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GSL boys: G-Prep holds off frantic late CV rally

January 4, 2017 GMT

One thing that Greater Spokane League basketball teams force each other to do is finish.

That was never truer than Tuesday between boys co-leaders Central Valley and Gonzaga Prep.

Anton Watson hit a 3-pointer to give the Bullpups a 59-39 lead over the visiting Bears with 3 minutes remaining.

Fast forward to the final seconds and the Bullpups were fighting to not give up all of their lead before holding off CV 63-58.

“We got a little overconfident and let it get away from us,” G-Prep point guard Kea Vargas said. “We pulled it out in the end so that’s all that matters. Every night is a tough night in this league.”

Vargas must have been picking up the positive spin his coach put on the near-collapse afterward.

“We certainly didn’t want to focus on that because, well, we’re just not playing 32 minutes of consistent basketball,” Bullpups coach Matty McIntyre said. “I just said that we’re building towards it. The kids recognize it and understand it.”

Vargas has done a nice job transitioning from a shooting guard/wing to point this season. He had 10 points, 10 rebounds and four assists.

“I’m trying to get a little bit of everything,” Vargas said. “I’m trying to lead the team from a different position than I’m used to. I’m still getting a little bit used to it but I’m getting there.”

G-Prep (9-1 overall, 7-1 league) didn’t expect CV (8-2, 6-2) to come out in a 2-3 zone. Rick Sloan-coached CV teams use zone about as often as Halley’s Comet comes around.

It caused the Bullpups to be more plodding and helter-skelter than it wanted to be for a half. Still, G-Prep led 23-19 at intermission.

After few adjustments and just better ball movement, the Bullpups found their groove against the zone in the third quarter, building a 43-32 lead going into the final period.

“Once we got the zone figured out we ran away with it,” Vargas said.

“The zone offense looked a lot better, we got a couple things in transition and tightened some things up,” McIntyre said.

Watson led G-Prep with 23 points, 11 rebounds and three assists.

Ryan Rehkow led CV with 18 points and four steals.

“Momentum got away from us,” McIntyre said of the finish. “It just goes to show how quickly things can change.”

Especially in the GSL.

Sloan had a simple plan for using a zone.

“We wanted to slow down their penetration,” he said, “but we didn’t do a very good job of it.”

Shadle Park 78, Mead 53: The Highlanders kept pace (9-1, 7-1) with Gonzaga Prep as they easily dispatched the visiting Panthers (2-8, 0-8). Shadle got out fast, opening a 24-8 lead. Tanner Groves led with 20 points, Andreas Brown had 15 and Adrian Conway added 11. Tyson Rogalette and Vinny Saldana had 10 each for Mead.

North Central 57, Rogers 42: The Indians (1-9, 1-7) broke through for their first win, handling the visiting Pirates (1-9, 1-7). NC opened a 33-15 lead in the first half. Leon Sayers led NC with 18 points. Cole Riblet and Mandela Kalu had 10 each for Rogers.

Lewis and Clark 65, Mt. Spokane 49: The Tigers (6-4, 5-3) snapped a three-game losing streak on the road. Anthony Smith led LC with 21 points including five 3-pointers and Naje Smith had 11. Justin Smith led Mt. Spokane (5-5, 3-5) with 15 points and J.T. Smith added 13.

Ferris 73, University 54: The Saxons (8-2, 6-2) had no difficulty pulling away from the visiting Titans (4-6, 4-4). Shamrock Campbell led Ferris with 22 points, Max Thompson had 15 and Michael Ervin added 10. Elijah Ramirez led the Titans with 18, Boston Tacke had 15 and Tanner Christensen chipped in 11.