Though the W.F. West Bearcats won their first three games of the season, coach Kyle Karnofski felt they in each of those games, the Bearcats had gotten off to sluggish starts.
In Game 4 against Rochester on Wednesday, however, Karnofski and the Bearcats got the fast start they had been looking for. They scored the first 10 points of the game to force a Warrior timeout.
“Our goal going into the game was to have a fast start,” Karnofski said. “We’ve kind of struggled the first games getting going … We wanted to come out hot and we wanted them to call the first timeout.”
That fast start carried over throughout the rest of the game, as the Bearcats (4-0, 1-0 2A EvCo) ran away with a 77-23 win over the Warriors (3-1, 0-1 2A EvCo).
W.F. West’s best stretch of action came in the second quarter where, despite a small lull in the middle of the frame, the Bearcats outscored the Warriors 30-2 to take a 41-point lead into the locker room.
The Bearcats swarming defense gave the Warriors trouble, as Rochester shot just 25.7 percent from the field.
“We talked about that too,” Karnofski said. “Let’s be solid all throughout the night, and let’s do everything to the best of our ability. I think that’s mostly what we did.”
Things were especially tough close to the basket, as Julia Dalan shut down almost anything that came her way.
On the night, the Warriors actually shot better from beyond the arc (5 of 14) then they did inside (4 of 21). They also didn’t take advantage of their chances at the line, missing all five of their free throw attempts.
W.F. West, on the other hand, shot 50.8 from the field, including going 7 for 15 from beyond the arc, and went 10 for 15 at the charity stripe.
Dalan had a game-high 21 points, and she did it in just three quarters, while Lena Fragner scored 12, including three 3-pointers.
Freshman Dilyn Boeck and Joy Cushman added 11 each, including a Cushman buzzer-beating three at the end of the first half. Kaitlyn Chloupek and Grace Simpson tacked on eight each.
“I was proud of everybody,” Karnofski said. “It was pretty cool to see everybody contributed.”
Mandy Andree Cordell and Grace Hoover came through with most of the production for the Rochester offense, as the two combined for 19 of the team’s 23 points.
Andree Cordell hit four of the teams five 3-pointers, while Hoover tallied all seven of her points in the third quarter.
Rochester coach Keeli Rivas said that W.F. West exposed and took advantage of some of their shortcomings, though it wasn’t for a lack of effort.
“I think the girls did their best,” Rivas said. “We just fell short … I think that they are taking losses like this as an opportunity to get better and learn from.”
The Bearcats will look to remain unbeaten when they head to Shelton on Friday, while the Warriors will try to get back in the win column when they head north to Tumwater on Friday.