With an unfamiliar foe in Walla Walla, Central Valley head coach Freddie Rehkow was a little worried. He felt the Blue Devils would focus in on his two post players, junior Madison Hovren and senior Mariah Cunningham.
Turns out his worries didn’t matter as Hovren led all scorers with 30 points, Cunningham scored 15, and the host Bears won a loser-out 4A girls subregional playoff game 63-52.
“She stepped up,” Rehkow said of Hovren. “We knew we had to come at her and utilize the post and her and Mariah did a great job.”
Hovren shot 10 for 11 from the free-throw line in leading the Bears to a winner-to-regional matchup with Chiawana at 6 tonight in Pasco.
Rehkow had a little time to scout his opponent, but preparing for a nonleague foe can always lead to mysteries.
“I just knew (Mikayla Ferenz) was the shooter and she was,” he said. “I knew they were going to come in and be physical and they were. I thought they did a good job. I mean, we couldn’t pull away from them.”
Ferenz led the way for Walla Walla with 23 points.
CV never put too much distance between it and Walla Walla, though the Blue Devils did manage to keep it close throughout the game. Walla Walla threatened toward the end of the first half, cutting a comfortable CV lead to 25-21 at the intermission. The Bears, though, opened the second half on an 11-3 run.
The Blue Devils again threatened in the fourth quarter with the help of junior Madi Doepker, who scored 11 of her 17 points in the final frame. Ferenz was held to five points in the fourth quarter after dominating WW’s offense for much of the game.
“We tried to put a little pressure on her and make things tough for her,” Rehkow said.