W.F. West High School, which took third in the Class 2A state basketball tournament last winter, showed just why it could be playing for a title come March.
The second-ranked Bearcats put on a defensive clinic Wednesday night in Chehalis, routing league rival Black Hills, 70-38, in their 2A Evergreen Conference opener.
W.F. West (8-1) pulled down 33 rebounds and forced 11 turnovers, converting many for baskets, to jump out to an early lead it never lost.
“Every girl in our program plays hard,” W.F. West coach Tom Kelly said. “They really get after it. It’s fun coaching them.”
This after the seventh-ranked Wolves (8-3) won three of four games in the series last season.
“In the locker room we were like, ‘Guys we’ve got to play hard, we’ve really got to put it all on the court.’ We came out and we did that,” said W.F. West forward Erika Brumfield, who completed a double-double with a game-high 13 points and 10 rebounds.
The Bearcats raced to a 21-4 lead by the end of the first quarter, and limited the Wolves’ shot attempts early on to maintain a comfortable lead.
W.F. West finished 28 of 57 (49 percent) shooting from the floor, while holding Black Hills to 16 of 46 (34 percent).
Three players finished in double digits for W.F. West including Brumfield, Julia Johnson (12 points) and Annika Waring (12). The Bearcats had nine different players score.
“We can bring people off of the bench who can hit a (3-pointer) or drive, that can score as well as the ones who start,” Kelly said. “You can’t just key on one person.”
Jordyn Bender led the Wolves with 12 points, while veteran point guard Lindsey Nurmi added eight.
W.F. West has just the one loss this season to 4A Camas in December, but has otherwise controlled tempo against its opponents.
“I think we’re right where we want to be,” Brumfield said. “We did lose to Camas, but we came back from that very strong.
“We’re really working on running the ball more and getting the defense up higher and more intense.”
BH – River 5, Bender 12, Nurmi 8, Greenfield 7, Serhan 4, Bovenkamp 2
WFW – Vadala 5, Johnson 12, Akins 5, Bennett 5, Brumfield 13, Steen 9, Warring 12, McCallum 6, Mencke 3