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GSL basketball teams get set for second half

Greater Spokane League girls and boys basketball teams reach the midway point of the season Friday and begin second-half play Saturday afternoon.

At least one thing is for sure. Barring a cataclysmic development, the Central Valley girls should cruise through league undefeated.

That’s not something CV coach Freddie Rehkow wants to see in the newspaper this morning. In fact, he’s surprised the 4A Bears are ranked No. 1 in the state.

“We were 10-11 last season,” Rehkow said.

The Bears matched that win total Tuesday in a 64-48 win over district rival University, a talented 3A team.

What Rehkow wants to ignore when he tries to dismiss the rankings is the GSL’s run of dominance since 2001. In an 11-year span, the league has had six state titles (two by CV under Dale Poffenroth) and three runner-up finishes.

Rehkow likes the progress his team has made thus far.

“We still haven’t peaked and that’s what is exciting,” he said. “We’ve been able to not play our best games and still come out on top. We know every night we’re going to have a battle.”

Rehkow has seen glimpses of what he believes is the best to come from his team.

“When these kids start playing their best it’ll be a wow factor,” Rehkow said. “We’ve seen flashes of brilliance. And then there are times when we back off and we say, ‘Are we where we want to be?’ We’ve got to make sure we have flashes of brilliance for 32 minutes. These kids know what they want. Anything short of that in their minds will be a disappointment.”

After the University boys opened league 4-0, it appeared they were going to waltz to a championship. But the Titans have been reeled back to the pack by 4A Ferris, Gonzaga Prep and CV.

Now the preseason favored Titans are in a three-way tie for fourth with Ferris and Shadle Park at 5-3. Lewis and Clark, CV and G-Prep are in a three-way tie for first at 6-2.

So what is the most accurate statement – that there’s quality parity among those six teams or is it a gaggle of average teams?

I think it’s a reflection of the rest of the state. There’s not one 4A team statewide that can be pegged as a clear-cut favorite to capture the state championship. Heck, even last year, G-Prep didn’t emerge as a contender until late in the regular season. And few Seattle-area followers thought much of the Bullpups until they crashed the party in Tacoma and took the golden ball home.

Davis of Yakima was ranked No. 1 in the Seattle and Tacoma newspaper preseason rankings. Rightly so, too. The Pirates returned a nice core off a team that placed fifth at state last year.

I saw Davis play twice at the Coeur d’Alene Inn-vitational tournament at North Idaho College during the holiday break including the championship game against Post Falls. I have no doubt that LC, G-Prep, CV and Ferris could give the Pirates all they could handle.

Bellarmine Prep supplanted Davis in both the Seattle/Tacoma polls and was ranked atop the first Associated Press poll this week.

I still believe U-Hi has the necessary ingredients to not only get to state but be in the trophy hunt. At this point, though, the Titans are trying to find their footing again. And 3A rival Shadle Park is looking forward to a rematch with the Titans on Tuesday at U-Hi.

The second half could be full of surprises. Stay tuned.