GSL basketball: University boys, Central Valley girls come up with big wins in ‘Stinky Sneaker’ games
The University boys and Central Valley girls pulled off pivotal wins in the 25th annual battle for the “Stinky Sneaker” rivalry games at the Arena on Wednesday.
It was the third of four annual rivalry matchups in the Greater Spokane League. On Tuesday, Mt. Spokane boys and girls swept host Mead in their annual “Cat Fight,” while North Central took a pair form Shadle Park in their “Groovy Shoes” contests at the Arena.
On Thursday, Lewis and Clark meets Ferris at the Arena in the granddaddy of the GSL rivalry games, the “Rubber Chicken.”
The rivalry games at the Arena get the student bodies involved and nets the players some experience on the big stage before the District 8 tournaments on Feb. 15-16.
Lane Kennedy scored 18 points on five 3-pointers, Marcus Lenker added 16 and the Titans (11-4, 6-3) topped the Bears (9-6, 5-4) 58-48 in the nightcap of the rivalry game.
University takes a one-game lead for second 4A seed to the District 8 tournament over CV and Ferris (10-5, 5-4).
“This is what we practice for,” Kennedy said. “We’ve worked really hard for this.”
U-Hi coach Garrick Phillips said the attention of the rivalry game makes for an exciting atmosphere, but he tried to reel in his team.
“This game is kind of a fiasco with everything that’s going on,” he said. “We tried to focus on how important it was for league standings, something that we had to take care of. That’s a good victory for us.”
After a 9-0 CV run early in the third, Kennedy hit back-to-back 3s to put U-Hi up 35-34. Lenker added one from long distance and the Titans led 38-34 after three quarters.
“We went the first 6 minutes of the third quarter without scoring with a lot of good looks, then we made three 3s in the last minute and a half,” Phillips said. “That’s basketball sometimes.”
Kyle Douglas made a long 3 to put U-Hi up 44-37 and Kennedy made it a nine-point game with his fifth 3-pointer with 3:12 left.
Noah Sanders led CV with 17 points.
CV’s Camryn Skaife had been battling a nasty cough for two weeks and didn’t play much through the first three quarters.
But the senior guard came off the bench in the fourth quarter to nail a huge 3-pointer and a critical free throw to help Central Valley (12-2, 8-1) edge University (11-4, 6-3) 56-53 in the early game.
Tomekia Whitman led No. 6-rated CV with 20 points and Anika Chalich added 12. Ellie Boni paced No. 13 U-Hi with 19 points.
Skaife tied it at 48 with a 3 with 1:55 left, her first bucket of the game.
“I always keep shooting,” Skaife said of her early-game struggles. “I can’t let a few bad shots get to me.”
She made 1 of 2 at the line with 10.7 seconds left to put CV up 55-53. After a timeout, the Titans turned it over on the inbound play.
CV swept the season series with U-Hi and holds a two-game lead and the tiebreaker over the Titans.
“It feels nice to be in this position, especially in my senior year and in the ‘Stinky Sneaker,’ ” Skaife said. “Now we have a lead and have to keep rolling.”