CV posts provide 1-2 punch
By Mike Vlahovich
There's a good reason Central Valley's girls basketball team is in the thick of things in Greater Spokane League basketball – the inside presence of junior Madison Hovren and senior Mariah Cunningham.
Combined, the posts were averaging nearly 35.5 points per game for the Bears through 12 games.
They are part of a taut three-way battle for seeding into the district tournament beginning Feb. 15. CV is a good bet to be 12-4 overall, 11-3 in league heading into its Feb. 4 showdown at Lewis and Clark with a season-ending game against Mead on Feb. 17.
The Tigers and Panthers and Bears (oh, my) shared second place in the GSL behind league unbeaten Gonzaga Prep following Jan. 21 games.
Hovren leads the league in scoring, averaging 23.1 points per game through 12 games with Cunningham at 12.4. The pair combined for 41 points in a narrow loss to the Bullpups, and they had 64 points more in two non-league contests.
A year ago the Bears finished 10-11, losing a tiebreaker for the final district berth.
Boys remain atop GSL
Central Valley suffered its first league loss in January, but still remained in first place as the basketball season headed into the home stretch.
The Bears and Gonzaga Prep continued their spirited rivalry over the past few years, with the Bullpups evening the season series with the win at CV.
Do-everything Adam Chamberlain has been an offensive constant, third in league in scoring at 15 points per game. But even though no other Bear is averaging in double figures, there have been plenty of points to spread around.
Beau Byus, AJ Knudsen, Justin Fayant, Austin Daines and Cameron Tucker have all had double-digit capabilities.
CV has a one-game lead over Prep and Ferris, who the Bears face on the road Feb. 6. Postseason begins in mid-February.
Bone of Contention
The score was tied 21-21 with three matches remaining, and the Battle of the Bone outcome still in doubt as CV sought a first place tie in Greater Spokane League wrestling.
Then lightning struck. Rival University reeled off three successive pins, bringing the house down with a stunning and surprising victory. The Titans, supposedly rebuilding, won 39-21 and ended a perfect 9-0 league championship season. CV shared second at 7-2.
The two schools go their merry ways during postseason. The Bears are at Lewis and Clark Feb. 8 for the District 4A tournament, will be in Pasco the next weekend for regionals and complete the season Feb. 21-22 at the Mat Classic in Tacoma.
CV can focus on a state return, where it finished fourth last year. Returning are state champions Colton Orrino and Blake Beard. Bryson Beard finished third in state. Other state veterans are David Shepard and Carson Graham.
Things were close in Greater Spokane League gymnastics this year. How close?
Nine points separated the top four teams when they met at the end of the regular season.
The Bears scored 167.025 to finish behind Mead (172.8), Mt. Spokane (171.1) and ahead of University (163.325).
McKinzie Carter finished third all-around, second on balance beam and third on vault. Issabella Erdem tied for third during floor exercise.
It was the fourth time Central Valley scored more than 160 points, with a season-high 167.5.