TACOMA – Shooting betrayed the Gonzaga Prep boys basketball team Saturday morning.
The Bullpups started off nicely, opening a 16-8 lead over No. 1-ranked Jackson, but it wasn’t enough as the Timberwolves’ top guns took over in a 61-44 win in the game to decide fourth and sixth places at the State 4A tournament at the Tacoma Dome.
Jackson switched to a 1-2-2 zone to start the second quarter and all of a sudden G-Prep’s shooting hit a wall. Actually, if the Bullpups had hit a wall it would have been better than some of the shots that didn’t fall.
The Timberwolves used a 17-0 run to begin to separate. The Bullpups’ lone basket in the second quarter came on a shot from the short corner from Ryan Alexander with 1:02 remaining in the half.
There was one lead change, and Jackson never relinquished it although G-Prep had a brief sign of life when it pulled within 33-27 early in the third.
Jackson’s zone covered up the usual drives by Sam Dowd, who likes to penetrate and dart about looking for a crease or an open teammate.
“We couldn’t get any penetration,” G-Prep coach Matty McIntyre said. “And everything runs a lot better when you’re making shots.”
Making matters worse is Jackson crushed the Bullpups on the boards, 42-23.
“We were getting stops and we could have kept it closer if we could have finished the possession with a rebound,” McIntyre said. “That’s what gave up that surge.”
Enough with the facts relating to the loss. The Bullpups, though blessed with some individual talent, definitely proved they were better collectively than individually.
Jackson’s two NCAA Division I talents, Jason Todd and Dan Kingma, inflicted plenty of damage, too.
Kingma made six 3-pointers, finishing with 22 points and four assists, while Todd had 17 points and 10 rebounds.
Reed Hopkins led G-Prep with 15 points.