RIDGEFIELD — Holding on to a slim lead through most of the first half, the W.F. West girls basketball team slowly saw its lead dissipate in the third quarter as more and more shots kept falling for Hudson’s Bay, and more and more shots for the Bearcats didn’t.
At the end of the night Monday in Ridgefield in the 2A District IV semifinals, the Eagles made more shots down the stretch, and beat the Bearcats, 33-30, to send them to a loser-out, winner-to-regionals contest against R.A. Long on Wednesday.
“It’s tough to lose, but it's not the one that ends it,” Bearcats coach Kyle Karnofski said. “I told them in the locker room, ‘what’s this group’s legacy, what do you want our legacy to be?’ You have to just come back, regroup and learn to fight.”
Foul calls and baskets were hard to come by all game, with the Bearcats holding on to a slim 14-11 lead at the half. Both the first and second quarters featured single-digit scoring totals from both squads.
Lexi Roberts kept the Bearcats in the game, however, with seven first half points, capitalizing off of Drea Brumfield double teams.
But the Eagles would make their run in the third quarter, and find their offensive rhythm. Hudson’s Bay started the third on a 6-0 run to take its first lead of the game, and after a back-and-forth frame, led W.F. West, 27-23 heading into the final quarter.
The fourth was much of the same for the Bearcats, who couldn’t get enough open looks, and or make enough shots, with no made field goals through the first five and a half minutes of the fourth quarter.
Their defense kept them in it however, trailing by no more than eight.
The Bearcats made their first shot with 2:10 left in the quarter, a Roberts 3-ball that brought the deficit to five. After a defensive stop, the Bearcats had three separate possessions to dig into the deficit more, but couldn’t score.
W.F. West got a break on the other end, with the Eagles missing the front end of a one and one, and an ensuing Julia Dalan layup made it, 33-30, with 20 seconds to go. In a bizarre ending, the Bearcats tried to intentionally foul, with no shot clock, but the refs didn’t call a foul on any of their attempts and the entire 20 seconds ran off the clock.
“We got the shots we wanted, I liked the shots we got, we just didn’t make as many,” Karnofski said. “That hurt, obviously. They started making a couple and we had a cold stretch. I liked the tempo, I liked the pace with the game style … but it came down to making one or two more.
“I was proud of our defensive effort, you get a shot or two to fall and the game is different.”
Roberts led the Bearcats with a team-high 14 points, while Brumfield and Olivia Remund were next with seven points each.
“Lexi played off the ball well, that was good for her to grow her confidence” Karnofski said. “She played really well, I was really proud of her.”
Now the Bearcats have a day off to put this game behind them and focus on a loser-out, do-or-die contest against the Lumberjacks, fresh off a dominant win over Aberdeen Monday night. The winner will advance to regionals, the loser’s season is over.
“Lomax is a really good guard, they’re really well coached,” Karnofski said. “They’re hot right now, they’re going to be really scrappy.”