TACOMA – It wasn’t the trophy the Central Valley girls basketball team wanted.
It was a trophy nonetheless. And the Bears believe they showed they were the best team in the State 4A tournament even if the trophy says fourth place.
Central Valley put together a lock-down defensive effort for a second straight game, stifling Sunnyside 47-26 Saturday morning at the Tacoma Dome.
It was a particularly satisfying end to the season for CV junior Lexie Hull. Coming off a 1-for-11 shooting effort on Friday, Hull made 9 of 16 shots from the field to finish with 21 points, eight rebounds, three assists and three blocked shots.
Maybe it was the bagel and cream cheese Hull had for an early breakfast.
“I just needed to move past that game,” Hull said. “It was a new game, a new day. (We) tried to get out there and do what we normally do.”
What CV (26-1) normally does is shut down teams with defense. After being upset on Thursday, the Bears allowed just 49 points the final two games.
“Came back yesterday stronger,” Hull said. “Came back today even stronger than that (Saturday). We fought back and got what we wanted. We didn’t want it to mean nothing. Just wanted to make a point that we deserved to be here.”
A week earlier, CV beat Sunnyside 63-49 in a regional state game at Richland.
The Bears sprung something different. They played a lot of 2-3 zone and made sure they accounted for the Grizzlies’ 3-point shooters.
“I thought our girls did a great job of locating defensively,” CV coach Freddie Rehkow said. “The first time they were able to get off a lot of shots. Today we knew where their shooters were and tried to buckle down. We worked hard.”
The Bears used a 12-0 surge that started in the first quarter and spilled into the second to start separating themselves.
A 15-foot jumper by Hull gave CV a 21-13 lead at halftime. Hull had 15 points in the first half.
Hull got a lot of assistance from sophomore guard Camryn Skaife, who had a solid shooting effort in the tournament after struggling during the regular season. She made 4 of 7 attempts from 3-point range and finished with 14 points.
“She hit some 3-point shots that opened up the gap for us a little bit,” Rehkow said.
Rehkow was pleased with how his team finished the season after a heartbreaking loss.
“I thought the girls responded well,” he said. “To win the last three games by 23 and (21). We know where we are. Is it disappointing to not win it all? Absolutely. I feel bad for them, but like I said we’re not going to sit back and feel sorry for ourselves.”