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.