Saturday, March 31, 2018

Hulls and Central Valley girls finish historic run with win in GEICO Nationals championship game

Dave Nichols,, March 31, 2018

This season was about unfinished business for the Central Valley girls basketball team.
Third consecutive undefeated regular season? Check.
Breeze through regionals? Check.
Second state title in three seasons, winning the championship game by 31 points? Check.
The final test for a generational team in its historic season? How about a national championship?
Following a rough third quarter which saw a 10-point halftime lead evaporate, Lexie Hull scored 13 of her 26 points in the fourth and Central Valley beat Hamilton Heights of Tennessee 66-61 to win the GEICO Nationals title game at Christ the King HS in New York on Saturday.
This is the second consecutive season Hamilton Heights has lost in the title game.
“This was a reward for all the time and hard work the girls have put in this season,” Central Valley coach Freddie Rehkow said via telephone from the airport Saturday afternoon as the Bears were about to board their flight back to Spokane.
“It was a big win against a big team.”
Hull, the two-time Gatorade girls state player of the year and 2017-18 Associated Press state POY, added 10 rebounds and was 11 off 11 from the line, including 6 of 6 in her final high school basketball quarter.
The Bears (29-0) made 21 of 22 free-throw attempts in a physical game, with one player fouling out and five others accumulating four fouls apiece.
Lacie Hull, the Seattle Times co-POY with her sister, contributed nine points with eight rebounds.
The Hull twins, who are headed to Stanford, finished their four years of high school basketball with one loss in their final three seasons and a 102-6 overall record.
The championship game was the Bears’ closest contest of the season, topping an 11-point win over Idaho 5A State champ Post Falls in December.
Central Valley had a rough trip just getting to New York for the tournament with scheduling and travel delays. Once at the hotel, they heard some comments in the lobby about the little team from the West Coast.
“It lit a fire under our girls to pull it together and bring it home,” Rehkow said. “Winning was validation against such strong national competition.”
Central Valley led 36-26 at intermission, but Hamilton Heights didn’t go down easy.
Staging a furious comeback with stifling defense, Hamilton Heights (25-3) tied it at 41 on a layup with 1 minute, 19 seconds left in the third. A pair of free throws a moment later gave the Hawks their first lead since 3-2.
Central Valley turned it over 10 times in the third quarter and Hamilton Heights outscored the Bears 17-5 in the frame.
Suffering perhaps their toughest quarter of the season, the undefeated Washington state champions responded.
After the quarter break, Lexie Hull popped a short jumper off an assist from Lacie Hull for a six-point run.
Lacie Hull made a pair of free throws to put the Bears up 50-45 with 5:11 left. She then drilled a 3-pointer next trip down and CV made a 12-2 run at the start of the fourth.
Hamilton Heights recovered from the spurt and CV started to scramble a little bit.
Rehkow called timeout with 1:52, up 57-52.
“I wanted to remind them to trust the process, do what we do, and finish strong,” Rehkow said.
“I told them that we worked too hard to let it slip away.”
On the inbound play back from the timeout, CV appeared trapped in the backcourt, but after a loose-ball scramble Lexie Hull broke deep for a layup and a 59-53 lead with 1:20 left.
HH buried a long 3, though, to make it a two-point game with 69 seconds left.
Lexie Hull went hard to the hoop and drew a foul and Hull drilled both free throws to make it 61-57 with 51 seconds to go. Lacie Hull grabbed the defensive rebound on the responding possession by HH.
Lexie Hull went back to the line and made both to put the Bears up 63-57 with 27.7 to go.
Hamilton Heights got a pair of free throws, then a layup on a steal, and CV led 63-61 with 15.3 seconds left with possession.
But CV broke the press and found Lexie Hull underneath for an easy layup. Hull’s three-point play was icing on the cake and sealed a national championship.

Thursday, March 29, 2018

Central Valley's Lexie Hull named Ms. Basketball

Jayda Evans,, March 28, 2018

The Washington State Girls Basketball Coaches Association (WSGBCA) named its “Ms. Basketball” and state players and coaches of the year for each classification.

CV senior Lexie Hull was named Ms. Basketball by the WSGBCA. The Stanford commit helped the Bears finish an undefeated season as Class 4A state tournament champions.

Ms. Basketball: Lexie Hull, Central Valley, sr.
4A player of the year: Lacie Hull, Central Valley, sr.

Jenna at McDonald's American Game

Ken Sugiura,, March 28, 2018

Guard Jenna Brown, from the Lovett School, had three deft assists, two on consecutive possessions in the second quarter that was part of a 6-0 run for the East team. Brown, a Stanford signee, was cheered on by Lovett teammates decked out in Stanford t-shirts.

“It was a really cool atmosphere,” Brown said. “I had a lot of friends and family in the stands. It was really great playing with these players. Obviously, wanted to get the win but it didn’t work out that way.”

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Central Valley’s Lexie Hull, honored by AP

Dave Nichols,, March 27, 2018

Central Valley star Lexie Hull has been voted the Associated Press Washington state high school basketball all-classification girls player of the year for 2018.

She was honored after voting by sports writers and editors from around the state. The results of the voting were announced on Tuesday.

Hull, a senior who was named Gatorade state player of the year named Gatorade state player for the second consecutive season earlier, averaged 20.4 points and 8.4 rebounds and led Central Valley to the Class 4A state title. Hull was the Greater Spokane League MVP and is headed to Stanford with her sister Lacie Hull, who was voted to the girls 4A first-team. The Twins shared co-players of the year honors by the Seattle Times and Lexie was the Tacoma News Tribune’s POY.

Thursday, March 22, 2018

Central Valley’s Lexie Hull to compete in skills contest to air on CBS

Jayda Evans,, March 22, 2018

She’s taking her skills to Texas to compete in the 2018 American Family Insurance High School Slam Dunk and 3-Point Championships on Tuesday. The contest will air April 1 on CBS at 12:30 p.m. PST.

Central Valley senior Lexie Hull, who’s participating in the three-point contest.

The eighth annual event will showcase the dunking and long-range shooting talents of 24 of the country’s top high school seniors. This year’s contest will be taped in front of an audience at Wagner High School in San Antonio.

Hull is a Stanford commit who helped CV win the Class 4A girls state championship earlier this month. She averaged 20.4 points and 8.4 rebounds per game this season and was named The Seattle Times’ co-state player of the year with her twin, Lacie.

“We’re thrilled to support the talented student-athletes selected to compete at this years’ championships,” Dan Guzman, specialty marketing director for American Family Insurance, said in a released statement. “Pursuing dreams is hard work and we applaud their dedication to get to where they are today. We wish them luck and cheer them on towards achieving their dreams both on and off the court.”

Monday, March 19, 2018


Jenna Brown and Lexie Hull were named Gatorade State High School Players of the Year for Georgia and Washington on Monday.
The Gatorade State Player of the Year award was established in 1985 to recognize the nation's most outstanding high school student-athletes for their athletic excellence, academic achievement and exemplary character. The selection process is administered by the Gatorade Player of the Year Selection Committee, which work with top sport-specific experts and a media advisory board of accomplished, veteran prep sports journalists to determine the state winners in each sport.

Brown and Hull, who were both named WBCA High School Coaches' All-America honorable mention earlier this month, are now finalists for the prestigious Gatorade National Girls Basketball Player of the Year award announced later in March.

Friday, March 16, 2018

No losses, a state championship and Stanford scholarship — why this Spokane phenom was one of the state’s best ever

Josh Horton,, March 16, 2018

In his 38 years of coaching the Spokane Stars girls AAU team, Ron Adams has seen some of Spokane’s best and brightest basketball players.
He specifically thought of former University of Tennessee star Angie Bjorkland of University High and a couple Lewis and Clark grads — WNBA point guard Briann January and former Gonzaga star Heather Bowman.
But how do they compare to Lexie Hull, this standout player for Central Valley High School?
“I’ve never coached anyone better than her,” Adams said. “And her sister (Lacie) is right there with her.”
A little much to put on high school seniors?
Let him explain.
“People will ask me, well why would you say that they’re better than these players?” Adams said. “Well, there’s a couple reasons for it. One: They play both ends. Two: They’re the most coachable kids I’ve ever had.”
And now Lexie Hull is The News Tribune’s all-state girls basketball player of the year after guiding Central Valley to an undefeated 4A state championship and leading the Bears in scoring (20.4 points per game) and rebounding (8.4 per game)
The Hull twins — who both signed their letters of intent to play at Stanford next season — were the engine of one of the most prolific girls basketball teams in the state history. Lexie and Lacie propelled Central Valley to two 4A girls state championships and a 100-6 record over their four year — five of those six losses came when they were freshmen.
It was the most recent loss that fueled their ultimate run, a shocking defeat to Bellarmine Prep in the quarterfinals, which also snapped a 52-game winning streak.
“I think the biggest thing that motived us for this year was our loss last year,” Lexie said. “I think one of our biggest takeaways is that we can learn things from our losses and that loss really helped us with our successful year this year.”
And in the middle of this season the Hull twins and Central Valley came to Kent to play last year’s state champion, Kentridge, in the ShoWare Center and won 57-39, with Lexie Hull finishing with 23 points and 10 rebounds against the really tall Chargers.
Kentridge coach Bob Sandall could only think of one previous player to really dominate the paint like Hull did against his team.
“Probably not since Brittany McPhee,” Sandall said with a chuckle. McPhee graduated from Mount Rainier as a three-time TNT All-Area player of theyear and is now Stanford’s leading scorer. This year she was selected to the USA Today All-American team, was the Pac-12 scholar-athlete of the year and will lead the fourth-seeded Cardinal in the NCAA Tournament when it opens with Gonzaga at 6 p.m. Saturday on ESPN2.
So, yeah, that’s a lofty comparision to be next to McPhee, who scored 2,815 career points — second-most in state history behind Davenport’s Jennifer Stinson (2,881).
But what Hull accomplished with the Bears was equally impressive.
Central Valley embarked on a preeminent 2017-18 campaign, winning all 27 of their games by an average of 38.4 points. The Bears were even better against the stiffest competition, winning their seven postseason games by an average of 39.4 points, including a 61-16 win over Kentlake in the state quaretrfinals, in which the Falcons didn’t score in the second half.
And in the state championship? Central Valley beat Woodinville, 70-39.
That’s dominance.
But why stop there? The Bears will see how they stack up against the nation’s best when they compete in the GEICO High School Basketball Nationals on March 30-31 in Middle Village, New York. The Bears play Westlake of Georgia in the first round.
Lexie will also compete in the national high school girls 3-point competition at Wagner High School in San Antonio, Texas, on March 27. The event will be broadcasted in between NCAA Final Four games on April 1 on CBS.
The nation will get its first peak at CV’s in-your-face press and suffocating half-court defense. CV limited opponents to just 28.4 points per game this season.
As you’d expect, Hull is at the center of it.
“She’s a killer on defense,” Adams said. “She anticipates better than any player that I’ve ever coached. You think somebody is open, and they’re not.”
Of course, she’s a more than capable scorer. She surpassed Madison Hovren for the school’s all-time scoring record with 1,827 career points.
CV head coach Freddie Rehkow will be the first to inform you that she could have more if she wanted to — and not just because she sat on the bench in several fourth-quarter blowouts.
“I think the biggest thing with Lexie is probably understanding how selfless and how team-first of a player she is, even with her numbers,” Rehkow said. “She is a super fun kid to watch. Just super smooth and super talented.”
Rehkow first saw the Hull twins play when they were in fourth grade, and could tell they had a very good chance to be special, not just because of their basketball prowess, but their love for the sport.
“You could just tell they were going to be gym rats. You could tell that they love the game,” Rehkow said. “When you see kids at that age with that fire and not the parent going, ‘you have to do this and this,’ you could tell that they were going to have a chance to be really, really good.”
What Lexie and Lacie turned into were two of the top players in the state that became talented and academically gifted — Lexie and Lacie are 4.0 students — enough to play for Hall of Fame head coach Tara Vanderver at Stanford.
“When we were younger, Stanford was a dream school,” Lexie said. “But not something that we really thought could happen.”
Lexie and Lacie committed to the Cardinal before their senior season.
The twins are self-described best friends.
That bond has allowed the two to thrive at CV. Lexie knows that having Lacie by her side will be comforting as she moves forward in her career.
“Being able to play with your best friend and doing anything with your best friend is always great. It’s nice because we’ve always had each other, from freshman year playing on varsity together against older players,” Lexie said. “To be able to have someone there with you is something we’re lucky to have. Especially going to next year, we have each other.”
And Rehkow and Adams both agree they will have an immediate impact in the Pac-12.
“Man, I’m telling you, sometimes they do it a little too much,” Adams said. “They’re Energizer Bunnies. I’ve never seen them take a play off in all the years I’ve coached them.
“And they haven’t even grown into their bodies yet. Wait until they get them in a weight and conditioning plan at Stanford,” he said. “They’re still just babies. Imagine what they’re going to be like when they are 20 or 21? That’s a little scary, isn’t it?”


Lexie Hull

Central Valley Guard, senior, 6-foot-1
Finished stellar four-year career with 1,827 points and averaged 20.4 points, 8.4 rebounds her final season. But Stanford signee’s most impressive stat? 100-6 career win-loss record (five of those came her freshman season.
G Lacie Hull, Central Valley, sr.
10 points, 5.9 rebounds, 4.7 assists, 3.4 steals

Thursday, March 15, 2018


Dave Nichols,, March 12, 2018

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, ... 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.

Monday, March 12, 2018


Incoming freshmen Jenna Brown and Lexie Hull have been named WBCA High School Coaches' All-America honorable mention.

The Women's Basketball Coaches Association acknowledged the 30 best prep players in the country. Ten were named 2018 WBCA High School Coaches' All-Americans and 20 received honorable mention accolades.

click to story

After dominating the state their entire careers, Central Valley twins Lexie and Lacie Hull lead Seattle Times All-State girls basketball team

Jayda Evans,, March 11, 2018

Considering what the central Valley girls basketball team did to opponents this season, you wouldn't expect a coach to stew about not playing the Bears. 
A parade and gifts wishing talented twins Lexie and Lacie Hull farewell, maybe. But stepping on the court? They've held multiple teams scoreless in entire halves of basketball games this season. 
“I still so badly wanted a chance to play them,” said Eastlake coach Sara Goldie of the Hulls. A loss in overtime in the Class 4A state semifinals nixed the Wolves’ opportunity to play the eventual state champions.
“Those girls are incredible,” Goldie continued. “On film, they look like tall, kind of athletic girls. But their exterior is (deceiving). Watching them live, I didn’t expect them to be so quick and I definitely didn’t expect them to be so tough. … Defensively they’re money and Lacie is such a versatile player. It was fun to watch.”
The nearly identical twins — Lacie is an inch taller — led CV through an undefeated season as the Bears had a 44-point average margin of victory. Their career high-school record is 100-6 and they’re two-time Class 4A state champions.
Deciphering which twin is more valuable to the program sparks an old basketball debate of whether you build a team around a great guard or post. Equally impressive, Lexie and Lacie are The Seattle Times’ girls co-state players of the year.
“I knew about them when they were fourth-graders,” Central Valley coach Freddie Rehkow said. “They had pretty good (ball) handles and the hardest part was waiting that long for them to get to high school. To be able to see them progress … they’re going to go out as the greatest team ever from (Spokane) and probably in the state — especially defensively.”
Washington has produced some notable basketball players who made a mark in women’s hoops such as Joyce Walker (Garfield), Kate Starbird (Lakes), and WNBA champion Briann January (Lewis & Clark). Lexie and Lacie, who signed to play with Stanford in the fall, are on a similar path.
Lexie was the Bears’ leading scorer at 20.4 points and 8.4 rebounds per game. The forward was named the state tournament MVP. Lacie, a guard, handled everything else in averaging 10.9 points, 5.9 rebounds, 4.7 assists, and 3.4 steals.
During their state run, they helped hold Kentlake scoreless in the second half of a 61-16 quarterfinal win. But there was an underlining motivation to the game.The 100 career wins blur together, but one of the six losses is easy to pinpoint as the most agonizing — the 2017 quarterfinals against Bellarmine Prep. The Lions snapped a 52-game win streak and ignited a fire Kentlake had to endure.
The Bears’ defense was impenetrable in making sure they didn’t get tripped up in the quarterfinals again. Kentlake only attempted 13 field goals in the second half, was outrebounded 40-25 in the game and forced into 20 turnovers.And it, like all of CV’s wins, looked like a breeze for the twins.
“It was hard in the fact that we were expected to win,” Lexie said of the season. “When we played together, the challenge of each game didn’t affect us as much as just the want to win.”
And after all of those wins?
“When we were sophomores, we did win the championship, but it didn’t feel as amazing as it does now,” Lacie said. “We had that idea of winning a lot of games for the next two years as sophomores, but now, after actually doing that, it’s really amazing. It’s a reality, which is cool.”

The Seattle Times All-state team
F Lexie Hull, Central Valley, 6-1, Sr.
Named the Class 4A state tournament MVP, she averaged 20.4 points and 8.4 rebounds per game in an undefeated season. The Stanford commit had a career record of 100-6.
G Lacie Hull, Central Valley, 6-2, Sr.
The Stanford commit averaged 10.9 points, 5.9 rebounds, 4.7 assists and 3.4 steals per game. The Bears won the Class 4A state championship, outscoring its tournament opponents 182-88.

Thursday, March 08, 2018


Incoming freshman Jenna Brown was selected to participate in the 2018 Jordan Brand Classic on April 8 at Barclays Center in Brooklyn it was announced Thursday.

Tuesday, March 06, 2018

Central Valley's Hull twins leave legacy in Spokane

Alyssa Charlston,, March 6, 2018

They're pretty much always together.
For the last four years, Lexie and Lacie hull have had the GSL and the state of Washington seeing double. Sometimes, it turns out that's not a bad thing.
"I think the biggest thing is in games, when one of us will get the foul for the other person," said Lacie. "I seem to be the one that always happens to."
Lexie: "Sometimes it helps us, like if we're in foul trouble, hey, I'll take it," said Lexie.
The Hull sisters are two of the best players to ever come through the GSL. While it's their skills on the basketball court that turn heads, It's everything else that's so impressive to those around them. 
"When you've got two really good athletes, but you have two even better people. The twins have been amazing, Both Lacie and Lexie, 4.0 students and every day you get their best."
Because they share a drive in basketball and in academics, Lexie and Lacie will continue their careers for the next four years at Stanford.
"We've just grown up knowing that academics is important, our parents have always pushed us to do the best we can in school," said Lacie.
"When we got the offer from Stanford we were like, just as like kids, Sanford was always like oh that would be so cool to play there but never really a reality, and now that we're here and we're actually going there, it's a dream come true and to be able to do it together that's even better," said Lexie.
Excited to share their time in Palo Alto, but two historic careers at CV are coming to a close. 
"It's going to be sad," said Lexie. "We've just been here for so long and growing so many friendships."
"I don't think it will feel quite real until like a couple months after that when we really realize it's over...but we've definitely had a great experience we're lucky that way," said Lacie.

Monday, March 05, 2018

Jenna is a First Team HS All-American, March 5, 2018

Jenna Brown named one of five best prep players in the country.

Stanford incoming freshman Jenna Brown was named to the five-member Naismith High School Girls' All-America first team on Monday.
click to story

Sunday, March 04, 2018

Hulls and Central Valley dominates in championship win over Woodinville

Dave Nichols,, March 3, 2018

The biggest question entering the girls state tournament wasn’t whether Central Valley would win or not.
They are ranked No. 2 in the nation by USA Today, beat opponents this season by an average of 44 points per game and have three Division I recruits – including the reigning state player of the year.
It was whether anyone was going to give Central Valley a serious, 32-minute challenge.
The Bears answered that all tourney long with an oppressive, record-setting defensive effort – from starters and backups alike – with three convincing victories and yes, another state title.
Lacie Hull scored 19 points with 10 rebounds and six steals and No. 1 seed Central Valley (27-0) shut down fifth-seeded Woodinville (22-5) 70-39 in the state 4A championship game at the Tacoma Dome on Saturday.
It’s the Bears’ second title in three years and fifth overall, avenging a quarterfinal loss in last season’s tourney.
“We got back to the top of the mountain,” said Central Valley coach Freddie Rehkow. “I said all along if somebody beat us congratulations to them, but we just didn’t want to beat ourselves.
“I thought the girls took care of business tonight.”
It also marks the sixth Greater Spokane League girls state 4A title appearance in seven years and 17th overall.
CV had such a dominant tournament, it prompted talk about if they could win a title in some boys classifications.
“Maybe. I don’t know,” “I haven’t seen them play.”
“I couldn’t be more proud of these girls,” said Rehkow. “Coming into tonight we felt confident but for them to come out and play the way they did… They locked down that defense in the first half.”
Lacie and sister Lexie Hull were both named to the all-tournament first team, and Lexie was named tournament MVP. The twins finished their high school careers with a 100-6 record –and one loss in the last three years.
Lexie Hull scored 13 points.
“They really focused on (Lexie) defensively,” Lacie Hull said. “It just helped to have the rest of our team stand out more.”
The team generated 19 steals – seven off the tournament single-game high.
“They bought into the whole defensive philosophy the last three years,” said Rehkow. “When people see scores they might think we’re trying to score a lot. That’s not the goal.
“We will never try to embarrass anybody. But we’re going to play defense.”
This was the second win for CV this season over Woodinville, topping the Falcons 67-50 on Dec. 30.
Woodinville needed three straight overtime games to reach the finals.
The Falcons beat 12th-seeded Lewis and Clark 58-56 in Wednesday’s elimination game, No. 3 seed Kentridge 55-54 in the quarters and No. 2 seed Eastlake 80-78 in the semis.
Woodinville freshman, who entered the game averaging 24.6 points in the tournament, including 31 in the semifinal win over Eastlake, was shut out in the first half and finished with nine points.
Lacie Hull drilled a 3-pointer on the first shot of the game. She added another a moment later and a fastbreak layup by Lexie Hull made it 10-1. Lexie Hull hit a put-back a minute later and the Bears were up 15-3 at the media timeout.
“Our defense in the first half was lock-down defense,” “That’s what we’ve been striving for is defense and that’s what has been getting us to win games.”
It became a fastbreak-layup drill in the latter half of the second quarter as the Bears stifling defense came up with steal after steal, sending teammates streaking toward the basket at the other end.
Easy layups and the Bears led 42-11 at intermission, prompting questions about a running clock in the third quarter of a state title game.
Central Valley made 13 steals in the first half – on pace for the tournament record of 26 – shot 44 percent and went 10 of 15 at the line. Lacie Hull shared the scoring lead with 12 points apiece before the half.
Woodinville kept the deficit within 40 in the early stages of the third. CV led 52-19 at the media timeout midway through the frame.
CV’s second line played the rest of the quarter and the Bears took a 33-point lead into the fourth.
The starters came back out for the start of the final quarter and Lacie Hull picked up a quick three-point play.
With roughly 6 minutes left Rehkow made a line change, inserting his backups for the rest of the game to collect valuable playing time – and memories – in a state title game.
“They came out and the second group have played just as much as (the first),” “They come out and play just as hard and as well as we do.”
“We’ve been practicing like that all year long” “We go out there and we do our best. We’ve been working hard for it and hope we can keep up with the starting five.”
“How often does a second group get that many minutes in a state championship game?” Rehkow asked rhetorically. “It’s great experience.”
As they watched from the bench as the seconds ticked off the clock, the starters for a once-in-a-generation high school basketball program finally allowed smiles to cross their faces, with a few tears mixed in as well.
“At that moment we knew what we had finally accomplished,” said Lexie Hull. “Just watching, with the rest of the (starting) five, out on the floor giving their all and looking at the five sitting on the bench. It was just a feeling that is not matched by anything else.”
“I think we left everything out on the floor. It was perfect.”

Second-half shutdown helps Central Valley and Hulls reach title game

Dave Nichols,, March 2, 2018

The Central Valley girls finally got a game. For eight minutes anyway.
But another oppressive second-half defensive effort, and a big contribution from an unlikely source, allowed the Bears to take control despite an uncharacteristic low offensive output from its star.
Lacie Hull led the Bears with 13 points and No. 1 seed Central Valley (26-0) outlasted fourth-seeded Moses Lake (24-1) 51-33 in a state 4A semifinal at the Tacoma Dome on Friday.
Central Valley will try to earn its second state title in three seasons on Saturday at 5 p.m.
Reigning Gatorade state player of the year Lexie Hull was held 11 points below her average with 10 points.
Freddie Rehkow’s squad held Moses Lake to five points below its previous season-low, one day after setting state tournament records for fewest points allowed and largest margin of victory.
“That’s a good team. They were undefeated for a reason,” Central Valley coach Freddie Rehkow said,. “They beat Bellarmine Prep, they beat Woodinville. They beat some good teams.”
Moses Lake star ...., who is headed to Arizona State, was held to 16 points after scoring 32 points with seven assists in  the Chiefs quarterfinal win over University on Thursday.
“We threw bodies at her,” Rehkow said, “That was our game plan going in. Play together as a team. We didn’t need one person to locker her down. Let the team do their job.
“We knew coming out we had to try to contain...,” Rehkow admitted. “Not let ...control the boards. And pretend everybody else is going to knock down shots. I thought we shut down their roll players really well.”
Of course, CV has its three D-I players in the Hull twins, headed to Stanford.
Moses Lake took advantage first. Hit a layup then short jumper on successive possessions and the Chiefs went up 7-4.
CV made four straight free throws near the end of the frame, then soft hook tied it at 13 at the end of one quarter.
That energized the Bears. They scored the first seven points of the second quarter, as Lacie Hull gathered a steal near midcourt and went the distance, then buried a 3-pointer.
Lexie Hull knocked down a 3 a few moments later to push the lead to 24-16 and Lacie Hull’s follow made it 30-21 at intermission.
“We emphasize team defense,” Rehkow said. “A lot of people worry bout their man. I think in the first quarter that’s what was going on. We were thinking about our own man.
“We talked about it at halftime. Just locking down the defense, playing team basketball, being who we are, doing what we do.”
The Bears opened it up in the third quarter, but from an unlikely source. 
“I was just open,” “They were doubling down on Lexie and I decided I should shoot. They were giving me great passes and I was open so I finally knocked them down.
“(Lexie Hull) was getting double-teamed pretty hard. Tough defense. When that happens the rest of us have to pick it up a little bit.”
“went off,” Lacie Hull said. “We really needed her. She’s a great shooter and in this game she really showed that.”
“Big 3s. She did a great job,” Rehkow said. “She took a hard shot and I tried to take her out and she said ‘Nope.’ That tells you they don’t want to step off the floor. They want to finish their business.”
Lacie Hull’s layup at the end of the stanza put CV up by 15 at 43-28.
With a run still in reach, the Bears clamped down on defense in the fourth quarter, forcing into hurried shots. The pair went scoreless in the final frame and Moses Lake was held to three points in the quarter and 12 in the second half.
“I thought the second half, to hold them to 12 points, was pretty solid,” Rehkow said.
“That’s our strongest point,”  “We work on that the most and that’s what we try to focus on.”
“As a team we all stepped up,” Lacie Hull said.
So what’s the game plan for the title game?
“Our record is 0-0. That’s what I’m going to say when I walk into that locker room. Our record is 0-0,” Rehkow emphasized. “We know that one game…you have to play it through.
“When that game’s over, if we’re on top, then we have accomplished our goal. If we don’t take care of business then it doesn’t really matter.”
Lacie Hull said it simply.
“Same as always, try to play our best.”

Hulls and Central Valley registers record-setting win over Kentlake

Dave Nichols,, March 1, 2018

The Central Valley girls have used a quarterfinal upset in last year’s state tournament as motivation all season. They didn’t make the same mistake – or any, really – this year.
The Bears took care of business in much the same fashion as they have all season long, even instigating a running clock in the fourth quarter.
Reigning Gatorade state player of the year Lexie Hull scored 18 points with eight rebounds, twin sister Lacie added 11 and No. 1 seed Central Valley (25-0) routed No. 10 seed Kentlake (20-8) 61-16 in a state 4A quarterfinal at the Tacoma Dome on Thursday.
Central Valley faces No. 4 seed Moses Lake on Friday in a semifinal showdown. The Chiefs (24-0) dispatched University 71-60 in a quarterfinal in the morning game.
Lexie Hull became CV’s all-time leading scorer – girls or boys – and the first to eclipse 1,800 points. She passed Madison Hovren, who had 1,798 from 2012-15, and sits at 1,804 heading into Friday’s semifinal.
Central Valley shut out Kentlake in the second half, tying the record for fewest points in a quarter – twice.
In the process, the Bears set records for lowest losing score, previously set in 1974, and largest margin of victory, set in 1979, in a state tournament game.
“This was our hiccup round last year,” said Central Valley coach Freddie Rehkow. “We just wanted to make sure we were ready. Now this round is over.
“Once again we’ll go into the locker room talking about being 0-0 and prepping for Moses Lake.”
Is the feeling any different than last year?
“This year they’re loose and they know they have a job to do,” Rehkow said. “It’s good to get that first win out of the way.”
“That’s what we came here to do,” said Lexie Hull. “We were a little nervous for this game since this is where we got out last year, but to be able to get past this game was a big relief.
“Now it’s go time.”
CV raced out to a quick 8-0 lead, backed by 3-pointers.
Kentridge called an early timeout, then recovered a bit. CV led 14-9 after one.
CV coach Freddie Rehkow that asked for time.
After the break. the Bears ran off three straight buckets – Lacie Hull hit a short jumper, Lexie Hull drained a 3 from the corner – and CV opened up a 10-point lead.
“We talked about it during the time out,” Rehkow said. “I said, ‘We’re just not playing like we play.’ I just think we jumped out early and kind of got a little hesitant in our offense. And defensively, we started retreating.
“So I said, ‘Go get ’em. We worked all year long to do this so we’ve got to get after it.’ After that it was a whole different story.”
It was 27-13 with just under 3 minutes left in the half. An 8-3 run to close the half made it 35-16 at intermission.
Lacie Hull led scorers in the first half with 11 points and Lexie Hull added nine.
“I though Kentlake did a really nice job in the first half,” Rehkow said. “They slowed the pace down. But once you turn it up, you have to go. And that’s what we did. You can’t get steals on the press? Fine, we’ll play man defense.”
As they’ve done all season, CV took over in the third quarter.
The Bears in-your-face defense shut out Kentlake, forcing the Falcons into turnovers and poor shot selection, while CV made easy buckets in transition at the other end.
But the Bears did it with mostly backups, as Lacie Hull sat much of the frame. Lexie Hull added six in the quarter.
Central Valley led 51-16 after three.
“That’s what’s more impressive is the fact that we were able to still do that defensively with our second group in there,” said Rehkow. “Our second group works hard. They practice every day against that first group. They aren’t going to see anyone any faster or tougher than (the CV starters).”
“It was impressive,”  “Our bench came out and locked down the defense for us. It was a team effort and I’m really proud of our whole team.”
The lead reached 40 to instigate a running clock with just under 5 minutes left on a free throw by Lexie Hull.
“We knew coming in to halftime we had to step it up in the second half,” Hull said. “I think we came out and did that in the second half.”
Now that the rest of the state has seen the Bears in person, is Rehkow worried about the scouting report against his team?
“They probably have a larger video library over here on us that I have of ourselves,” he admitted. “Regardless of how much film you have you have to go out and you have to play against them.
“We’re attacking this as if we have to work our way back up the mountain,” Rehkow explained. “Kentridge is defending state champions, we’re not. So we’ve told ourselves we’re going to be the hunter, not the hunted this year.”
In the game following CV’s win, Kentridge lost to Woodinville 55-54 on a 3-pointer at the buzzer in overtime, so girls 4A will see a new state champion regardless.

Thursday, March 01, 2018

Hull sisters have CV headed back to state

Steve Christilaw,, February 28, 2018

It’s state tournament week. If there are any games over the course of a season, even over the course of a career, that out-sized, it is this slate of games. These are the big games on the big stage in the big arena.
How big?
Put it this way: when practicing jump shots in the backyard, no one ever imagines hitting the game-winner in a nonleague game in late November.
It’s State.
Central Valley girls basketball coach Freddie Rehkow talked earlier this season about how his team has had a three-year run of incredible success. The numbers could almost be described as gaudy. As they head to the state Class 4A tournament the number of wins this group of players have collected totals around 80. With one loss.
And the one game that eats at them most?
The loss.
Last year. State quarterfinal round. Bellarmine Prep 56, Central Valley 55.
It still hurts the way a pebble in your shoe hurts, only no matter how hard you shake that sneaker, no pebble falls out. It’s just there until it finally goes away at some later date – usually after you do something to make amends. Something, like, win another state title.
The pressure to win a second-straight state title rode on the backs of CV all last year. Some of that pressure, of course, they put there themselves. But when the then-sophomore-dominated team won it all with an undefeated season as sophomores, the natural extension for their friends and family was to expect a second straight state title. Some went so far as to predict a three-peat.
It’s what we do. We expect a lot more and, sometimes, we forget to enjoy the ride.
CV is back at state as seniors. They are once again undefeated and no lesser West Side rooter than the Seattle Times has all-but crowned the Bears this year’s state championship.
And my prescription for the week? Take a few minutes and reflect on just how incredible this three-year run has been.
How many identical twins have we seen be so dominant for so long?
Lacie and Lexie Hull would be remarkable in any other context. But the fact that you need to look at the number they wear to tell them apart makes them extraordinary.
They are the latest in a long line of outstanding basketball players we’ve produced here. Emily Westerburg. Angie Bjorklund. Jami Bjorklund. Shaniqua Nilles. Lisa Comstock-Schultz. Andrea Lloyd-Curry.
And that’s just the tip of the iceberg of great players.
Lacie and Lexie take their game to Stanford next year.
Let that sink in for a moment.
Stanford. It’s like getting a full-ride to Harvard, only with much, much better women’s basketball.
They will play college basketball under a legendary coach: Tara VanDeveer. It’s like sending your son off to play basketball for Mike Krzyzewski, only you don’t have to use Google to spell it correctly. Or maybe you do. I keep forgetting to capitalize the D.
I’m excited to watch the evolution.
I will not be surprised to see them become much more of a supporting player in the Stanford system. Nor will I be surprised to see their already well-rounded games take on new dimensions.
Remember how Angie Bjorklund became an exceptional supporting player under the late Pat Summitt at Tennessee.
We will remember these past three years.
I must admit that I don’t have the fond memories of those great teams Westerberg played on. I was living on the other side of the state at that time. But I watched both Bjorklund sisters and Shaniqua Nilles grow up with basketballs in their hands. It was tremendously satisfying to watch their careers.
And I have terrific memories of Lisa Comstock’s career, first at West Valley and then as an All-America at Eastern Washington. And then as the coach of state championship teams at Lakeside.
And there is nothing more soul-filling than seeing someone you watched as an outstanding high school basketball player go off to win a national championship for a legendary college program and then represent her country as an Olympic gold medalist.
Andrea Lloyd was an amazing player who had a marvelous playing career. You can still catch her as a color commentator on Minnesota Lynx WNBA games.
We will be talking about these last three years as we watch the Hull sisters in their future careers. We will read stories about their recollections of growing up in Veradale and representing dear old CV.
And we will be proud.