For three quarters Friday, the Mead girls basketball team played as well as it has all season.
Lewis and Clark cut into a 21-point deficit in the final period but it wasn’t enough as the visiting Panthers prevailed 77-65 in a Greater Spokane League game.
Mead’s size and balance trumped the Tigers’ relentless full court pressure.
The Panthers start four players taller than 6 foot, and all four played well. Leading the way was Ashlyn Lewey, who had 21 points, 14 rebounds and three assists; Sue Winger had 19 points and 11 rebounds; Delany Junkermier had 17 points; and Coreen Labish had 14 points, five rebounds and two blocked shots.
For various reasons, the defending State 4A champion Panthers started the season slow. The win moved Mead (7-3 overall, 6-2 GSL) into a tie for second with LC (8-2, 6-2) and Central Valley (7-3, 6-2). CV plays at Mead on Tuesday. Tipoff is at 5:30.
“We’re really starting to know each others strengths and weaknesses, and we’re starting to feed off of each other and learning to play together well,” Lewey said. “We’re late comers but we’re getting there.”
Mead used an 11-0 surge to open a 15-7 lead in the first quarter – a lead the Panthers never would relinquish.
The Panthers then finished the first half on an 11-2 run – capped by a steal and basket by Lewey – for a 41-29 lead at halftime. Lewey and Junkermier each had 12 in the first half and Winger had 10.
In the third quarter, the Panthers broke through LC’s fullcourt pressure four times on their way to building a 21-point lead four times.
It appeared fatigue caught up with the taller Panthers in the fourth. LC started the period with a 14-2 run, cutting Mead’s lead to 64-55 with 3:55 to go.
LC would get as close as eight two times before Mead put the brakes on the Tigers’ rally.
Mead played solid defense, especially on LC’s leading scorer Riley Lupfer. Junkermier, Lewey and Winger all took turns defending the left-handed guard who made just 4 of 14 shots for 10 points.
“Defensively we played magnificently,” Mead coach Quantae Anderson said. “When you can put three 6 footers on (Lupfer), she’s going to have to work for what she got.”
Lindsay Lee sparked LC’s comeback in the fourth, scoring 12 of her team-high 18 points. Michaela Kay had 17.
Gonzaga Prep 82, Shadle Park 32: The No. 1-ranked Bullpups (9-1, 8-0) came out firing, outscoring the visiting Highlanders (4-6, 4-4) 32-8 in the opening quarter. Laura Stockton, who made four of the team’s 11 3-pointers, had 17 points for G-Prep, Otiona Gildon had 14, Kayla Leland 13, Hannah Caudill 12 and Wendy Gregory 11. Shyla Carr and Sam Foote each had 10 for Shadle.
North Central 50, University 45: The visiting Indians (1-9, 1-7) got their first win, upsetting the Titans (3-7, 3-5). Brianna King led NC with a season-high 31 points, including 12 in the final quarter and the game’s final six. Shelby Rotchford led U-Hi with 10.
Central Valley 61, Mt. Spokane 47: The visiting Bears (7-3, 6-2) built a 35-19 lead in the first half and the Wildcats (3-7, 2-6) couldn’t recover. Madison Hovren led CV with 19 points. Ashlee Pedersen had a game-high 25, including four 3-pointers, for the Wildcats.
Ferris 69, Rogers 37: Bria Bowton had a double-double with 10 assists and 10 rebounds to pace the Saxons (5-5, 4-4) over the visiting Pirates (0-10, 0-8). Kristin Hunter led Rogers with 11 points.