Bearcats' Defense Stymies Tigers in Swamp Cup Win

Jan. 7—Box score

At W.F. West (Chehalis)


Centralia 6 3 3 17 — 29

W.F. West 25 22 8 9 — 64

Centralia: Schofield 8, Sprague 7, Erickson 3, Baumel 1, Wilkerson 10

W.F. West: Fragner 7, P. Mishler 4, Buzzard 2, Rogerson 8, Deskins 13, Simpson 8, Bennett 8, Dalan 14

Still looking to solidify its defensive identity, the W.F. West girls basketball team took a couple steps forward in a dominant showing against crosstown rival Centralia Friday night in Chehalis in a 64-29 win.

The Bearcats have strung together back-to-back league wins after suffering their first defeats of the season up in Lynden against a pair of ranked foes. Friday night at home, a suffocating press and zone attack kept the Tigers at bay until the Bearcats unloaded their bench in the fourth quarter.

"It's a rivalry game," Bearcats coach Kyle Karnofski said. "It's a fun atmosphere and it was good for us to use what we've learned in the past. We're still trying to improve on the little things, tonight we did some of those other things well."

Morgan Rogerson got it going early for the Bearcats with a pair of buckets, who struggled a bit offensively out of the gate. But after a couple defensive stops and runouts, W.F. West took a commanding 25-6 lead after one quarter and eventually a 47-9 lead into the halftime break.

The Tigers finally broke single digits in the third quarter with 12 total points, before scoring 17 in the fourth against the Bearcats' bench and reserves.

"We've been working on finding our rotations defensively and being better there and finding our niche," Karnofski said. "We have to hang our hat on something and we're trying to figure out what that is, but we took a step in the right direction tonight."

Julia Dalan led the Bearcats with 14 points and secured a triple-double with 14 rebounds and 10 blocks, and Carlie Deskins added 13 more points for W.F. West. Eight total Bearcats scored Friday night, including freshman Caroline Buzzard, who scored her first varsity points in the fourth.

"It's really cool," Karnofski said of his bench's performance. "Our girls are very compassionate so they were very excited for their teammates. They're trying to let those kids have their moment. We're a good family. Those girls bust their butts in practice to make us better, so it's nice to see them get rewarded for their work."

On the other side, the Tigers had a tough go of it until the fourth, but finally started to get into a rhythm in that final frame. Emily Wilkerson finished the night with 10 points, Gracie Schofield added eight, and Brooklyn Sprague had seven points to lead the Tiger scorers.

W.F. West will play Saturday against Capital before a big rivalry matchup against Tumwater on Tuesday, while Centralia heads to Black Hills on Tuesday for another league matchup.