W.F. West High School continues to prove why it is Class 2A’s top-ranked girls basketball program, and an early favorite to win the state title.
Thursday night in Tumwater, the Bearcats continued their unabating march through the 2A Evergreen Conference with a 74-41 shellacking of sixth-ranked Black Hills.
The Bearcats forced 25 turnovers, and held the Wolves to 11 of 51 shooting (21.6) percent to sweep the season series, and put themselves in position win an undefeated league title.
W.F. West has four games remaining in the next two weeks against league foes Rochester, Aberdeen, Tumwater and Centralia, but beat each of those programs by 45 points or more the first time around.
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Black Hills, the defending 2A EvCo champion, has come the closest to the Bearcats in league play, but still lost both meetings by at least 30.
“I feel like we’re exactly where we want to be,” said W.F. West forward Erika Brumfield, who scored a game-high 14 points, and completed a double-double with 11 rebounds.
“We moved up a little bit in the RPI (rankings) now. We just want to slowly keep moving up. This game really helped us see where we’re at, and we’re just going to keep moving forward.”
Like the first meeting earlier this month in Chehalis, the Bearcats left no doubt against Black Hills, racing to a 17-7 lead by the end of the first quarter.
All 11 players that entered the game for the Bearcats scored, led by Brumfield, and point guard Kiara Steen and shooting guard Julia Johnson, who each added 13 points.
Annika Waring and Taya McCallum chipped in eight points apiece, and Maggie Vadala rounded out the balanced attack with seven.
“We’re always passing to each other,” Steen said. “We don’t care who scores. We’re a really selfless team.”
Steen’s 3-pointer to open the third quarter pushed the lead to 22 points, and the Wolves never cut it below 20 from there.
W.F. West’s consistent pressure wreaked havoc on Black Hills’ offense, keeping it from establishing any rhythm throughout. Lindsey Nurmi and Megan River each had 10 points for Black Hills, while Jordyn Bender added eight, but field goals came few and far between.
“Our defensive intensity is realy good, and our up-top pressure (is good),” Brumfield said. “Kiara and Julia put so much pressure on these guards.”
The Wolves caused 17 turnovers, but W.F. West made up plenty of ground in transition, and finished 24 of 56 shooting (42.9 percent) from the floor.
“I think we just work well as a team,” Steen said.
The Bearcats (14-2, 6-0 2A EvCo) have just two losses this season, both to bigger schools in 4A Camas and 3A Prairie, both by five points. Every other game the Bearcats have played, they’ve won by an average margin of 39.8 points per game.
Black Hills (12-4, 4-2) is still in position to take second place in the league, and returns star forward Maisy Williams (jaw) at the end of the month.
NO. 1 W.F. WEST
NO. 6 BLACK HILLS
WFW – Vadala 7, Johnson 13, Akins 2, Bennett 5, Brumfield 14, Steen 13, Waring 8, McCallum 8, Tornow 1, Henry 2, Mencke 1
BH – River 10, Bender 8, Lee 2, Nurmi 10, Greenfield 4, Serhan 2, Bovenkamp 4, Griffin 1