Saturday, February 24, 2018

Hulls and Central Valley girls roll through regional win over Camas

Dave Nichols,, February 24, 2018

The Central Valley girls have been about as dominant this season as a high school basketball team can be.
The Bears’ closest game was an 11-point win over Idaho 5A state champ Post Falls and on Dec. 16 and they beat their Greater Spokane League foes by an average of 44.4 points.
After a brief early scare, it was more of the same in their regional appearance on Saturday.
Lexie Hull scored 21 points and top-seeded Central Valley (24-0) crushed No. 8 seed Camas (16-8) 54-17 in a State 4A regional matchup at University HS. Lacie scored 9 points.
CV advances to a state quarterfinal on Thursday at 10:30 a.m at the Tacoma Dome, while Camas faces an elimination game on Wednesday at 2 p.m. against 16th-seeded Union.
Central Valley got off to an uncharacteristic slow start, with Stanford commits Lexie and Lacie Hull missing layups in the first minute. Bears found themselves in an unfamiliar position – trailing, by a count of 8-2.
“We came out a little tight,” Central Valley coach Freddie Rehkow admitted. “We were excited. We were ready to get out there.
“(Camas) hit two 3s. You take that away it’s a 5-2 game. You don’t panic in situations like that. You just have to let them settle in, hopefully take care of business.”
“Normally at the beginning we come out strong but that was just kind of slow for us,”  “It was interesting for it to be close at the beginning.”
CV turned up the defensive pressure, which turned into several transition offensive opportunities – and a nine-point run through the end of the quarter.
Bears led 11-8 after one.
“Defense is what we try to focus on,” “If you play good defense you get all those steals it’ll be easy to get easy layins.”
“I think this was a good eye opener in the first quarter that you have to come to play,” said Rehkow.
CV’s run went to 13 after scoring the first two buckets of the second quarter. A layup by Camas ended the streak, but the Bears just started a new one.
Lexie Hull popped a short jumper, then Lacie Hull came up with steal and fastbreak layups on consecutive possessions.
Lacie Hull drained a 3-pointer from the top of the key at NBA distance and in the blink of an eye the Bears ran up a 33-11 lead at intermission.
CV forced Camas into 20 turnovers in the first half.
“I thought the first quarter they hit a couple of buckets and once we got situated we did a really nice job,” Rehkow said. “Credit to Camas. They came in and gave us a quick punch. We’re not going to lay down for long, once we got going.”
The reigning girls’ Gatorade player of the year took over in the third.
Lexie Hull opened the quarter with a short jumper in the lane, then drained a pair of 3-pointers – the first from a wing then one from the corner – and Central Valley stretched its lead to 45-11 with a little over 3 minutes left in the quarter.
After a three-point play for a 40-point lead it went to a running clock. 
Camas made a pair of free throws at the end of the quarter to avoid being shut out in the frame – and its bench gave a standing ovation. The Papermakers trailed 52-13 at the end of three.
“Up until that point we didn’t know they hadn’t scored a point in the quarter,” “So it was surprising to us that was their only two points.”
Rehkow pulled his starters with just over 5 minutes left in the game. The Bears had outscored the Papermakers 52-5 from the time it was 8-2 early in the first.
“You’re getting a week off between these games,” Rehkow said. “It’s not like you can stay fresh. We don’t have that normal game feel. Once they get going we’re fine.”
“We gave up eight in the first quarter and (Camas) had 15 or 17 for the game. That’s pretty good defense.”
The fourth quarter was ragged, despite the huge lead, and Rehkow noticed.
“If I have to motivate them then something’s wrong,” he said. “This should be them wanting it more than anybody. We’ve talked about that.
“I shouldn’t have to motivate them. It’s got to be us playing good basketball. I think sometimes when you get up by that margin your intensity level drops,” Rehkow added.
“You’re like ‘ah, what’s a mistake?’ We talk about that. It’s the little things that make the big difference.”
Camas coach Scott Preuninger, a Spokane native, was circumspect on what to take away from a nearly six-hour drive for a date with the No. 1 team in the state and 37-point loss in the regional round.
“We’d rather be in this position than be a nine or 10 seed and have to win this weekend,” he said.
“Hopefully our girls learned that for us to eventually get our program to where these guys are, where they’ve been, this is how to play.”
And what does the best girls’ team in the state – ranked fourth in the nation by USA Today – have to work on between now and its quarterfinal match at the Tacoma Dome on Thursday?
“Do what we do,” Rehkow said. “That’s what we said at halftime too. Just be us. We can’t try to go do anything special. We can’t try to change who we are. Just do what got us here.
“Hopefully now we can get over to Tacoma and start playing our best ball.”

Monday, February 19, 2018

ONE OF FIVE FINALISTS, February 19, 2018

Stanford signee Jenna Brown is one of five finalists for the 2018 Naismith Trophy High School Girls' Player of the Year the Atlanta Tipoff Club announced Monday.

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Stanford women's hoops signee Brown a finalist for top player, February 19, 2018

Sunday, February 18, 2018

Lexie Hull guides Central Valley to lopsided district championship victory

Central Valley's Lacie Hull (24) stops a shot by Lewis and Clark guard during a District 4A title basketball game, Friday, Feb. 16, 2018, in the Spokane Arena.

Dave Nichols,, February 16, 2018

It was always going to come to this.
Central Valley lapped the field in the Greater Spokane League this season – hardly challenged – winning by an average of 44-plus points per game.
After calming some initial nerves, the result on Friday was no different.
Lexie Hull scored 23 points before sitting much of the third and fourth quarters and Central Valley (23-0) routed GSL No. 2 seed Lewis and Clark (15-6) 59-22 in the District 8 4A championship game at the Spokane Arena.
Central Valley has spent most of the season No. 1 in WIAA’s RPI calculations and is ranked No. 4 in the nation by USA Today.
“We’ve got a lot more work to do,” CV coach Freddie Rehkow said. “This is just the first step. We got the GSL, now the district, and we’ve got one more to take care of. We’re going over there with a purpose.”
The Bears haven’t lost a game through districts in each of the past three seasons.
Asked if winning gets old, Rehkow answered, “No. Isn’t that why we do this?
“Love the kids. Love the game. When you’re winning, it’s fun.”
“It’s good every time,” Hull added.
Central Valley started slowly, uncharacteristically missing easy layups. The teams had combined for eight points at the media timeout halfway through the first quarter.
“We just missed too many bunnies,” Rehkow said. “I thought LC came out with a lot of intensity and got after us. We were just rushing things.
“I told them to slow down and play like they know how to play.”
“We couldn’t get into a run,” Hull said. “None of our shots were falling. I think maybe we were just too excited.”
Lacie Hull followed with a 3-pointer and the Bears led 12-10 after the first quarter.
CV averaged nearly 70 points per game this season.
Lexie Hull, the reigning state Gatorade player of the year, heated up at the start of the second. She drilled a 3-pointer at the start of the frame, then sank a pair of free throws before burying another 3 and CV went up 20-12 midway through the second.
The lead reached 10 on another inside bucket by Hull. She added a fastbreak layup and followed a miss with a make.
Hull scored 14 of CV’s 16 points in the second quarter and Central Valley led 28-14 at the break.
“On any other team she probably would average 30-plus points a game,” Rehkow said. “But it’s not about scoring for her. It’s about just taking care of business.
The Bears came out with about 2 minutes left in intermission and were all business running the layup lines.
It might have helped. As expected, Lexie Hull led the charge. She hit a 3-pointer from the corner and the Bears scored the first 14 points of the frame.
A made a driving layup off a dish from Lacie Hull and just like that, Central Valley opened up a 30-point lead at 46-16.
Rehkow put the Hulls on the bench after the third-quarter media timeout.
It didn’t matter.
CV led 53-16 after three quarters.
It went to running clock with 6 minutes remaining in the title game.
Lewis and Clark's player and Central Valley's Lexie Hull (10) scramble for a loose ball during a District 4A title basketball game, Friday, Feb. 16, 2018, in the Spokane Arena.

Sunday, February 11, 2018

Hull's Last Week-Playoffs

Central Valley Lexie Hull (10) shoots the ball against University during a high school basketball game at Central Valley on Saturday, Feb. 10, 2018.

Central Valley romps to 4A title game

Greg Lee,, February 10, 2018

It’s unlikely Freddie Rehkow will watch any video in preparation for the District 8 4A girls basketball final.
And the Central Valley coach will refrain from reviewing his team’s film from Saturday.
There’s no hint of arrogance in Rehkow’s reasoning.
“We work on us,” said Rehkow, whose top-ranked Bears romped past the visiting University Titans 75-28 in a district semifinal Saturday. “All of the girls are capable of having big nights. If everybody can say I’m happy with my job, we don’t care who is scoring. We’ve just go to put the ball in the hole.”
The win earned the Bears (22-0), ranked No. 1 in the WIAA’s RPI computations, a berth to regionals. Their seeding will be determined when they meet Lewis and Clark (15-7), which hammered Mid-Columbia Conference top seed Chiawana 65-35 in the other semifinal at Chiawana.
The showdown is Friday at 6 when the tourney concludes at the Arena.
Central Valley 75, University 28: If Rehkow were to peek at the video of another lopsided victory, he would see an effort that bordered on a masterpiece.
The Bears graded high in the three things Rehkow most values – defense, execution and passing. Making baskets takes a back seat to those core principles.
CV piled up 26 assists, which were split evenly in both halves. By game’s end, nine of 10 players had at least one assist. Lacie Hull led with six. 
“This is an unselfish team,” Rehkow said. “I think the thing I was most pleased with – and I told them – was their unselfishness.
“We were passing up good shots for great shots. As long as we do that they’re going to be tough to stop. We’re guaranteed a state berth now.”
The Bears handled the Titans 55-28 and 62-35 during league play, but U-Hi outscored CV in the final two quarters of the second matchup.
Some thought the Titans might give their best account the third time around.
The Bears never let U-Hi have an ounce of hope.
CV used a 16-2 run to forge a 22-8 lead after the first quarter. The Bears followed with a 20-5 surge to go into intermission with a 27-point lead.
It got worse in a hurry in the opening minutes of the second half. An 8-0 spurt gave CV a 52-17 lead, and the Bears reached the 40-point running clock mode at 61-21 with 3:20 remaining in the period.
It was CV’s 24th consecutive win dating back to the conspicuous setback in the state quarterfinals a year ago. The Bears have won 74 of their last 75.
Reigning Gatorade Player of the Year Lexie Hull was her usual dominant self, scoring a game-high 29 points to go with seven rebounds, four assists and two steals. 
“We just need to keep doing what we’ve been doing,” Lexie Hull said.
“In practice, we need to keep giving our best effort and getting better each day so we’re ready for each game that comes.
Central Valley Lexie Hull (10) shoots the ball against University during a high school basketball game at Central Valley on Saturday, Feb. 10, 2018.

Central Valley routs Pasco in first-round matchup, February 7, 2018

Lexie Hull scored 24 points, Lacie Hull added 15 and Central Valley (21-0) routed visiting Pasco (8-14) in a 4A District 8 first round matchup on Wednesday.
The Bears, rated No. 1 in Class 4A in WIAA’s RPI calculations, advance to host University in a semifinal on Saturday.

Thursday, February 08, 2018


Stanford signee Jenna Brown was one of 10 players selected as a semifinalist for the 2018 Naismith Trophy High School Girls' Player of the Year the Atlanta Tipoff Club announced Thursday.

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Stanford commit Jenna Brown is ready for McDonald's All-American honor

Cam Smith,, February 6, 2018

Marietta (Ga.) Lovett School point guard Jenna Brown received her honorary jersey Tuesday as part of the McDonald's Hometown Heroes presented by American Family Insurance.
“When I was really young I watched it on TV but it seemed very out of reach because it seemed so far away and you see LeBron and people like that playing in the game,” Brown told USA TODAY. “It had been a dream of mine to play in it until I started talking to my current trainer, Dorian Lee, and he told me in middle school I was going to be a McDonald’s All-American. That was the first time I considered it for myself in realistic terms.”

A Stanford commit, the 5-foot-10 Brown is ranked as the nation’s No. 3 point guard and the No. 20 overall prospect in the Class of 2018, according to ESPN. According to Brown, she was drawn to the Cardinal more by the school’s perfect blend of athletic and academic success than anything else … though the experience and passion of coach Tara Vanderveer didn’t hurt, either.
“It was best combination of both academics and athletics in the country,” Brown said. “There are other places where I could have gotten more academic and less basketball or vice versa, but I wanted to maximize both aspects of my life and Stanford is where I can do that.
“Tara (Vanderveer), talking to her, she’s so wise about basketball and life and I’m incredibly excited to grow and learn from her, so I’m excited about that.”

Jenna’s DREAM Champions are her parents, Matt & Sophie Brown. (Photo: McDAAG)

Brown knows that moving her life across the country for college basketball is a daunting task, but she’s ready and excited for the opportunity. Just as if she’d stayed nearby at Georgia Tech, Brown recognizes that her future schedule will be too hectic to facilitate as much family time as she’d like, but those are the sacrifices she needs to make to get to the next level.
In the meantime, she’s focused on the growth of her game and her school’s portfolio in a remarkably interesting position with a school group called LERIG, the Lovett Environmentally Responsible Investment Group. One of just six board members for the group, Brown helps analyze investments and presents about the performance of the group’s mutual funds to the school’s full board.
Those presentations and decisions aren’t strictly academic, either: LERIG has more than $50,000 invested in the market in environmentally responsible stocks and funds.
All of that should make her very prepared for Stanford’s rigorous academic program. But before Brown gets to Palo Alto, she’ll head to the Peach State. Both McDonald’s All-American Games will be held March 28 at Atlanta’s Philips Arena.

Hulls and Central Valley girls lead quintet of undefeateds


Dave Nichols,, February 7, 2018

“We’ve always on this side of the state had some good teams,” CV girls coach Freddie Rehkow said.
“I’m the same way,  just winning over here isn’t our end goal. We want to take care of business all the way around. We’ve got good teams here and I think we’re going to see that as we go against the MCC (in districts).”
Rehkow’s star pupil concurred.
“I think it’s really cool to show up at the state tournament with two Spokane teams No. 1, really showing what Spokane’s all about,” said CV’s Lexie Hull, the reigning girls’ Gatorade player of the year. “Just representing the east side well.”
The Central Valley girls just completed their third consecutive undefeated regular season, led once again by seniors Lexie and Lacie Hull, 6-foot-2 twins committed to Stanford for next season.
The Hulls have lost just six games total in their high school career. They own one state title, as sophomores in 2016, to go with last year’s disappointment of being upset in a quarterfinal game and fifth-place showing.
“They’ve worked really hard and to go the last three years in league undefeated that’s a testament to how hard they work,” CV coach Rehkow said.
“It’s definitely a thing (going undefeated) we want to get every year, but it’s not our end goal,” Lexie Hull said. “We’re just shooting for that last game of the year. Hopefully we get there.”

Sunday, February 04, 2018

Hull's and CV Wrap Up Regular Season

Central Valley completes third consecutive undefeated regular season

Dave Nichols,, February 1, 2018

It seems only fitting that for the third season in a row Central Valley enters postseason play without a blemish on its record.
Lexie Hull scored 21 points, becoming the fourth all-time leading girls scorer in the Greater Spokane League, and the Bears cruised to a 79-40 win over Gonzaga Prep, finishing the season 20-0 and 14-0 in league for the third consecutive season.
Hull was surprised by the personal accolade.
“Really? I had no idea,” she said when informed postgame. “That’s so cool.”
It’s the Bears’ fourth straight league title and and seventh overall for the program. Central Valley is rated No. 1 in Class 4A in WIAA’s RPI system.
“They’ve worked really hard and to go the last three years undefeated in league that’s a testament to how hard they worked,” Central Valley coach Freddie Rehkow said.
“It’s definitely a thing (undefeated) we want to get every year, but it’s not our end goal,” Hull said.
“We’re just shooting for that last game of the year and hopefully we get there.”
Hull, last season’s Gatorade player of the year for Washington, and twin sister Lacie – both bound for Stanford after graduation – went 19-5 in their freshman season and haven’t lost again in the regular season.
“It doesn’t feel quite real. We’re lucky to have such a good team and players that make this possible,” said Lacie Hull. “It’s unbelievable.”
But they still have their eyes on the bigger prize.
“Our goal is the end,” Lacie Hull said. “We want to end No. 1 after state.”
With 4:31 left in the first quarter and Central Valley up 11-2, the fire alarm went off in the gym. The “all clear” was sounded before the building had been fully evacuated though and once they resumed play it was the Bears that were on fire.
Rehkow went with his second five at the start of the second quarter and Gonzaga Prep didn’t get any traction. When Rehkow went back to his starters the Bears had things well in hard with a 38-8 advantage.
Lexie Hull took over with a pair of layups and a floater and Central Valley led 46-12 at intermission.
Gonzaga Prep found a little bit of offense in the third quarter, and outscored the Bears 12-11 in the frame.
CV came back to put 22 points up i the fourth quarter, while G-Prep stayed competitive with 16.
Rehkow said he mixed his player combinations up in the second half.
“I give Gonzaga Prep a lot of credit coming out and playing hard after halftime,” Rehkow said.

Central Valley wraps up league title by defeating Ferris, January 30, 2018

Lexie Hull scored 26 points and Central Valley (18-0, 13-0 GSL) ran past visiting Ferris (3-15, 2-11) 69-18 on Tuesday in Greater Spokane League girls basketball play.
CV clinched the league crown outright with one game remaining against Gonzaga Prep.
Lacie Hull added nine points for the Washington Interscholastic Activities Association’s No. 1-rated team, who held the Saxons scoreless in the first quarter.