By Alec Dietz / [email protected]
YAKIMA – Normally, the WF West women’s basketball team and Lynden don’t meet on the first day of the state tournament. Although the Lions are young, the path to a state championship for nearly the past decade has typically been through Lynden.
In a quarterfinal loser-winner matchup at the Yakima Valley SunDome on Wednesday, the Bearcats cruised through the Lions in a 55-30 victory.
WF West took a 10-0 lead in the opening minutes, gave the Lions a score only 3:11 from the end of the first quarter and held Lynden to 28.6% shooting in the win.
“From the start, we had all the energy and the momentum, and that’s what we talked about we had to do,” Bearcats coach Kyle Karnofski said. “We haven’t done very well in the last two games and we did that from the start. It just set the tone.
The starting group, mostly seniors, set the tone, and the bench came in and fed off that start. Senior forward Drea Brumfield led the Bearcats with 14 points, eight rebounds and four blocks, and Morgan Rogerson came off the bench to add seven points, four rebounds. Freshman guard Amanda Bennett added eight points.
After disappointing losses to Hudson’s Bay in the District IV semifinals and to Archbishop Murphy in the regional round, Wednesday’s start was exactly what Karnofski expected of his Bearcats.
“Congratulations to these five starters for setting the tone,” he said. “It helps to make shots, but you set the tone defensively by stealing and being active, that’s what got us the win. This whole team, they’re playing their roles, they’ve bought into those roles and that’s is the culmination of what can happen when they do.
The Bearcats will now turn around and face Hudson’s Bay in the state quarterfinals Thursday at 12:15 p.m., just weeks after losing a district semifinal 33-30 to the Eagles in Ridgefield.
WF West will be looking for a similar energy to start with as they seek revenge on a bigger stage.
“We just have to go out with a new mentality, like we did today,” Karnofski said.