That wasn’t the kind of basketball W.F. West High School plays.
Coach Tom Kelly wanted to make that clear at practice on Friday afternoon, when the sixth-ranked Bearcats were reeling from a 22-point loss to Black Hills a day earlier.
The way the Bearcats played on Monday night when they routed top-ranked White River, 71-38, in Chehalis?
That was more like it, he said.
Never miss a local story.
“We were beat down pretty good up there at Black Hills,” Kelly said. “The next day at practice wasn’t too fun. For these girls to bounce back like that … I’m so proud of them.
“Anybody can coast along, everything is going good. Things didn’t go good for us up there, and they bounce back like that against White River.”
The Bearcats (11-2, 3-1 Class 2A Evergreen Conference) held White River to 14-of-57 shooting (24.6 percent), and forced 26 turnovers in handing the Hornets their second loss of the season.
“I think, after the last game, it was kind of a wake-up call,” W.F. West post Lexie Strasser said. “We really needed to bring it together again and play with confidence, and I think that did it for us.”
White River’s 38 points were a season low — the Hornets were averaging 67.1 per game entering Monday.
“They’re aggressive, and we’ve got to do a lot better job of taking care of the basketball,” White River coach Chris Gibson said. “They had a ton of energy tonight. Those kids were ready to play. They were everywhere.”
White River (16-2, 12-0 2A South Puget Sound League, Mountain Division) scored eight points apiece in the first and second quarters, and was often stopped short of even taking a shot.
“Every loose ball was theirs, every board was theirs, and I’m disappointed in the way we came out tonight,” Gibson said.
The Hornets took their only lead early in the first quarter on Georgia Lavinder’s 3-pointer before the Bearcats went on a 29-8 run to close the half.
W.F. West limited White River’s Kendall Bird to eight points, two in the first half. Lavinder was the only White River player in double digits, finishing with a team-high 14 points.
Bird was called for her third foul with five minutes, 29 seconds remaining in the second quarter, and sat the remainder of the half.
“I think they keyed in on her, and we made poor decisions, but the credit goes to them,” Gibson said.
Meanwhile, W.F. West continued to step on the gas pedal. The Bearcats led by 20 points at halftime, and built the lead to 30 points in the fourth quarter, when freshman Taya McCallum nailed a 3-pointer.
“We wanted it more than them,” W.F. West guard Julia Johnson said. “We had more energy and just really got after it at practice, came out and played our game.”
Johnson led the Bearcats with 24 points, while Shasta Lofgren had 13 and Strasser added 12.
The Hornets, whose only other loss this season was to Lynden Christian, the top-ranked team in 1A, wrap up their regular season with league games against Foss and Evergreen of Seattle this week.
W.F. West enters the second half of 2A EvCo play, including a rematch with second-ranked Black Hills on Feb. 7.
The Bearcats host Prairie — the fourth-ranked team in 3A — at 7 p.m. Saturday.
“I think it’s good for us,” Kelly said. “I think we’ll be battle-tested.”
“I have all the confidence in the world,” Strasser said. “I think our team should, too. I think we’re going to do really well.”
White River 8 8 12 10_38
W.F. West 13 23 14 21_71
WR – Narolski 4, Robbins 3, Cash 2, J. Norris 2, Rasmussen 3, G. Lavinder 14, Bird 8, S. Lavinder 2
WFW – Johnson 24, Lofgren 13, Bennett 2, Brumfield 5, Steen 4, M. Haakenson 6, McCallum 5, Strasser 12