorer, Brooke Reilly, to eight.
Shadle Park 50, Lewis and Clark 48: Kaycee Hert got an offensive rebound with 15 seconds left and fed Morgan Grier, whose basket secured the victory for the Highlanders (10-7, 9-6) at home. The Highlanders had 16 assists on 23 baskets. Grier led with 15 points. Hert finished with seven rebounds and four assists. Joelle Tampien led LC (7-10, 7-8) with 13 points.
Mead 70, Ferris 54: The Panthers (16-1, 14-1) raced to a 34-18 lead by halftime and held the margin in the second half over the visiting Saxons (9-8, 7-8). Jade Redmon scored a season high 29 points, Delany Junkermier had 20 and Ashlyn Lewey had 10 for Mead. Redmon also had eight rebounds and five assists. Mackenzie McPhee led with nine rebounds to go with four assists and three blocked shots. Brittney Johnson led Ferris with 11 points and Abby Liss had 10.
Central Valley 63, North Central 42: The Bears (8-9, 6-9) outscored the visiting Indians (1-16, 1-14) 24-11 in the third quarter. Madison Hovren led CV with 24 points, 10 coming in the third, and 11 rebounds. Mariah Cunningham had 15 points. Avery Smith led NC with 13 points and Jaclyn Bordner had 11.
University 70, Rogers 21: The visiting Titans (9-8, 8-7) outscored the Pirates (1-16, 0-15) 23-0 in the first quarter. Kayleigh Valley and Morgan Hawley had 17 points apiece to lead U-Hi. Mercedes Rucker scored seven for Rogers.