The Central Valley girls basketball team finished as Greater Spokane League champ two years ago.
Problem was, the Bears didn’t finish the job. They were bounced out of the district tournament in a decisive manner.
CV is determined to get to Tacoma this time.
The Bears, seeking their first trip to state since 2004, concluded regular-season play with a 57-46 win over the Mead Panthers on Thursday at Mead.
“We just talked about that,” CV coach Freddie Rehkow said. “Two years ago we got knocked out and we got knocked out big. They want to bring home the gold ball. I’m hoping that will push them.”
The road to Tacoma begins Tuesday when the No. 1-ranked Bears (19-1, 17-1) entertain fourth-seeded Lewis and Clark (10-10) in a District 8 4A tournament opener. Tipoff is at 5:30. In the other opener, No. 3 Mead (11-9, 11-7) goes to No. 2 Gonzaga Prep (15-5, 13-5), also at 5:30.
CV played perhaps its best half of the season in terms of taking care of the ball. The Bears committed no turnovers, using a hot start by sophomore post Mariah Cunningham for a 32-17 lead at halftime.
Cunningham very well could have had more of an impact in the first two quarters. She scored 11 points and had four rebounds before taking a seat when she picked up her second foul with 4:14 to go before intermission.
Freshman post Madison Hovren picked up where Cunningham left off in the second half. Hovren made just 1 of 7 shots from the field in the first half, but she scored 12 of her 14 points in the final two quarters. She also had a game-high 18 rebounds.
“The first half she got caught just standing around, she wasn’t real active,” Rehkow said. “Our posts have a tendency to do that. We got into her a little bit about the importance of being active.”
Hovren got a steal and a layup to put CV ahead 43-22 with 2:35 to go in the third quarter.
Mead fought back in the fourth, pulling within 51-39 when Jade Redmon made a basket inside.
CV wing Brooke Gallaway squelched Mead’s comeback hopes when she completed a three-point play moments later. Gallaway had 16 points and four rebounds, and Cunningham had 14 points and five rebounds.
“They’re starting to come together as a team,” first-year Mead coach Quantae Anderson said. “Change is difficult for anyone. They’re getting used to a new style of coach. I’m a different breed.”
Redmon led Mead with 14 points. Jasmine Parker had 10 and six rebounds and Mackenzie McPhee, who didn’t take a shot, had a team-high eight rebounds.
Shadle Park 58, Mt. Spokane 48: The visiting Wildcats (6-14, 5-13) opened a 20-15 in the first quarter, but it was all Highlanders (13-7, 12-6) the final three periods.
Shadle outscored Mt. Spokane 17-4 in the second to get rolling.
The Highlanders open the District 8 3A tournament on Tuesday when they turn around and face Mt. Spokane in a loser-out game at 5:30. The winner advances to face top-seeded University on Thursday.
Aleisha Hathaway led Shadle with 14 points and three assists and Paige Reidt had 10 points and four steals.
Alyssa Lloyd led Mt. Spokane with 22 points.
Gonzaga Prep 57, North Central 34: The Bullpups (15-5, 13-5) got things untracked in the second half, breezing past the visiting Indians (4-16, 4-14).
G-Prep outscored NC 31-13 in the final two quarters.
Lindsay Stockton led balanced G-Prep with 11 points. Hannah Caudill had five assists and Otiona Gildon had six rebounds.
G-Prep opens district play Tuesday at home against Mead.
University 51, Rogers 37: The Pirates (1-19, 0-18) gave the visiting Titans (14-6, 12-6) all they could handle for a half.
In fact, Rogers led after the first quarter 14-6 and 25-24 at halftime. But U-Hi outscored the Pirates 15-4 in the third.
Cassie Shillam led U-Hi with 22 points and Kayleigh Valley had 11. Talia Felice had 13 for Rogers and Jasmin Andrews added 10.
U-Hi is seeded No. 1 in the District 8 3A tournament. The Titans will face Tuesday’s Shadle/Mt. Spokane winner next Thursday in the title game.
Great Northern League
Pullman 54, West Valley 45: Emily Drake had a team-high 14 points as the Greyhounds (8-11, 6-6) turned back the visiting Eagles (3-9, 6-14). She made 6 of 6 free throws in the fourth when Pullman pulled away. Jenae Martin led WV with 19 points.
Clarkston 52, East Valley 44: The visiting Bantams (19-1, 10-0) opened a 31-20 lead by halftime. Sierra Higheagle led Clarkston with 19 points and Jamie Weisner added 15. Erin Williams led EV (11-9, 7-5) with 10.
District 7 2B
Kettle Falls 60, Liberty 32: The Bulldogs (6-15) cruised past the visiting Lancers (0-21). Kourtney Keenan led Kettle Falls with 16 points and Josie Stanard had 15 in the loser-out game. Aly Tee led the Lancers with 13.
Republic 43, Springdale 30: The Tigers (14-6) shut out the Chargers (4-17) 10-0 in the first quarter at Springdale in the loser-out game. Gabby Jensen led Republic with 13 points.
Central Washington 2B
Lake Roosevelt 75, Bridgeport 21: The host Raiders (13-5) cruised to a 47-17 lead at halftime at Coulee Dam.
1A Division II playoff
Kootenai 41, Mullan 35: The visiting Warriors used a 14-6 surge in the fourth quarter to top the Tigers in a loser-out playoff.
Kootenai travels to Clark Fork on Saturday to decide a state berth.
3A District I
Priest River 48, Timberlake 45: The Spartans (16-5) captured the district championship at Lakeland, advancing to state.