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Central Valley forward Billy Ames heads to the basket as Lewis and Clark forwards Anthony Smith, left, and Naje Smith defend during the first half Tuesday at CV. (Colin Mulvany / The Spokesman-Review)

Billy Ames leads CV boys past LC in 4A subregional loser-out game

Billy Ames had a half to forget.

The Central Valley junior then followed up with a career half.

Ames provided a spark in the final two quarters, and his hustle proved infectious as the Bears rallied to knock off visiting Lewis and Clark 53-46 in a 4A subregional boys basketball loser-out game.

CV (17-6) goes to Ferris (18-5) on Friday in another elimination game. Tipoff is at 7 p.m.

Ferris advanced with a 67-46 win at Walla Walla.

Central Valley 53, Lewis and Clark 46: Cameron Underwood’s 3-pointer gave the Tigers their biggest lead at 23-9 with 6:58 to go in the second quarter.

To that point, the Bears had played poorly.

Ames made just 1 of 9 shots from the field in the first half – most of the misses coming a few feet from the basket or off his own misses.

In the second half, Ames scored 13 of his team-high 15 points. He also filled up the stat sheet with 12 rebounds, five assists and four steals.

Two of the steals were hustle plays in which he dove to the floor, got the ball and somehow tapped it ahead to Michael Plunkitt for layups.

“I was very frustrated with myself in the first half, so I just tried to make an impact on the defensive end with hustle plays,” Ames said. “My teammates did a good job of keeping me up. I really struggled, but I tried to flush it.”

It’s no coincidence that Ames’ turnaround coincided with the Bears’ turnaround.

“The thing I’m most proud of is he didn’t get down on himself,” CV coach Rick Sloan said. “Those hustle plays, diving on the floor and getting the assists – those were big.”

CV fought back in the third quarter, cutting the 30-21 halftime deficit to 39-35 going into the fourth.

Ames scored nine points in the fourth.

CV pulled even at 39 when Plunkitt, who had six assists, made a nice pass inside that Ames finished with 6:02 remaining.

Jase Edwards put CV ahead for good at 42-39 when he made a 3-pointer 24 seconds later.

CV pushed the lead to 51-43, completing a 16-4 start to the final period.

“We didn’t execute our game plan very well and we weren’t very disciplined (in the first half),” Ames said.

LC (14-10) had eight of its 11 blocks in the first half and influenced several other CV shots.

“They’re long defensively,” Sloan said of LC. “We missed layins and it was their length that intimidated us.”

CV must win Friday and then beat either Gonzaga Prep or Richland – which meet in the title game Friday at Richland – to earn a state berth.

Naje Smith and Diedrick Pakootas led LC with 13 points each. Smith also had 10 rebounds and three blocks.

Ferris 67, Walla Walla 46: The Saxons put it away when they outscored the Blue Devils 23-7 in the third quarter. Michael Ervin led Ferris with 17 points and Jace Van Lierop added 12.