YAKIMA — Normally the W.F. West girls basketball team and Lynden don’t meet on the first day of the state tournament. Though the Lions are young, the path to a state championship for nearly the last decade typically goes right through Lynden.
Wednesday in a loser-out, winner-to-quarterfinal matchup at the Yakima Valley SunDome, the Bearcats rolled straight through the Lions in a 55-30 victory.
W.F. West built up a 10-0 lead in the opening minutes, didn’t allow a Lions score until 3:11 left in the first quarter, and held Lynden to 28.6% shooting in the win.
“Right from the start we had all the energy and momentum, and that was what we talked about we had to do,” Bearcats coach Kyle Karnofski said. “We haven’t done that super well the last couple of games and we did it right from the get-go. That just set the tone.”
The starting group, mostly seniors, set the pace, and the bench came in and fed off that start. Senior forward Drea Brumfield led the Bearcats with 14 points, eight rebounds, and four blocks, and Morgan Rogerson came off the bench to add seven points, four rebounds. Freshman guard Amanda Bennett added eight points.
After disappointing losses to Hudson’s Bay in the District IV semifinals and Archbishop Murphy in the regional round, Wednesday’s start was just what Karnofski was looking for from his Bearcats.
“Kudos to those five starters to set the tone,” he said. “It helps to make shots, but you set the tone defensively with flying around and being active, that’s what won it for us. That whole crew, they do their roles, they’ve bought into those roles and that’s the culmination of what can happen when they do.”
The Bearcats will now turn around and take on Hudson’s Bay in the state quarterfinals Thursday at 12:15 p.m., just a few weeks after dropping a 33-30 district semifinal to the Eagles in Ridgefield.
W.F. West will be looking for similar energy to start as they look to get revenge on a bigger stage.
“We just have to come out with a new mentality, like how we did today,” Karnofski said.