By Don Eskins (For OzarksSportsZone.com)
The Spokane Owls opened up Southwest Central Conference play on Tuesday night, in Spokane, with a rousing 72-50 win over the Galena Bears.
The Owls, now 12-5 on the year, got double-digit scoring efforts from Zayne Gale with 17, Jackson Bray (15), Sam Shuman (11) and Jaden McCoy (10) en route to the win.
Wyatt Snelson led Galena’s effort with a game high 21 points. The Bears are now 12-3 on the year.
Spokane, after outscoring Galena 14-12 in the first quarter, pushed their lead up to ten at the half, 36-26.
The Owls returned to the floor in the third period to run off 14-straight unanswered points to push their lead up to 24 mid-way through the period. Spokane now had a lead they wouldn’t relinquish.
Shuman with 8 points, Gale with 6 and Bray with 4 led the Spokane third quarter uprisng.
“We came out a little tight tonight and had a hard time finding the basket early in the game,” said Spokane head coach Kyle Johnson. “But we got our rhythm going mid-way through the second period and things began to open up for us.”
“But the turning point of the game was our 14-0 run to begin the third quarter,” Johnson said. “We were only up by 10 at the half but the adjustments we made during half-time really paid off. Pushing the lead up to 24 in the first few minutes of the third period was big.”
Also big was the play he got from Gale, Bray and Shuman.
“These guys are leaders on our team and we count on them to deliver every night,” said the Owl coach. “Just like they did for us tonight.”
The Owls also got some quality minutes from 6’8″ freshman J.D. Tate.
“We’re always telling our junior varsity players that when they get an opportunity to suit for varsity play to make the best of it. That’s exactly what J.D. did tonight,” said Johnson.
“He played some great defense, got some big boards and even found his way to the basket for six points. He did great and we’re very proud of him.”
The Bears entered Tuesday night’s game short-handed. On Saturday senior captain Dawson Sherer, son of Bear head coach David Sherer, tore his ACL. Dawson had been averaging about 20 points and six assists a ballgame for Galena.
“Tonight’s game was a real challenge for our kids,” said coach Sherer. “We had to make several changes regarding positions, roles and responsibilities in our lineup. Since losing Dawson our kids have had only one practice so they’re still learning.”
“It’s going to take a little time for the kids to figure out just what we need them to do but we’ll get there,” Sherer said. “But tonight our kids played hard. I’m proud of them for that. Because of efforts like tonight- our kids will bounce back.”
Team 1 2 3 4 F
Galena 12 14 15 9 50
Spokane 14 22 24 12 72
Spokane: Zayne Gale- 17/Jackson Bray- 15/Sam Shuman-11/Jaden McCoy-10/Jacob Wiggins-7/J.D. Tate- 6/Grant Stewart- 5/Daniel Newell-1/ FT’s 16/22/73%
Galena: Wyatt Snelson- 21/Logan Thompson- 7/Skylar Nielsen- 5/Joseph Price- 5/Ethan Bailey- 5/Noah Gulick- 4/Chase Gallion- 3/ FT’s 10/22/66%