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Cat Mania 2014 Basketball


The final leg of the spirit games in Spokane was played Friday night at Mead HS and it was well worth the price of admission.  The home team Panthers capped a sweep over the Wildcats but not without some scratching and clawing.

  Mead/Mt Spokane Girls

The girls began the night with a furious pace, both teams feeding off of the ruckus crowd that saw the scoreboard light up with a 22-17 end to the first quarter.  Mead has so much size and Mt Spokane has so much speed it was interesting to see how it would all play out.  As the game progressed it seemed like Mead was blocking everything the lady Cats threw up.  Aside from Dallas Flager and Ashlee Pedersen, again, Mt Spokane had no answers.  Flager plays with a reckless abandon and loves to push the ball up court looking for any crease to take it all the way.  Tonight she played with more purpose than I’ve seen in prior games and showed more composure on when to shoot and when to back off.  Number 32 delivered in the game with a quick pop 3-pointer, a nice lefty drive with a fine floater, and a handful of steals completing a nice all around game, proving she can play with Mead’s giants.  “Splashlee” again impressed with a fearless infiltration of the home squads defense blowing past them on breaks numerous times and finishing strong at the rim.   She  collected more than a handful of rebounds, steals, and deflections while also racking up three bombs on her way to counting 23 beans.  The Mead girls again showed their experience and size blocking shots all night long beginning with Sue Winger.  This “dynamomma” came out in the first quarter hitting threes, getting steals that lead to breakaway baskets, and finishing everything she started!  It was absurd watching those green feet do all that work, but by the end of the game I recognized her as the most dominant player on the floor tonight!  (Hey, I’m just kidding about the shoes,  I’m sure there’s a method to the madness and it makes you easier to pick out in the game film!).  If you haven’t seen PG Douglas play (sorry, I can’t spell your first name right now as the Seahawks are making plans to drill that guy for the Broncos this weekend) you should, she is a very special little player and probably the most natural athlete in the girl’s game today.  She has great jumping ability and overall fluid movement. I really noticed how she understands spacing and how nice her passes are when she’s simply swinging the ball around.  “P” is going to be a great point guard in this city, just wait and watch as she is only a sophomore.  I can’t end this review without sending some “pub” toward DJ.   Delany Junkermier…. her midrange game is un matched and her ability to hit open threes are just two simple reasons why she will be going on to DI hoops next year.  Just go see her play before it’s too late, it’s always fun to watch a scorer.

Mead/Mt Spokane Boys-

The Boys game tonight was interesting to say the least.  Mead has one of the better squads and can match up man for man against any team in the city.  At each position they usually have an advantage in individual talent and tonight was no different playing their cross highway rivals.  Somehow Mt Spokane hung around mostly due to Stu Stiles in the first half, by the way this kid can score in as many ways as you can think of but that wasn’t the key.  Although he had a prime time first half scoring 16 points and I even saw him get fired up once, it just didn’t explain why they stayed close throughout the game. The key was that the Wildcats stayed patient on offense, running their motion waiting for openings and forcing the Panthers into tough shots.  The box score doesn’t show it but Dillon Moran had an admirable game controlling the half court and finding open teammates, or letting Stiles finish with the shot clock dwindling.  Dillon has a very quick first step and can go by people en route to the rim where he will finalize a play fighting through contact.  He’s a tough dude and has heart that spreads throughout his teammates and that’s what kept this game close.  Alas Ben Stevens stepped up and looked very comfortable and confident becoming more involved in the offense, grabbing offensive rebounds and cutting without the ball for layups.  He made a couple of challenging shots and made his way to the free throw line.  He may be developing into a “watch dog”  on the CATCH SPOKANE list of players to CATCH!  As for the Panthers, I cant’ say enough about Brandon Pettersen in tonight’s match up.  He plays much bigger than he is most of the game setting picks and snatching boards, but also has the ability to hit the phone booth and change into his little man persona and drive past his defender as a playmaker every time the clock is winding down.  He looks like a mismatch every time down the floor to me, and tonight he brought the jungle cat to the party scoring anytime he wanted to or forcing his way to the line.  It was a good showing for the junior.

Starting 5

As the season approaches the halfway mark,  Ive been scouting players and teams watching to see who has what the other team doesn’t,  why it works and doesn’t work, who should win and why teams lose.  I see CV with all of their experience and arguably the best player in Chamberlain, Shadle Park with all of their potential and the “Fab Frosh” Nelson and Brown, and NC finally winning one of more to come this season, with their senior grit setting the tone for their youngsters.    I clearly have my favorite players and teams to watch from  a fan’s point of view.

Another thing I see is that Mead has the most talented and versatile starting five in the league.  The Panthers have 5 guys on the court from the jumpball that can go for 20 points and snatch 6 steals or grab 12 boards while whacking 4  threes, or dish out 8 assists while taking 3 charges.  Although undersized, every player is solid and good at every aspect of the game.

PG- Will McPhee runs the offense with limited turnovers and fine passing skills  and has no problem scoring. Whether its bombing away or ending a possession with one of his trademark finishes around the basket, he’s a steady floor leader on both ends.  Defensivley I like the way he ball hawks and gets into his match up.

–  Mitch Banaugh possesses one of the more natural jump shots in the city and is shooting 3s at a high percentage.  He’s got decent size in the league as a guard and will play aggressive on the defensive end.  I believe he can score better than he’s showed, but he’s also proving he has the ability to be a role player and do what coach asks of him which is an under rated trait at the high school level.

– Max Hess is one of the more all around talents we have this season in Spokane. What stands out to me is the way he slides and moves on defense when they start trapping.  He’s a long and athletic specimen who thrives on a faster paced game, forcing bad passes and turnovers.  When the ball is in his hands  Max does not hesitate to throw in “stop n pop” jumper or finger roll a baseline dribble drive .  I see him as a star in the making and he’ll only get better and more consistent with time.

– Thomas Kautzman . This guy is a beast!   He usually plays out of position as an uber athletic, physical post player  with a scowl on his face and chip on his shoulder that makes him the love/hate player in this league. he’s a MAN on the glass, and will do everything possible to keep you from doing anything easy on the D side.

-Brandon Pettersen is another undersized big man but he possesses a game that is a little different than most 6-2 post players.  He usually roams the high post setting screens for his teammates and waiting for his game to come not forcing anything.  Brandon is mostly playing the 5 spot in a 3 mans body with the offensive skills to have 15 points, 8 rebounds, and 5 assists every night and it would not be a surprise.  He’s perfect for that high post in Meads offense.