The Central Valley girls’ second-place finish in the State AAA basketball tournament offers a classic opportunity to view the cup as either half-filled or half-empty.
CV has the winningest basketball program in 21 years of Greater Spokane League girls play. Coach Dale Poffenroth’s Bears have earned five trophies, including one state championship, in six trips to Seattle during the 1990s.
Two weeks ago it appeared the GSL co-champions wouldn’t even qualify for Seattle after losing three successive playoff games.
Then CV won six basketball games in a row, including three in Seattle to reach the finals.
The Bears turned in an amazing second-day state performance to thrash then-unbeaten Kamiakin, which twice had defeated them during the regular season. CV led 48-19 at one point during the 54-30 triumph.
The Bears broke a halftime tie to defeat Foss 55-36, outscoring the opposition 30-11 in the second half.
But they also squandered a 15-point halftime lead in the championship against Federal Way to leave CV followers unsated.
In that game, the Bears made it look easy, storming to a 17-2 first quarter advantage, including 3-point baskets by Andrea Kallas and Rikki Jackson.
The pair added three more treys in the second quarter to help stave off a Federal Way rally.
In the second half, however, the Bears folded in the face of full-court pressure. Point guard Jackson, who shredded opposition defenses during the tournament, did not get the ball.
CV made just 4 of a mere 16 shot attempts. The Bears turned the basketball over 15 times. Five came as a 43-36 lead with six minutes remaining became a 47-43 deficit with 2:19 to go.
Critical was a long pass forced into a crowd of Eagles that came with CV leading by eight points and in position to add to it.
The Bears, as they had during a district loss to Ferris, failed to contest three-point attempts imperative in the comeback.
Standing around in disarray, only one television timeout was used to settle CV down.
And so, a stunning story of twin sisters Andrea and Angela Kallas winning separate state titles for different teams, went begging.
So, too, did the possibility that Ginger Clark would play for a Bear state titlist just as her sister Jacque had four years earlier.
It was replaced instead by a night that belonged to Eagles in both Seattle and Tacoma.
For Central Valley the second-place trophy was grand by any other standard than one the Bears had a right to expect.