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2A Girls Basketball: Bearcats Start Hot, Blow Out Centralia

W.F. West's Julia Johnson (left) swats the ball away from Centralia's Rachel Wilkerson next to W.F. West's Kiara Steen during an Evergreen 2A Conference girls basketball game on Friday in Centralia.

W.F. West’s Julia Johnson (left) swats the ball away from Centralia’s Rachel Wilkerson next to W.F. West’s Kiara Steen during an Evergreen 2A Conference girls basketball game on Friday in Centralia.

RIVALS: W.F. West Starts on 19-2 Run in 63-27 EvCo Win

By Aaron VanTuyl


The Bearcats didn’t make the trip across town to leave anything up in the air.

Pushing the tempo early, W.F. West blew out to a big lead and never looked back Friday night in Centralia, powering past the rival Tigers 63-27 in the second game of a co-ed rivalry hoops twinbill.

The first quarter set the tone. W.F. West didn’t give up a field goal and forced 14 Tiger turnovers, leading 19-2 after 6 minutes of high-pressure action.

“That’s usually what gets them, I think, when we just start off the bat running,” Bearcat point guard Kiara Steen said. “Our practices are all upbeat and we’re running all the time. It’s in our heads — if you’re not sprinting, you’re running at practice, so everyone goes all out in games.”

Julia Johnson keyed the attack, scoring 7 straight in a 12-0 run and notching four steals and 9 points in the first quarter. The junior guard finished with 12 points and six steals.

“She starts well,” Bearcat coach Tom Kelly said of Johnson. “And she started the third quarter like that, and set the tone.”

After a 35-17 lead at halftime W.F. West outscored Centralia 18-5 in the third to put the game on ice.

“That was a nice start,” Kelly said. “Still, we had a lot of fouls called, and so it’s kind of hard to play — but you’ve got to realize when they’re calling it like that, you’ve got to back off.”

Centralia shot 28 free throws in the loss, with 23 in the first half alone. Only 11 found the bottom of the net in the first half, however, something coach Doug Ashmore cited as a factor.

“If we shoot what we normally shoot, it’d be about a 10-point game (at halftime),” Ashmore said. “But they just keep coming with firepower and firepower, and they’re a very good team.”

W.F. West shot 25 of 78 from the field in the win, with Steen adding 11 points, Sara Haakenson notching 9 and Lexie Strasser chipping in 8 with five rebounds and two blocked shots. Freshman Maggie Vadala added 4 points, four steals and four rebounds.

Sarah Wilkerson led Centralia with 9 points. Ellie Corwin added 7, with seven boards and five blocked shots.

Ashmore added that sophomore Makayla Erickson — playing a full varsity game for the first time, with regular starter Chelsea Petrino out sick — performed well.

“She came in and gave us a spark, and hustled up and down the floor,” Ashmore added.

Centralia (6-6, 0-2 league) plays at Aberdeen on Tuesday. W.F. West (9-1, 2-0 league) hosts Tumwater on Tuesday.
At Centralia


W.F. West 21  14  18 10 —63

Centralia    6  11     5    5 —27

W.F. West (63) — Vadala 4, Johnson 12, Lofgren 7, S. Haakenson 9, Noble 4, Brumfield 4, Steen 11, Fast 2, M. Haakenson 2, Strasser 8

FG: 25 of 78 —.321 FT: 8 of 11 —.727 Reb. 33 (Brumfield 11)

Centralia (27) — Jensen 2, Wilkerson 9, Porter 5, Kaut 4, Corwin 7, Erickson

FG: 6 of 29 —.207 FT: 14 of 28 —.500 Reb. 30 (Jensen 9)

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