By Meg Wochnick
YAKIMA -- As time winded down in the W.F. West Bearcats 2A girls state semifinal game Friday night, and Jamika Parker and the rest of the starters headed to the bench in the final 2 minutes, congratulatory hugs ensued. They knew what was next: a spot in todays 2A state championship game.
Happy tears quickly fell for Parker after the final horn sounded in the Bearcats 44-25 victory over Renton at the Yakima Valley SunDome, earning the programs first state title berth. Theyll face Mark Morris in Saturday's 7 p.m. state title game.
Im so proud of us, said the 6-foot-3 Parker, who had 11 points, eight rebounds, and a block shot. Our defense rocked tonight.
Regardless of the outcome of Saturdays state title game, it will be the programs best finish in school history. The 1989 W.F. West team placed third at the Class 3A state tournament.
The defense, for the second straight game, was spectacular. With a 2-3 zone and a starting frontline of three players who average 6-foot-1, the Indians, known for their speed, outside shooting, and points off transition, had trouble from the start with the zone and their shooting suffered (9 for 56, 16 percent).
The plus side for Renton? Its steals (10) and turnovers (six). Eight of its 10 steals came in the first half, but only converted one of those steals to points at the other end, as the Bearcats raced out to a 25-12 halftime lead. That lead quickly bloomed to 38-21, and held Renton without a field goal for almost nine minutes in the second half.
Tori Weeks led the way with a game-high 13 points and Olivia Erskine had her second game of double-digit rebounding numbers with 13 for the Bearcats.
In spite the win, Parker says it wasnt a perfect game and theres still things to work out in time for todays title game.
We have not played our best game yet, Parker said. Hopefully, the next game will be it.