Wednesday’s 2A Girls Basketball: Tumwater Beats W.F. West to Seal Portion of EvCo Title
By Aaron VanTuyl
For The Chronicle
The lone blemish on the Thunderbirds’ record this season came on their own turf, in overtime, to W.F. West.
They made sure it didn’t happen twice.
The speedy, balanced Thunderbirds took advantage of a Bearcat shooting slump in the first half and held on late for a 46-38 win Wednesday in Chehalis, wrapping up at least a portion of the Evergreen 2A Conference girls basketball title in the process.
Sophomore guard Aubrey Amendala led Tumwater with 12 points, while Taya McCallum paced W.F. West with 11 and six rebounds.
The difference between the teams’ two meetings wasn’t hard to see, as Bearcat coach Kyle Karnofski pointed out.
“We didn’t make as many shots this time as we did last time,” Karnofski said. “It wasn’t as great as we did up there.”
That was particularly true in the first half. Tumwater went on an 8-0 run early in the first half and closed the first frame on another 8-0 run, with all eight points coming from sophomore guard Amendala.
The Bearcats were held scoreless for the final three minutes of the opening frame and didn’t convert a field goal in the second quarter, surviving with five points from the foul line, to trail 26-14 at halftime.
“We felt like we were getting the shots we wanted, but they just weren’t falling as much this time,” Karnofski said. W.F. West finished 14 of 48 from the field (29%), and the teams combined to go 0 for 16 from long range.
The Thunderbirds held a 41-24 advantage on the glass, with Isabella Lund and Cassie Kaufman each grabbing 11 boards.
The Bearcats kept things interesting in the second half. Drea Brumfield scored eight of her nine points after the break, including the final bucket in a 6-0 run that cut Tumwater’s lead to 38-32 with 3:31 left to go.
Tumwater, though, hit just enough foul shots in the fourth quarter to keep its lead safe, and the Bearcats couldn’t get it back to within six until a bucket from Maggie Vadala with less than 20 seconds remaining.
“They’re very good. They did what we expected them to do, and we had the game plan,” Karnofski said. “I felt like (we) brought it the whole time and competed, and that’s what we were asking them to do.”
Olivia Bailon, who earlier on Wednesday signed letter of intent to run track for Oregon State University, added 10 points for Tumwater.
Annika Waring chipped in eight for W.F. West, which celebrated Waring, Vadala and McCallum during pregame Senior Night festivities.
W.F. West (14-5, 7-2 league) closes out the regular season at Centralia on Friday, and will open District 4 2A tournament play on Feb. 14.
“We’re a gritty group of girls, and they’re very tough,” Karnofski said of Tumwater. “This one hurts, but I have no doubt that we’ll see these girls somewhere along the way. We’re going to bounce back.
“We have a lot of ball left,” he added.
Tumwater (18-1, 8-1 league) hosts Black Hills on Friday to wrap regular season play, and can win the EvCo title outright with a Pioneer Bowl victory. A T-Bird loss to Black Hills (6-2 league), combined with a Bearcat win over Centralia, would leave the teams in a three-way tie for first, though Tumwater won the teams’ first meeting 59-36.
Warriors Can’t Play Catch Up in Loss to Black Hills
TUMWATER — Rochester fell behind in the first half here on Wednesday and couldn’t find a way to get even as they dropped a 2A Evergreen Conference girls basketball contest 71-60 at the hands of Black Hills.
The Wolves turned a one-point first quarter lead into a nine point advantage at the half. Miakei’ Lea Flores scored a game-high 28 points for Black Hills and Megan River added 23 points.
“Flores, my God, she shot two if not three NBA threes and made them,” Rochester coach Davina Serdahl said. “That girl can shoot. Lexi hand a hand right in her face but she just drained them.”
The Warriors made an ill-fated charge out of the gate in the second half but couldn’t muster the defensive stops to climb all the way back into contention. For the game the Warriors shot 37 percent on 53 field goal attempts and sank 11 of 21 free throws.
“We got in some foul trouble but we came back and had a good third quarter which really has been our nemesis,” Serdahl said. “We just keep coming up a little short.”
Lexi Jones-Sederberg led Rochester with 15 points and 11 rebounds along with five assists. Paige Winter added 14 points, Megan Elkins chipped in nine points, and Madison Bates notched eight points.
Serdahl was pleased with her team’s balanced scoring effort, noting, “That’s what we have to do to be successful.”
Rochester finishes regular season play in fourth place in the Evergreen Conference. The Warriors will host a pigtail game against a Greater St. Helens League opponent on Feb. 12 at 7 p.m. in order to punch their ticket to the District tournament.
Tigers Struggle in Fourth Quarter
Carissa Kaut went off a game-high 15 points and 16 rebounds but it wasn’t enough for Centralia to overcome Aberdeen in a 37-35 2A Evergreen Conference loss here Wednesday.
The Tigers (4-15, 1-8) shot just 4 of 26 from beyond the arc, while Aberdeen took just one 3-point shot while dominating the paint on the offensive end.
Centralia had a chance to win it in the final quarter but was held to just two points.
“We had numerous looks in the fourth quarter,” Centralia coach Doug Ashmore said. “I don’t know if our legs were tired or what. [Aberdeen] just came with a game plan.”
The Tigers shot just 28 percent from the field on 15 of 54 shooting, while Aberdeen hit 43 percent of their shots.
“We weren’t taking bad shots, we just couldn’t get anything to fall,” Ashmore said.
Centralia is eliminated from postseason contention and will host W.F. West in both team’s regular-season finale at 7 p.m. Friday.
THUNDERBIRDS 46, BEARCATS 38
Tumwater 18 8 10 10 —46
W.F. West 9 5 10 14 —38
Tumwater (46) — McCauley 4, Sumrok 4, Bailon 10, Amendala 12, Little 2, Lund 8, Kaufman 6
FG: 18 of 51 —.353 FT: 10 of 19 —.526 Reb. 41 (Kaufman, Lund 11)
W.F. West (38) — Vadala 2, Brumfield 9, Madi Mencke 3, K. McCallum 5, Waring 8, T. McCallum 11
FG: 14 of 48 —.292 FT: 10 of 18 —.556 Reb. 24 (McCallum 6)
BOBCATS 37, TIGERS 35
Aberdeen 8 9 14 6 —37
Centralia 8 10 15 2 —35
Aberdeen (37) — Walsh 3, Gutierrez 1, Martinez 11, Chum 10, Tageant 12
FG: 15 of 35 —.429 FT: 7 of 15 —.467 Reb. N/A
Centralia (35) — Mora 9, Sharp 3 Kaut 15, Corwin 8
FG: 15 of 54 —.278 FT: 1 of 5 —.200 Reb. 36 (Kaut 16)
WOLVES 71, WARRIORS 60
Rochester 20 10 16 14 —60
Black Hills 21 18 14 19 —71
Rochester (60) — Schnider 3, Bates 8, Elkins 9, Sederberg-Jones 15, Rotter 1, Knutson 3, Winter 14, Kerbaugh 7
FG: 20 of 53 —.377 FT: 11 of 21 —.523 Reb: 30 (Jones-Sederberg 11)
Black Hills (71) — Corbin 4, River 23, Bender 5, Flores 28, Ainsworth 8, Thoemmes 4
FG: x of x —.xxx FT: 15 of 24 —.625 Reb: XX