Most folks feel a little sluggish the first day back on the job after the holiday break. It’s no different for high school basketball players.
After a slow start, all-league guard Aspyn Adams took over in the third quarter and Mt. Spokane topped visiting Central Valley 64-53 in a Greater Spokane League showdown.
Adams finished with 21 points, 11 in the third. Niveya Henley added 12 points and Jayda Noble finished with 11 points and 12 rebounds for Mt. Spokane.
Camryn Skaife led Central Valley with 20 points and Tomekia Whitman added 12.
Mt. Spokane (11-0, 4-0) entered play rated No. 1 in state 3A by WIAA’s RPI and ranked No. 4 by the Seattle Times. CV (8-2, 4-2) was No. 7 in RPI and No. 8 in 4A by the Times.
“A win’s a win,” Mt. Spokane coach David Pratt said. “I felt like coming in to this one we might be a little bit … I was hoping we wouldn’t be rusty. And I felt like we were rusty for a quarter and CV played hard. .
“Regardless if it was pretty or not, we got the win.”
“That 10-day Christmas break got us a little,” Adams said. “After half, we pulled it together.”
It’s the first time in Adams’ career the Wildcats have topped the Bears, who went three straight seasons without a loss in the regular season while winning two state titles.
“I’m so happy to finally beat them,” she said. “Fourth year, senior year, it’s about time. (CV) played a great game and I’m super proud of our team.”
“It’s nice for us to embrace having that target. And we’re OK with it,” he said. “We’ve been able to win so it’s nice to get out there and put it together.”
CV led early, paced by seniors Skaife and Madi Simmelink, who had five points apiece in the opening quarter. The Bears led 14-11 after one.
CV stretched its lead to nine early in the second, but Emma Main drilled a 3-pointer from the corner just before the buzzer and the Wildcats trimmed their deficit to 28-25 at intermission.
Midway through the third, Mt. Spokane drew to within one on an offensive rebound by Henley and 3-pointer from Adams, who nailed another 3 to tie it at 35.
Adams popped another 3 and a pair of free throws and the Wildcats jumped out to a 42-35 lead.
“After (Adams) hit a couple we went to her, called her number,” Pratt said. “When you have a kid that can hit shots like that you just say, ‘Wow, that was fun.’ ”
But MJ Bruno hit a short jumper and after a turnover against pressure, Simmelink made a layup, and the teams were tied at 42 after three quarters.
Henley followed her miss with a layup, Noble made a scooping layup and the Wildcats went up by six with just more than 2 minutes to go.
Henley made a couple of buckets in transition and Adams converted a pair of 1-and-1s to seal it.
Mt. Spokane 70, Central Valley 41: Tyson Degenhart scored 19 points, Tanner Brooks added 17 and the Wildcats (10-1, 3-1) used a big second half to beat the Bears (7-4, 3-3).
Mt. Spokane, rated No. 3 in 3A by RPI, outscored CV 24-9 in the fourth quarter. The Bears came in rated No. 19 in 4A.
JT Smith added 11 points for the Wildcats. Jayce Simmons led Central Valley, which was held without a 3-pointer, with 10.