Thursday, March 01, 2018

Hulls lead a powerhouse Central Valley seeking its 2nd Class 4A girls title in 3 years

David Krueger,, February 27, 2018

In the last three seasons, the Central Valley girls basketball team has lost one game.
That lone loss, which came by one point against Bellarmine Prep in last year’s state quarterfinals, has proven to be a motivational one for the Bears.
Led by Stanford-bound twins Lexie and Lacie Hull, undefeated Central Valley (24-0) is back in Tacoma and trying to win its second state championship in three years. The Bears are ranked No. 2 nationally in USA Today’s Super 25 computer girls basketball rankings, but they know firsthand that upsets can happen at the Tacoma Dome.
“This year, I don’t think they really care about their record or ranking. They’re just on their own little redemption tour,” said Bears coach Freddie Rehkow. “That loss stung for them. This year, we’re going to go out and play ball and not play scared. If we lose one, we lose one.”
Central Valley hasn’t lost one yet. The school located in Spokane Valley, which is 78-1 over the last three seasons, is allowing just 29 points per game this season, while averaging 68 points on offense.
“The year we won it all (2016), I think we allowed 33 points per game,” Rehkow said. “Last year I want to say it was 30. This year it’s like 28 points per game. Every year, our defense has gotten better.”
The offense has also shined, thanks in large part to the 6-foot-2 Hulls. Lacie Hull, a point/shooting guard, is averaging 9.5 points, six rebounds, five assists and three steals per game. Lexie, who is 20 minutes older, is a shooting guard/forward who tallies 21 points and eight rebounds per game. Lexie is shooting 55 percent from the field this season and is ranked as the No. 16 recruit in the nation in the espnW 2018 HoopGurlz rankings.
The pair both verbally committed to Stanford in October 2016.
“Anytime you have two Division I athletes like those two, they not only bring the ability to play both ends of the floor, but they’re smart,” Rehkow said. “They’re able to do a little bit of everything, which makes them even more dangerous.”
The Bears’ high-profile season hasn’t affected the attitude or work ethic for the players.
“We don’t really think of ourselves as a ranked team,” Lexie said. “I think there was more pressure last year, coming off a state championship. It was kind of a fresh start this year.”
Lacie Hull expects to be a little nervous when Central Valley opens its state tournament at 10:30 a.m. on Thursday, against the winner of Wednesday’s game between Lake Stevens and Kentlake.
But that’s nothing new for the senior.
“I get nervous for every game, and I think I will get nervous for every game I ever play,” Lacie said. “But we know, as a team, we have each others’ backs.”
Central Valley will be the overwhelming favorite to win the tournament.
The Hulls, and the rest of the Bears are hoping their redemption tour takes them on a different route this time around.
“We’d love to win another state championship,” Lacie Hull said. “I think we want to go out knowing that we played our best we can for each other, for ourselves, for Central Valley. We want to end it with a bang.”
“Last year, that game we lost against Bellarmine was a big letdown for us,” Lexie added. “We’ve been working hard in practice each day so we hopefully won’t come across another setback like that. We want to finish strong.”

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