The game-long roll-outs and bounce-outs for the Central Valley girls basketball team Saturday afternoon were no doubt frustrating.
Central Valley kept its poise, though, and the end result was utterly satisfying.
The Bears, ranked No. 1 most of the season, topped the Chiawana Riverhawks 55-48 in a 4A regional game at Spokane Falls Community College. In the other winner-to-state, loser-out game, the Gonzaga Prep Bullpups ran over the Olympia Bears 69-35.
CV (23-2) and Gonzaga Prep (18-5) begin state tournament play Thursday at the Tacoma Dome.
Central Valley 55, Chiawana 48: The final score is misleading. The Bears led 47-32 with 3:05 remaining in the fourth quarter.
Then the Bears had moments of amnesia and forgot to finish.
No wonder that by game’s end, CV coach Freddie Rehkow had reason for a big exhale. It’s the first time CV is headed to state since 2004.
“We got rushed,” Rehkow said. “It’s one of those things where we’re a team that likes to run. The problem is we were taking shots that we didn’t need to. We should have pulled it out a couple of times and used clock.”
The Bears rushed things frequently in the first half. It’s a good thing they were playing their typical air-tight defense.
CV limited Chiawana to 14 points in the first two quarters, and the Bears sputtered on offense, missing at least six layups or short shots in the key.
“To hold them to 14, we should have been up by much more,” Rehkow said. “We probably had at least six bunnies that should have been down. To these kids’ credit, they fought through that. They were disappointed in themselves but they didn’t let up.”
CV had key contributions from several players. Brooke Gallaway finished with a game-high 22 points and in so doing moved past Crystal Lee into second on the school’s all-time scoring list. Gallaway has 1,402 points, 58 behind leader Emily Westerberg.
“You’re not going to make every shot,” Gallaway said of CV’s difficulty at times with the close-range attempts. “But we still battled through it. We played great defense and rebounded.”
Madison Hovren had 16 points and 14 rebounds and Sydney Emory hit a couple of key 3-pointers to go with three steals and two assists.
“She played extremely well,” Rehkow said of Emory. “If I had to pick someone who really stepped up it would be Sydney.”
Gonzaga Prep 69, Olympia 35: The Bears (10-15) were no match for the Bullpups.
G-Prep applied full-court pressure from the tip and the Bears fled for hibernation. The Bullpups led 24-4 at the end of the first quarter.
Olympia had 11 turnovers in the first quarter and 30 overall.
Cassie Anderson had a season-high 19 points, three rebounds and two assists. Lindsay Stockton had 15 points, nine rebounds, nine assists and two steals.
The Bullpups’ biggest lead came when Stockton got a steal and fed a long pass to freshman sister Lauren, who made a layup to extend the lead to 67-31 with 4:52 to go.
It’s G-Prep’s first trip to state since 1997.
“It was our goal to get to the (Tacoma) Dome,” Anderson said.
“We’re playing well at the right time,” G-Prep coach Mike Arte said.