TACOMA – Sometimes the true test of the constitution of an athletic team isn’t in winning.
It’s bouncing back after defeat.
That’s the beauty of high school sports, which are filled with life lessons.
The Central Valley girls basketball team bounced back from a heartbreaking loss to throttle Kentlake 46-23 in a State 4A tournament elimination game Friday at the Tacoma Dome.
CV (24-1) faces Sunnyside Saturday morning to decide fourth and sixth places.
The Bears have allowed opponents 28 points per game. So from that standout, they were spot on against Kentlake.
CV struggled shooting again, especially the Hull twins, but the Bears overcame that deficiency by flushing the memory of Thursday night.
Bears coach Freddie Rehkow mandated as much.
“I had a talk with them last night,” Rehkow said. “I told them I feel bad for you, but I’m not going to sit here and feel sorry for you. It’s something that they had to realize – it’s just a game and we weren’t going to let that game dictate how our season went. So I told them to go prove that they’re the best team here.”
“Obviously, it’s going to be difficult (after the loss), but our team stuck together,” Lacie Hull said. “We knew we had to play our best no matter what. There’s nothing we could do about (Thursday). We knew we had to control the ‘controllables.’ We got back to how we play as a team.”
CV started with a 12-0 surge. A 3-pointer from Kalle Couch off an assist from Courtney Carolan gave the Bears a 17-4 lead at the end of the first quarter.
Then CV hit a rough stretch in which going through the motions resulted in nothing on the offensive end. Camryn Skaife made a 3-pointer to give the Bears a 22-10 lead going into halftime.
“At halftime we talked about coming back out and establishing ourselves and doing the things that got us here,” Rehkow said. “To hold a team to 23 points, that’s a solid effort.”
CV got contributions from several players. Lacie Hull found her range in the second half, finishing with a team high 14 points, seven rebounds, five blocked shots and two steals. She and her sister combined to make just 6 of 27 shots – at one point they were 2 of 17. But Lexie Hull had eight rebounds and three assists.
“It was cool to see some other kids step up,” Rehkow said. “I told everybody at the hotel that everyone will step on the floor today.”
Rehkow wants his team to start another streak. The Bears’ 52-game winning streak ended Thursday.
“When you don’t lose very often and you get beat, let’s find out what you’re made of,” Rehkow said. “Do you feel sorry for yourself? Not on my watch. I told them I don’t care much about streaks, but I told them today we’re going to start one.”
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