Nick Drynan scored 39 points, including five in the overtime period, and third-seeded West Valley outlasted fourth-seeded Cheney in a District 7 2A tournament first-round game at University HS on Friday.
West Valley (14-7) advances to face Pullman, ranked No. 4 in state 2A, in the tourney semifinal on Saturday at 3:30 p.m.
Drynan, a senior transfer from the Gonzaga Prep’s State 4A championship team from last season, summed it up.
“Unbelievable. It was crazy,” he said. “Couldn’t have asked for anything better.”
Drynan made three 3-pointers and went 8 of 9 from the free-throw line.
“That was real exciting,” WV coach Jay Humphrey said. “That’s two evenly matched teams and when you play someone four times (in a season), you never know what’s going to happen. It’s a battle.”
Drynan was announced as Great Northern League boys MVP when the all-league team was introduced after the game.
Jackson Kaiser added 18 points for WV. Cheney (11-10) was paced by Devon Cook with 23 points. Camden VerStrate had 18 points and Jake Berman added 17.
Midway through the overtime period, Drynan hit a two with his foot on the line at the top of the arc, then Kaiser made a layin for a four-point lead. Berman’s putback made it 71-69 with 60 seconds left.
Drynan hit a floater then Cheney turned it over.
“I just got to the rim and my teammates and coaches gave me the utmost confidence to score and get to the basket when we need it,” Drynan said.
“We said, you know, you gotta get to the hoop – shot fake, get to the hoop,” Humphrey said of Drynan. “I think that was huge for us, him getting to the basket and getting fouled, because he’s a very good free-throw shooter.”
After Kaiser missed a free throw, VerStrate hit a runner in the lane to get it back to two. After a foul, Bryan Andrews made both free throws and the Eagles advanced to the tourney semifinal.
Cook tied it with a hard drive and made the free throw to put Cheney up 65-64 with 2 minutes to go. Drynan responded with a 3, but Cook tied it at 67 with a floater with 55 seconds left. WV turned it over and Cheney couldn’t get a shot off and it headed to overtime.
Pullman 56, East Valley 31: Konner Kinkade scored 25 points with six 3-pointers, Jacob Wells added 10 points and the second-seeded Greyhounds (17-4) eliminated the fifth-seeded Knights (2-19).
Pullman raced out to a 17-7 lead after the first quarter.
Tyler Holmes led EV with seven points.
West Valley 65, Cheney 43: Nevaeh Sherwood scored 19 points and the third-seeded Eagles (12-9) eliminated the fourth-seeded Blackhawks (9-12).
WV advances to the semifinal against Clarkston on Saturday at 2 p.m.
Jillian Taylor had 15 points and Hailey Marlow added 12 for the Eagles. Aijia Loffredi led Cheney with 12 points.
Cheney got off to a sluggish start and the Eagles took advantage, building a 17-5 first-quarter lead. Taylor’s 3-pointer just before the horn put the Eagles up 29-19 at intermission.
“We really came out hard,” Taylor said. “Last game we were a little slow, so we wanted to pick it up this game.”
Sherwood added eight points in the third as WV maintained its double-digit lead. Sherwood and Alyssa Amann popped back-to-back 3s at the start of the fourth to push the lead to 15.
Clarkston 74, Pullman 29: Ashlyn Wallace scored 30 points, including four 3-pointers, and the second-seeded Bantams (19-2) – ranked No. 6 in state 2A – handled the fifth-seeded Greyhounds (4-17).
“We worked hard and made sure we didn’t mess around,” Wallace said. “We worked on what we needed to for our next hard game tomorrow.”
Wallace, a sophomore, was named GNL girls MVP before the game.
“Yeah, that’s pretty sweet,” she said after the game. “I worked really hard for it and also I got a lot of help from my teammates. I couldn’t do it without them.”
Rian Clear led Pullman with 11 points.