YAKIMA — As time wound down in W.F. West’s Class 2A girls state semifinal game Friday night, and Jamika Parker and the rest of the starters headed to the bench, congratulatory hugs ensued. They knew what was next: a spot in tonight’s championship game.
Happy tears quickly fell for Parker after the final horn sounded in the Bearcats’ 44-25 victory over Renton at the Yakima SunDome, earning the program’s first state title berth. They’ll face Mark Morris in today’s 7 p.m. title game in a battle of District IV rivals. The Monarchs beat River Ridge, 49-46 in overtime, in Friday’s other state semifinal. Mark Morris also owns a 49-43 victory over W.F. West for the District IV title on Feb. 15.
“I’m so proud of us,” said the 6-foot-3 Parker, who had 11 points, eight rebounds, and one blocked shot. “Our defense rocked tonight.”
Regardless of the outcome tonight, it will be the program’s best finish in school history. The 1989 W.F. West team placed third at the 3A state tournament.
For the second consecutive game, W.F. West’s defense was spectacular. Against a 2-3 zone and a starting front line of three players taller than 6-feet, the Indians had trouble from the start. Known for its speed, outside shooting and points off transition, Renton found it tough to score and shot 16 percent (9-for-56) for the game.
The plus side for the Indians? Their steals (10) and turnovers (six). Eight of their 10 steals came in the first half but only one was converted into points as the Bearcats raced out to a 25-12 halftime lead. That lead quickly ballooned to 38-21, and Renton was held without a field goal for almost nine minutes in the second half.
Tori Weeks led the way for the Bearcats with a game-high 13 points, and Olivia Erskine had her second game of double-digit rebounds with 13.
In spite the victory, Parker said it wasn’t a perfect game and there are still things to work out in time for today’s title game.
“We have not played our best game yet,” Parker said. “Hopefully, the next game will be it.”
Meg Wochnick: 360-754-5473