W.F. West came blasting out the gates, fended off every Black Hills rally and secured its first 2A Evergreen Conference title in three years with a 59-47 victory over visiting Black Hills here on Friday.
“It’s a great time to see these seniors fulfill one of their dreams they wanted to set out for when they were young guys,” W.F. West coach Chris White said.
The game was hardly ever in doubt as the Bearcats reeled off a 10-2 lead to start the game and led 21-6 after one quarter off sizzling shooting and lockdown defense.
That was in big part to senior Whalen Deskins’ clutch performance in the first half where he scored 13 points, including three 3-pointers, and helped fuel an offense that ran away from the Wolves early.
“Whalen Deskins was on fire,” White said. “That was really helpful to get those 3s. Those were huge.”
While Deskins and the offense was lighting it up on one end of the court, the Bearcats clamped down on defense and crashed the boards on the other end to ward off every Black Hills rally.
Holding a 14-point advantage at the break, the Wolves came out of the locker room firing and broke off a 7-0 run to cut the lead seven. That was as close as they’d get.
The Bearcats responded with a 10-2 run of their own to go up 49-34 and never looked back the rest of the way.
The victory broke a three-way tie with the Bearcats, Wolves and Tumwater for the league crown, who all entered Friday with 4-1 league records.
W.F. West was coming off a sluggish first half against Centralia on Wednesday and their first league loss of the season on Monday to Aberdeen.
“They really worked and they really turned things around this last game and a half, so I’m really proud of them,” White said.
“We were really mentally prepared and had a great practice yesterday. Just trying to flush that Aberdeen performance out of us and try to re-find ourselves. They played with a lot of pride tonight. I was really happy for them. Great group of boys.”
Deskins led the Bearcats with a team-high 18 points, while Carter McCoy added 16, Dirk Plakinger had 10, Cade Haller 7, Gabe Cuestas four and Camryn Botswick and Soren Dalan each had two.
W.F. West (9-3) earns a first-round bye at districts and will host the winner of the No. 4 seed and No. 5 seed on Tuesday night.
Twelve Tumwater players scored as the Thunderbirds had no trouble handling Rochester in a 69-31 victory on the Warriors’ senior night Friday.
Rochester stayed in it through the first half, trailing 14-4 after one and 16-11 at the break, but Tumwater rushed out of the locker room with a 19-4 run to put the Warriors away.
Tumwater sophomore Luke Brewer led all scorers with 17 points, while KyJuan Harrison-Howard added 13, Tanner Brewer had nine and Jack Jones and Issac Schilter each chipped in six.
Rochester was led by Caleb Vanderhoof’s 10 points, while Camron Henderson, Sawyer Robbins and Parker McAferty each finished with four.
Tumwater (10-3) gets the No. 2 seed and Rochester (1-11) the No. 7 seed heading into the district playoffs on Monday.