The best way to describe the top-ranked W.F. West girls basketball team’s full-court press: It’s like a storm, coming at you from many angles.
If you can weather the Bearcats defensive pressure, and create some atmospheric disturbances of your own, you have a chance to stay in the game.
Black Hills stood up against the ball-hawking Bearcats, clawing back from early deficits to make it a one-point game at the half.
But, the Wolves couldn’t hold out much longer, finally succumbing in the third quarter en route to a 66-44 lost on Friday night at Saint Martin’s University in the Class 2A Southwest District title game.
W.F. West (21-2) hasn’t lost to a 2A team all season, and will return to the 2A state tournament next weekend at the Yakima Valley SunDome after a third-place finish last season.
“We try to work hard on defense and get a lot of steals,” said senior W.F. West senior guard Julia Johnson, who had four of the Bearcats’ seven steals in the first quarter, and led her team with 17 points.
Black Hills (18-5) will also move on to state after their closest of three losses to the Bearcats this season.
It looked like the game could get away from the Wolves in the early going, but they fought back from 8-2 and 17-6 deficits in the first quarter to trail by a single point at halftime.
The Wolves scored the first seven points of the second quarter and held the Bearcats to eight points to climb back into the game. Sophomore Megan River had nine of her game-high 20 points in the period for Black Hills.
Then came the third quarter.
Sophomore Taya McCallum had two 3-pointers and all eight of her points in the decisive quarter, and junior Courtney Bennett had seven of her 11 points as the Bearcats broke from a 27-26 halftime lead to a 53-34 margin entering the fourth.