CV wrestling places four state finalists
Basketball teams both see seasons end short of state
By Mike Vlahovich
Central Valley wrestling coach John Owen was hoping for the best when his Bears qualified seven wrestlers to Mat Classic XXVI in Tacoma Feb. 22-23.
He got it. Four grapplers reached the state finals. Junior Blake Beard, at 135 pounds, and senior Colton Orrino, 145 (see story, page 34), won their second successive state titles. Also reaching the finals were sophomore Bryson Beard, 120, who finished third a year ago, and senior 160-pounder David Shepard, a year after he went unplaced.
"Both state champions are undefeated and both had solid seasons," Owen said. "Bryson kind of goes unnoticed."
Orrino survived a scare in the quarterfinals, winning 8-7, but had a great second day, taking the title with a 6-1 decision in his final tournament. Blake Beard scored 42 points and allowed 3 in his first three matches, winning 6-2 for the title.
Bryson and Shepard finished second and senior Elijah Kilborn (132) finished seventh.
State has become a numbers game, and though five Bears were regional champions, sophomore 182 pounder Chauncye Garigan the other, they had finished third as a team at regionals.
"I can't imagine anyone would (have thought) another team in state could finish (only) third with five champions," Owen said. "The only thing we can do is to control the things we can. I see no reason we can't maximize our performance at the state tournament."
They did that at state, finishing fourth as a team with a tourney-best four finalists, but were unable to match Lake Stevens' eight placers.
Freshman Braedon Orrino (also 132) and Garigan, went unplaced.
CV girls miss regional
After beating Walla Walla 63-52, the Bears were a win away from qualifying for the 4A basketball regional. They hit a roadblock.
Trailing Chiawana by just three points at halftime, CV was outscored 42-19 in the second half of an 83-57 season-ending loss.
Junior Madison Hovren scored 51 points in the two games, including 30 against Chiawana.
It was a turnaround year for the Bears, who finished second in the Greater Spokane League and finished with a 17-7 record.
The Bears girls had won back-to-back thrillers over Mead, one in double overtime and the second in overtime to advance to the 4A subregional.
Mariah Cunningham scored 28 points and had 13 rebounds in the second win over Mead. Hovren was averaging 22-points per game heading into subregional.
Boys season over
CV boys lost a heart breaking 57-54 decision to Gonzaga Prep, punctuated by a four-minute scoring drought, in districts, ending their season and denying the Bears (16-5) a chance for a third-straight state appearance.
Adam Chamberlain finished with 36 points in two playoff games, including a 25-point barrage in a playoff rematch with Mead, and averaged a little below 15 points for the year.
He was the only CV player to average in double figures during the postseason, A.J. Knudsen falling just short. A total of six players scored double-digit games, but none of the other four consistently.
Gymnasts to state
Four Bears participated in the State 4A gymnastics meet in the Tacoma Dome that competes alongside wrestling.
McKinzie Carter placed ninth all-around with a 35.3 score. She tied for 12th on balance beam, tied for 15th on vault, was 17th on uneven bars and tied for 23rd during floor exercise. Izzy Erdem, took 24th on vault and was fifth in floor exercise during Saturday's individual competition.
Savannah Folsom on bars and Clarissa Martinez on beam also participated at state.