Bearcats Ready to Dive Into New Season After Quick Turnaround

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Though there’s normally a short break somewhere for local hoopers between seasons, that won’t be the case as W.F. West girls basketball gets ready to open up its 2021-22 campaign this month. 

In a normal year, early spring affords an opportunity for a break from organized hoops at the high school level, immediately after the winter season. After COVID-19 forced the basketball season into a shortened spring season, most of the Bearcats went right from that season into summer ball and then now into this year. 

“It’s such a quick turnaround, it almost doesn’t feel real,” Bearcats coach Kyle Karnofski said. “But it is real, it’s November. It’s exciting.”

W.F. West played its final game of the season the day before school got out last spring, and two days later, a day after school ended, summer ball began. But that reinforced work and quick turnaround does have its benefits, as well. 

“You build off that, and we did that in the summer,” Karnofski said. “I think we had a good summer with who we had, we had kids coming and going a lot. It’s something to build off of, and we built that the year before.”

Returning eight starters from the spring season, including Pepperdine-signee Drea Brumfield, first-team all-league point guard Kyla McCallum and various other starters and key position players, the Bearcats have put themselves in a good position for another successful season. 

Just months removed from finishing as regular season league champions, before dropping their only game of the season in the District 4 title game against Tumwater, W.F. West is poised for another deep run this season. 

“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,” Karnofski said. “Hopefully we get back to that point and the tables turn a bit.”

But with a roster that could compete for a deep run, the Bearcats are only concerned about getting through the regular season and districts right now. They have to get to state before they can make a run.  

“You have to worry about each game, you have to come ready to play,” Karnofski said. “There are lots of teams that have those. I’m sure 60 other teams in 2A want to win a state title. It’s a goal to make it there, but we have to take care of business in league, we have to take care of business in districts, regionals, and you get to that point and hope all the chips fall in the right place and everything works out. We’re excited, but it really comes down to getting everything ready to get there.” 

With a focus and pride on being one of the best defensive units in the state, the Bearcats have the personnel, experience and will to get it done, as they’ve shown in the past. Getting their season started with three straight road games against Montesano, Olympia, and Ridgefield beginning on Nov. 30, the Bearcats are taking it one game at a time.  

“Bearcat basketball was built long before I got here,” Karnofski said. “We always talk about, ‘what's your legacy? What are you leaving when you graduate?’ For the last 10 or 15 years, there’s been a great legacy left by dozens of girls. These girls know that and they want to do the same thing.”