In one of the most competitive leagues in the entire state, W.F. West and Tumwater stand out among a solid group of girls hoops squads at the 2A level.
The Evergreen Conference features a swath of future Division I hoopers, a couple state title contenders, and a good group of well-rounded challengers in what should make for an entertaining 2021-22 slate this year.
At the top, though, the Bearcats and Thunderbirds will compete against each other for a league and district championship after the Bearcats finished the league season unbeaten, but Tumwater took home the district title later in the year.
“You don’t ever want to take second in anything, losing to Tumwater on your home court and seeing them cut down your nets that you practice on every day, that hurts,” Bearcats coach Kyle Karnofski said. “Hopefully we get back to that point and the tables turn a bit.”
W.F. West returns almost every contributor from its league championship last spring, including Pepperdine-commit Drea Brumfield and first-team all-league guard Kyla McCallum. Tumwater, meanwhile, returns every starter, including Dixie State-commit Aubrey Amendala, Isabella Lund and Natalie Sumrok.
Outside Chehalis and Tumwater, 2A EvCo features a bunch of strong squads that will look to contend for state bids.
Black Hills’ best player last season, Addie Ainsworth, is out with a significant injury that will sideline the hooper for most if not all of the upcoming season. After losing Paige Corbin and Kaitlyn Carson to graduation last year, the Wolves will need to look to new playmakers to make a strong run through league this year.
Over in Centralia, the Tigers return every starter from last season, including seniors Jadyn Hawley and Maddie Corwin, and will look to ramp up their scrappy defense to challenge for a good season this year.
“Every night you have to bring your A-game, it’s an exciting time to be preparing for such a competitive league,” Tigers coach Doug Ashmore said. “We need to hang our hat on our defense, we gave up a lot of points in the last couple of years with this tough league we play in. We have to hang our hats there and start to narrow that gap with our defense. The girls have brought that intensity and hopefully we can keep moving forward with it.”
In Rochester, Sofie Sand returns after an all-league honorable mention nod last season as well as junior guard Lauren Rotter, as the Warriors look to build off a positive league record last spring.
Rounding out the EvCo are Shelton and Aberdeen, which are expected to finish in the bottom half of the league. Aberdeen does return junior Maddie Gore, who finished as a second-team all-league selection as a sophomore last spring.