WF West 87, River Ridge 27
(Lacey, WA) The WF West Bearcats had been making a habit of traveling to the Yakima Sun Dome in early March playing in the 2A State Tourney in 2010-11, 2011-12, 2012-13, 2013-14 and 2014-15 winning it all in 2013-14 but missed the tournament last year. It appears Head Coach Tom Kelly has reloaded and the Bearcats are ready to make a big run this season. Not even playing at full strength the Cats put up 87 on a traditionally strong River Ridge.
The Hawks are coming into the season after being eliminated in last year’s Regional round of the State tournament and come into this season with many changes beginning with their new coach. Gabby Wade took over this very young team with few returners from last season. Her varsity 8 has no Seniors but 4 Juniors, 3 Sophomores and 1 Freshman. The inexperience showed in their opener but clearly there is talent that will get better with each time they hit the court.
WF West got off to a fast start putting up 24 1st quarter points. Shasta Lofgren and Julia Johnson got the ball up and down the floor with strong inside play from Erika Brumfield and Sarah Haakenson. The Bearcats were not perfect though as Johnson picked up her 3rd foul before the 4 minute mark of the 1st quarter and sat for the rest of the half. All that did though was unleash Courtney Bennett off the bench for the Cats who scored 5 of her 7 points in the 1st half and had 10 steals and 5 rebounds.
The Hawks hung in there early with some early scoring from Caitlin Yenne and Freshman Mia Flores but in the 2nd quarter the cats deep bench would put the game away by halftime. Maddie Fast would come off the pine for WFW and dump in 14 1st half points including a pair of 3’s to lead all scorers on her way to a game high 23. The Cats were up 49-18 at the break.
In the 3rd quarter Yenne would hit 6 of her team high 10 early on but then WFW would pull away kicking the game into a running clock with about 2 minutes to play in the 3rd quarter. The Cats would finish with 4 players in double figures led by Fast with 23, Sarah Haakenson had 15, Julia Johnson made up for lost time finishing with 11 and Kiara Steen was solid with 10.
The Hawks were led by Yenne with 10 followed by Mia Flores with 9. Our Tommy Lowe of Greene Realty Players of the Game went to WF Wests’ Maddie Fast and the Hawks Caitin Yenne. Our ProActive Physical Therapy Play of the Game went to the Bearcats Courtney Bennett for her play off the bench.