Who have we signed? What kind of players are they, and how are they faring in high school?
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, thenewstribune.com, 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.
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?” TNT ALL-STATE GIRLS BASKETBALL
FIRST TEAM/PLAYER OF THE YEAR
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.