CV boys pick off rivals in undefeated start
By Mike Vlahovich
The Bears have begun the season 4-0 (5-0 overall prior to Tuesday's game at Shadle Park) and are alone in first place following significant wins that handed three expected title contenders their only losses.
"I don't know if we had any kind of master plan identifying teams we had to beat," coach Rick Sloan said.
The goal, he said, is to play solid, work on basics and - like last year - peak at the end of the year.
And there is plenty of peaking yet to do. In three wins, CV shot poorly, in the 30 percent range, until a breakout night last Friday against Gonzaga Prep. The Bears shot 54 percent during a 58-40 romp past a team that had won its first three games by an average of 34 points.
Sloan said he knew the Bears were a better shooting team than they had showed and told the players to keep shooting in practice and eventually the shots would start dropping in games. They did on Friday.
"You usually win a lot of games when you shoot like that," Sloan deadpanned.
Junior Adam Chamberlain scored 20 points, and three days earlier hit a free throw with 3 seconds left in a 54-53 comeback win over rival University. He finished the game with 15 points.
CV displayed its resilience, rallying from a 36-22 halftime deficit.
"They had us early," Sloan said. "We weren't shooting real well in the first half and they were playing good ball. In the third quarter we got it to within three points and made a game of it down the stretch."
It was a big week for another junior. Beau Byus scored a combined 37 points in the two wins, 19 against the Titans.
Central Valley has only two seniors on varsity.
"We were a young, inexperienced, green team that hopefully would get some nice wins early to get their confidence," Sloan said. "That's what has happened."
CV travels to North Central Friday.
Girls seek first win
They lost to unbeaten Mead and Gonzaga Prep, to a pair of upper-tier teams in Lewis and Clark and University, and on Tuesday were at 3-1 Shadle Park.
Friday at North Central, they should get a break.
Last week, the Titans handled CV 65-45. The score against the Bullpups was closer, 58-45. In that one, the Bears trailed just 33-27 at half. Madison Hovren and Mariah Cunningham combined for 29 points in the former and 25 in the latter. Molly Barnhart shared the team scoring lead with Hovren at 14.
Bears sixth at Tri-State
The annual tourney features powerhouse teams from throughout Washington, Oregon, Idaho and Montana. Hermiston won with 222 points over Kuna, Idaho. The Bears scored 131.5 points with two finalists and two consolation finalists.
Brent Beard, 126 pounds, and Tanner Davis, 182, both placed second. Colton Orrino, 132, was third and Bryson Beard, 113, was fourth.
The Greater Spokane League preliminaries are over. The "real" meets for four unbeaten teams, including CV, go at each other beginning Jan. 3. Joining the Bears at the top with 4-0 records are Mead (third in Tri-State), University (fifth) and Mt. Spokane.