Austin Rehkow didn’t play much in the first half Tuesday night, sitting the final 11 minutes, 38 seconds before halftime, saddled with two fouls.
But, boy, did he make up for it in the second half.
Rehkow’s 32 points – 27 after halftime – led the Bears to a 70-57 Stinky Sneaker win and lifted CV to its first Greater Spokane League boys basketball title since 1999.
“He didn’t take bad shots; he took his shots,” said long-time CV coach Rick Sloan as the Bears cut down the Spokane Arena nets, celebrating the title and winning the spirit trophy. “When he gets on a roll, he’s pretty tough.”
Rehkow, a junior point guard whose dad Freddy coached the CV girls to a GSL title as well this season, admitted he was well rested in the second half.
“It always hurts when you’re sitting out there watching your team,” the younger Rehkow said. “They did a heck of a job. We turned the ball over a little bit, but we take pride in our defense and that’s what kept us in it.”
That defense, keyed by Gaven Deyarmin’s effort on U-Hi leading scorer Brett Bailey, kept the Bears (15-2 in GSL play with one game remaining, 16-3 overall) within one (25-24) at halftime despite CV’s seven second-quarter turnovers.
“I thought Adam (Chamberlain) stepped in and did a great job (and) the team did a great job keeping it close with our point guard and leading scorer on the bench,” Sloan said.
Overall, U-Hi, in second with a 13-4 GSL mark (15-4), made just 20 of 57 shots (35 percent) from the floor.
Bailey, who came in averaging 17 points, was just 6 of 16 from the floor, finishing with 14 points. Zach Martin led the Titans with 23, but only was able to hit 6 of his 17 field goals.
And, with the Titans struggling to score, all it took was a season-best performance from Rehkow. He hit 11 of his 14 attempts, attacking the rim with authority in the second half. He also was nearly perfect from outside, hitting 4 of his 5 3-point attempts, and 6 of 7 from the line.
“I got my first shot blocked in the second half and I was like ‘I’ve got to keep attacking,’ ” Rehkow said.
He did, keying a game-deciding 11-0 run with nine points and a steal that led directly to a Garrett Sawyer jumper.
“Sure enough, they started to drop and when you get the hot hand, that’s a pretty good feeling,” said Rehkow, who hit nine of his final 10 shots.
The run gave CV a 35-26 lead and though U-Hi would get within five at the quarter, the Bears were on their way to the title. Central Valley led by as many as 14 before closing it out at the free throw line.
As his teammates stood in line waiting to cut their piece of history, Rehkow was asked about the family’s success this season.
“There’s going to be a lot of celebrating going on at home,” he said, smiling.
And it might not be done.
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