The accolades keep piling up for the Central Valley girls basketball team.
The Bears won their second state 4A title in three years on March 3 in dominating fashion, setting tournament defensive records along the way. CV went undefeated this season (27-0) and has lost one game in the past three seasons.
On Sunday, Stanford-bound twins Lexie and Lacie Hull were named co-state players of the year by the Seattle Times and the pair were among several area players invited to participated in the senior all-state games on Saturday at King’s High School in Seattle.
On Tuesday it was announced the Bears will be among four girls teams participating in the GEICO High School Basketball Nationals on March 30-31 at Christ the King High School in Middle Village, New York.
“It’s a once in a lifetime opportunity,” said coach Freddie Rehkow.
Rehkow said he had an idea that if CV won at state, an invitation might be afforded to the Bears to play in the national competition. When that invite came and he presented the idea to his team last week, they were “all in,” according to Rehkow.
The prospect of putting an undefeated record up against teams just as highly decorated as themselves must have been daunting, but Rehkow said it was a team decision to make the trip.
“We wanted to make sure that regardless of what happened (in the tournament) it wouldn’t take away from what they did this season,” Rehkow said.
Rehkow added this opportunity was a fitting end for his seniors, Idaho Vandals recruit Hailey Christopher and forward Michaela Laabs – along with the Hull twins – who have amassed a 100-6 record over the past four seasons.
Central Valley, ranked No. 9 in the nation according to USA Today, will face No. 21 Westlake (Atlanta) (30-1), the Georgia 7A champion, on March 30 at 8 a.m. Pacific. The game will be televised on ESPNU.
The other semifinal pits No. 5 Hamilton Heights Christian (Chattanooga, Tennessee) (24-2) against No. 13 Winter Haven (32-1), the Florida 8A champ.
The girls championship game is on March 31 at 7 a.m. on ESPN2.