TACOMA – Freddie Rehkow would like one to believe that his players don’t know their overall record.
He’d also like one to believe that their players see their record as 0-0 before each game.
The blinders-on approach to everything in the periphery has worked, obviously, and in the biggest game of the season so far, Central Valley’s Bears played with the poise of multiple-year state qualifiers.
The Bears weathered an early charge by Todd Beamer to start the second half, pulling away late for a convincing 55-37 victory in the State 4A tournament semifinal Friday at the Tacoma Dome.
No. 1-ranked CV (27-0) meets upstart and 10th-ranked Snohomish (22-3) in the final Saturday. Tip is at 5 p.m.
Rehkow remembered looking at the scoreboard with about four minutes to go and his team was ahead by six points. Then a few moments later the lead had mushroomed to 17.
It wasn’t a game for the faint of heart – especially for a team as young as CV.
“That’s probably the most composed I’ve seen a group in that pressure of a situation,” Rehkow said.
In his final comments to his team before releasing them from the locker room afterward, Rehkow reminded them about their season-long journey.
“I told them before we left the locker room, we’ve got one more game before we complete the process for this year,” he said. “I want them to take care of who they are and what they’ve done to get to this point because I want them to walk away with the best feeling.”
The Bears are teenagers. They do make mistakes.
It happened early in the third quarter. They watched Beamer (21-5) rally from a 25-18 halftime deficit and tie it at 25-25 in a matter of three minutes.
But as the Bears have been wont, they took a breath and gathered themselves.
Beamer appeared as if it would make another surge early in the fourth. A 3-pointer got the Titans within 38-34 with 6:04 remaining. But before one could blink, CV had extended its lead to 49-34.
In the middle of it were the Hull twins. Lexie and Lacie combined for 33 points and 18 rebounds.
Freshman Camryn Skaife also hit two 3-pointers in the fourth quarter that took the steam out of Beamer.
“I was open so I just decided to shoot,” said Skaife, as if to say what else was she to do. “On my (club) team I’m supposed to shoot the ball so during practice I shoot a lot.”
Lacie Hull said the Bears were quite aware that Beamer wanted to them to get out of sync against their pressure.
“We knew that we had to be patient (pressure) and that we had to stay calm because they’re hoping for us to get rattled,” she said.
It was his Bears’ poise that put the biggest smile on Rehkow’s face.
It also earned CV high praise from Beamer coach Corey Alexander.
“They’re a hard team to beat,” Alexander said. “They play with a lot of poise. I didn’t think they panicked too much if ever. If they did, they regrouped real quick. They’re well-coached. They’re going to be tough for a while.”
CV’s win means a Greater Spokane League team will play for the title for an 11th straight time. A GSL team has won seven of the last 10.
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