The Mt. Spokane girls basketball team had the better start.
The 2015-16 State 4A champion Central Valley Bears had the better finish when it counted most.
The visiting Bears had to do something they haven’t had to do all season – rally – as Central Valley held off Mt. Spokane 49-43 in a Greater Spokane League game Thursday.
The Bears (19-0 overall, 17-0 league) captured a second straight league championship. But a trip to the dentist for a root canal for CV may have been more enjoyable than its 47th consecutive win.
The Wildcats (16-3, 14-3) scored the game’s first 13 points. CV didn’t score its first basket until 27 seconds remained in the first quarter.
“We could have looked at it and said ‘oh no, here’s the problem we were worried about’ or you bounce back,” CV coach Freddie Rehkow said. “We haven’t been tested, but they kept fighting. I told them that I loved the fact they kept fighting until the end.”
The Bears clawed back in the second period, tying the score at 17-17 when Lexie Hull made a 3-pointer with 1:23 to go before halftime.
Moments later, Hull completed a fast break to give CV its first lead at 20-19.
Mt. Spokane took a 20-19 lead into intermission when Jaidyn Lyman hit a 3-pointer one stride inside halfcourt at the buzzer.
“I thought Mt. Spokane came out extremely fired up, inspired, and they were playing with passion,” Rehkow said. “They wanted it more than we did at the start of the game. I thought we were playing timid.”
Lexie Hull was surprised by her team’s start.
“They came out more ready to play, more excited to play and we came out not mentally prepared,” she said. “I definitely think we needed this, good competition to teach us to know what it’s going to be like when we get harder games (playoffs).”
Both teams played solid defense throughout.
Mt. Spokane had the lead until Kalle Crouch made two free throws to knot the score at 39-39 with 2:47 remaining.
On its next possession, CV took the lead for good when Lacie Hull hit a baseline jumper with 1:58 to go.
CV confirmed the win at the foul line. The Bears made 8 of 8 in the final 2:47.
The Bears needed the pressure-packed game. They’ve won most of their games going away, and their starters haven’t had to play many minutes in the second half.
CV got nice play off the bench from Crouch, Katie Hawkins and Courtney Carolan.
Lexie Hull led CV with 21 points and 11 rebounds.
Lyman led Mt. Spokane with 13 points and Miahna Waters had 13 rebounds.
Gonzaga Prep 53, Mead 26: In a key game for postseason seeding, the visiting Bullpups (12-7, 12-5) locked up the No. 2 seed and the right to host a game by handling the Panthers (12-7, 10-7). Freshman Olivia Mayer led G-Prep with 26 points. Aaliyah Pauling led Mead with 10.
Lewis and Clark 68, Ferris 53: The Tigers (11-8, 11-6) got out to a 41-29 lead by halftime and turned back the Saxons (2-17, 2-15). Jacinta Buckley and Peyton Howard scored 16 points apiece for LC and Dominique Arquette had 13. Brook Goodwin led Ferris with 14 points and Kaydee Fisher added 11.
University 55, Rogers 13: Ellie Boni led the visiting Titans (10-8, 9-7) with 14 points. U-Hi opened up a 25-3 lead by the end of the first quarter.