The only thing that might have stopped the top-ranked W.F. West High School girls basketball team from bringing its usual energy to the Class 2A state quarterfinals on Thursday was a late night before the game.
The Bearcats stayed up late on Wednesday to watch their boys team win a dramatic overtime contest over North Kitsap that didn’t end until nearly 11 p.m.
“When the game went into overtime last night, it kind of scared me,” W.F. West coach Tom Kelly said. “The boys have a ceremony where the give out the game ball and I wanted the girls to be a part of that.”
W.F. West showed it had enough sleep, jumping out to a quick lead after a scoring burst from point guard Kiara Steen. Three times before halftime, the Bearcats extended their lead to 16 points, and they stayed in control late in a 60-46 victory over sixth-ranked Black Hills to advance to Friday’s semifinals.
Bearcats guard Maggie Vadala wasn’t worried about staying up late.
“We watched the boys game, went right back to the hotel and went to sleep,” she said. “I feel good. Watching them win gave us some energy.”
This is the fourth time the Bearcats have beaten the Wolves this season, each time by double digits, but forward Annika Waring knew it could be a bit of a trap game if her team wasn’t careful.
“It’s a bit of a challenge, but we had confidence after winning the first three,” she said.
The Bearcats (23-2) will meet East Valley of Yakima (20-6) at 5:30 p.m. Friday in the semifinals. Black Hills (20-6) drops into the consolation bracket, and plays a loser-out game against Wapato (21-4) at 10:30 a.m.
Steen led W.F. West with 17 points while Vadala had an impressive double-double, scoring 10 points on 3-for-5 shooting from 3-point range and grabbing 15 rebounds. Erika Brumfeld and Waring each added nine points.
Vadala and Waring bunched their scoring in a timely moment. With the other Bearcats hitting a lull early in the second half, Waring scored seven straight points in one stretch and Vadala made three 3-pointers.
“My teammates have good vision, they see me, I just keep my hands up ready to catch and be ready to shoot,” Waring said.
Vadala said teamwork was the key.
“Our team sees each other so well on the court, it makes it easy for us to work together,” she said.
Fans at the SunDome saw an unusual sight at halftime.
Kelly kept his team on the court instead of making the long run into the locker room and back, past the boys court on the other side of a curtain from where the girls play and around a corner.
“Ever since I was coaching at River Ridge, when we come to state we’ve done that,” he said. “Go over there and time how long it takes to get in there and back. We didn’t want to use up the time and energy to go in.
“Plus, we don’t get much of a chance to practice on these rims, so it was good to get extra shots up.”
Lindsey Nurmi led Black Hills with 15 points, while Megan River added 11 and Maisy Williams had nine.
NO. 6 BLACK HILLS
NO. 1 W.F. WEST
BH – Williams 9, River 11, Bender 4, Nurmi 15, Sayahod, S. Lee 4, Carson, Greenfield 3, Serhan, Bovenkamp
WFW – Vadala 10, Johnson 6, Bennett 7, Brumfield 9, Steen 17, Akins, Zylstra, Mencke, Tornow, Waring 9, McCallum, Henry 2