Bearcats Blast Past Tigers in 95th-Annual Swamp Cup


SWAMP CUP: Bearcats Push  Past Slow Start to Deliver a 70-15 Defeat to Centralia

W.F. West girls basketball used balanced scoring and a ferocious defensive effort to capture the 95th edition of the Swamp Cup rivalry with a convincing 70-15 victory over Centralia in the Hub City on Tuesday.

“It’s a crosstown rivalry and that’s what I told the girls: ‘any team, good or bad, they’re always going to give you their best shot,” W.F. West coach Kyle Karnofski said. “(Centralia’s) defense, I know the score doesn’t show it, but they made us work for it, especially early.”

The Tigers entered the matchup with a 5-1 overall record, which included a perfect 3-0 mark in 2A Evergreen Conference play. That included five-straight victories to start the season until they were edged by Seton Catholic on Dec. 20, their last game before Tuesday’s matchup.

The Bearcats were coming off an 18-day layoff, with their last game being a loss to league-leading Tumwater that snapped a four-game win streak.

Centralia kept it close in the opening frame, despite ongoing offensive struggles that persisted throughout the game. The Tigers trailed 14-3 through the first quarter as the Bearcats looked to regain their rhythm after their nearly three-week layoff.

“We wanted to take care of business and we wanted everyone to get their legs back a little bit,” Karnoski said. “We had a couple practices that were optional with the snow situation, we didn’t get to go to our tournament, we had one practice yesterday and it was ‘here we go.’”

The Bearcats finally found their groove in the second quarter, reeling off a 24-7 run to end the half, capped by sophomore Carlie Deskins’ 3-pointer just before the halftime buzzer.

From then on, it was all W.F. West.

The Bearcats held the Tigers scoreless in the third quarter, part of a 21-0 run and outscored the Tigers 11-5 in the final frame to seal the victory.

“We hang our hats defensively but (W.F. West) has so many weapons that it’s hard to keep them down,” Centralia coach Doug Ashmore said. “We struggled offensively but I loved our team’s effort. Now we know what we need to work on.”

Eleven Bearcats in total scored points on the night and Karnofski said he was pleased overall with how his starters and bench played as a whole.

“I was just happy with how all of our kids played,” Karnofski said. “Our whole bench production was great. Kyla (McCallum) was doing her thing and getting assists (game-high six). Drea had a few. Julia Dalan did really well for us. Mak Mencke played great defensively.I like the effort we had.”

W.F. West senior Drea Brumfield led all scorers with 13 points, which included two 3-pointers, and added seven rebounds. Senior guard Mak Mencke also hit two 3-pointers to finish with nine points.

Olivia Remund also scored nine points and freshman Julia Dalan added six points and seven rebounds. Junior Morgan Rogerson hauled in a game-high eight rebounds to go with four points, and freshman Amanda Bennett tallied four boards, five assists and six steals.

For Remund, a senior, this is now the fourth time she’s beaten the Tigers in her high school career.

“It was a little rough at the start but we just started getting momentum then everyone started scoring,” Remund said. “It took a little to get back into it, but we worked together as a team and played pretty well.”

Centralia was led offensively by sophomore post Emily Wilkerson’s seven points with five of those coming from the charity stripe. Wilkerson hauled in three boards, while sophomore Makayla Chavez finished with five points and Liliana Babka pulled down three rebounds.

Centralia drops to 5-2 overall and 3-1 in league with the loss. The Tigers head to EvCo leader Tumwater (8-1, 4-0 EvCo) for a 7 p.m. match on Thursday.

"We’ll go up there and keep battling,” Ashmore said.

W.F. West improves to 6-2 overall and 3-1 in league play. The Bearcats next head to Black Hills for a 7 p.m. contest on Thursday, part of a nine-game stretch over the next 17 days.