Prep roundup: Eli Williams scores 28 points, North Central boys beat Gonzaga Prep first time in 17 years

Jan. 2—As far as nonleague games against league opponents go, Tuesday's boys game pitting Gonzaga Prep and visiting North Central had all the feel of a district playoff game — including two overtime periods.

Eli Williams scored 28 points, 11 in the extra sessions, and the Wolfpack beat the Bullpups 77-72 — the first North Central boys win over Gonzaga Prep in 17 years.

Jacori Ervin added 19 points and five blocked shots for NC (8-1). Dylynn Groves led G-Prep (8-3) with 23 points, while Henry Sandberg and Nate Christy added 13 points apiece.

"I'm proud of these guys," North Central coach Robert Sacre said. "They believe in themselves, they've been working hard, they deserve this... It absolutely is a good test for us. A good time for us to grow and get better."

"We've had a losing program since I've been here," Williams, a senior, said. "Sacre has really just done a good job of turning around the environment. You can tell — we've never had a student section here at G-Prep. It feels good to bring the bring the program together in the school."

G-Prep guard junior guard Brogan Howell made a pair at the line with 45.9 seconds left in the first overtime to put GP up 67-65, but Williams tied it again with a put-back with 20.3 seconds left. JuJu Ervin stuffed Groves' drive at the horn, and it went to double overtime.

Jacori Ervin grabbed an offensive board, and his two-handed slam put NC up by one with 2:09 left. Ervin made 1 of 2 at the line to make it 74-72 with 1:11 left and after a hard collision, Williams sank both free throws to make it a four-point game with 24.8 to go.

Jacori Ervin blocked Nate Christy's layup attempt and Williams iced it with a free throw.

"We fought it out," Williams said. "Last year we would not have done that. So, this good improvement."

"I want the ball on his hands," Sacre said of Williams. "He's a coach's dream. And the sky's the limit for that guy in the future."

The Wolfpack got out to a 10-2 start, fueled by a long 3-pointer by 6-foot-11 Jacori Ervin. Trevelle Jones hit a corner 3 later in the period and NC led 15-10 after one quarter.

G-Prep scored the first six points of the second quarter for its first lead of the game. Sandberg hit a late runner and the Bullpups led 24-21 at the half.

Williams tied it with a double move under the basket early in the third, then he hit a long 3. He had 10 points in the quarter and the Wolfpack led 45-40 after three.

Groves and Ryan Jackson hit back-to-back 3s for G-Prep to start the fourth quarter, and the Bullpups led by three with 4:25 to go. JuJu Ervin took over at that point, scoring three consecutive buckets for NC, including a two-handed jam, and it was tied 60-60 with 1:13 to go.

Gonzaga Prep got two shots at the go-ahead basket to no avail, and NC's fastbreak alley-oop at the buzzer was just late and it went to overtime.

"We're learning to win and it's not easy to win," Sacre said. "People think it just comes to you. But you got to learn how to win and they're doing it — and they're doing it the hard way. But we're doing it."

All games nonleague.

Boys basketball

Ridgeline, 59, Mead 57: Caden Andreas scored 17 points, Easton Amend had 13 and the Falcons (9-1) held off the visiting Panthers (6-4). Nash Dunham led Mead with 14 points and Karson Maze added 11.

University 46, Lewis and Clark 43: Shane Skidmore scored 15 points and the Titans (5-5) edged the visiting Tigers (7-3). Parker Pincock led LC with 13 points.

Ferris 70, Central Valley 59: Dylan Skaife scored 15 points, Beruke Weledsenbet added 14 and the visiting Saxons (3-6) beat the Bears (1-8). Cameron Walls led CV with 16 points and Orland Axton added 12.

Girls basketball

Mead 67, Ridgeline 50: Teryn Gardner scored 17 points, Addison Wells Morrison had 15 and the visiting Panthers (8-1) topped the Falcons (5-5). Madilyn Crowley led Ridgeline with 25 points.

Gonzaga Prep 70, North Central 32: Aylah Cornwall scored 18 points and the Bullpups (7-3) beat the visiting Wolfpack (1-9). Gillian Bears and Belle Hernandez added 10 points apiece for G-Prep. Shalene Ervin led NC with 16 points.

Central Valley 76, Ferris 46: Eden Sander scored 27 points and the Bears (7-3) beat the visiting Saxons (4-5). Kayla Jones led Ferris with 27 points. Gabbie Wilson added 19 points for CV.

Lewis and Clark 53, University 48: Sadie Pierce scored 16 points and the visiting Tigers (6-4) beat the Titans (5-4). Ruby Shaw had 14 points and Kayla Vue added 13 for LC. McKenzie Handran led U-Hi with 16 points and Kailee Alteneder added 11.