The Central Valley-University boys basketball game Tuesday was so good it’s worth a second look.
For CV, the close call was its toughest test since, well, the first matchup against the Titans.
In the first game in mid-December, University raced to a 36-22 lead by halftime only to watch the Bears overcome the deficit and pull out a 54-53 win. CV didn’t take its first lead until 2 minutes, 31 seconds remained in the game.
The rematch Tuesday didn’t have the drastic changes in momentum. But it was entertaining nonetheless before CV prevailed 53-45.
U-Hi eschewed its fire-away-from-any- distance approach and attacked the basket in the third quarter after trailing 26-20 at halftime. That allowed the Titans to take a 35-34 lead into the fourth.
CV senior guard Austin Rehkow secured the win from the free-throw line in the final quarter. He made 11 of 12, including 11 straight. He scored the Bears’ final 10 points.
“We played them earlier in the year and it was a dogfight,” CV coach Rick Sloan said. “We knew it was going to be a tough game. Garrick (Phillips, U-Hi coach) did a great job and those kids competed hard. It was one of those games I’m not sure anybody deserved to lose.”
The Bears, who moved up to second in the Associated Press rankings this week, remain unbeaten at 13-0 overall and 11-0 in league, and they will be tested repeatedly the final seven conference games.
If you’ve followed GSL boys basketball in recent years, you know that when teams go to state they usually come home with trophies. Sometimes the golden ball.
Mead coach Glenn Williams watched his team get steamrolled by CV and Gonzaga Prep on consecutive days last week. Williams sees many similarities between CV and G-Prep and the tradition of recent success.
“Both teams are very good,” Williams said. “They’re very similar in that they’re going to contest every dribble, every pass. They’re going to punish you if you’re not fundamental. If you make any errors they’re going to turn them into points. Both teams have really good jump shooters.”
Then Williams spoke to the GSL’s recent run at state.
“In the last decade if you win the GSL or you go to state from the GSL you’re usually coming home with a trophy or you’re playing for the state championship,” he said. “Or you’re winning the state championship.”
This ’n that
Sloan continues to be impressed by U-Hi senior Brett Bailey, who scored a game-high 26 points to go with 15 rebounds against CV on Tuesday.
“Bailey’s a handful,” Sloan said. “He’s the real deal and he’ll play for (the University of) San Diego next year (as a true freshman). Even when you hold him to a bad shot he has a nose for the ball and he got several putbacks.”
• Coeur d’Alene football standout Jeremiah Hazard has given Idaho State University an oral commitment. A lineman for the Vikings, Hazard is projected as a linebacker for ISU. Junior teammate Matt James, a lineman, has been offered by Idaho.
• John Mellor of Colfax has been invited to play in the East vs. West Football game for 2A, 1A and 2B classifications. The game will be played in June in Yakima.
• The Lake City boys (10-4, 3-0) can capture the 5A Inland Empire League championship and top seed to the regional tournament Friday when they visit Post Falls (5-8, 0-1).
• The St. George’s boys (15-1, 10-0) can claim no worse than a share of a league title Friday when they play host to Reardan (5-11, 3-7). The Dragons are ranked first in the 2B poll for a second straight week. Their lone loss came Dec. 27 to 2A Pullman, 55-54. Pullman is ranked third.
• The historical particulars are sketchy but the East Valley boys pulled off something Saturday that had only been done once in the last 30 years. The Knights defeated rival West Valley 51-44. Former WV coach Joe Feist said the only time EV beat one of his teams was in 1993 or 1994 and the last EV win before that goes back to the 1970s. The schools haven’t played every year in that span. There were a few years where the schools were in different leagues.
• The annual Dream Duals are Saturday at EV, beginning at 8:30 a.m. Mead is the lone local 4A team and University and North Central are the lone area 3A teams. EV and Colville head up the 2A division and there will be duals in 1A and B along with a girls division.