2A Girls Basketball: West Valley’s Last-Second Putback Sinks Bearcats
STILL ALIVE: W.F. West Faces East Valley in Friday’s Consolation Semifinals
YAKIMA — The Bearcats had every right to feel a bit stunned on Thursday afternoon.
W.F. West had been in the lead most of the game and took a nine-point advantage into the fourth quarter of its first-round 2A state girls basketball tournament matchup with West Valley (Spokane).
They stayed in front for the next 7 minutes and 59 seconds — just not quite long enough.
West Valley scored on a putback in the paint with six-tenths of a second left on the clock to pick up a 44-43 win, knocking W.F. West into the consolation side of the bracket and boosting the Eagles (20-5) into Friday’s state semifinals against Tumwater.
“It’s not the end result that we wanted,” W.F. West coach Kyle Karnofski said. “Our defensive effort was great; one second, or one deflection, and it’s a different outcome.”
Annika Waring and Taya McCallum each scored 10 points to lead the Bearcats (18-7), who move on to play East Valley (Yakima) at 10:30 a.m. Friday in a loser-out game.
West Valley started chipping away at the Bearcats’ nine-point lead early in the fourth, and cut it to 40-39 with just under two minutes left to play. Annika Waring stifled the run with a 3-pointer from the corner, but the Eagles cashed in a free throw and added a bucket to trim it to 43-42 with 20 seconds to go.
The Bearcats then absorbed four straight intentional fouls before they were sent to the foul line with West Valley in the bonus, but missed the front end of a 1-and-1 with 13 seconds left.
West Valley called time with about 10 seconds to go and worked the ball around before senior guard Jillian Taylor drove from the top of the key and fired up a floater that missed hard off the glass.
Taylor, though, followed her shot, which wound up right back in her hands for a quick open layup and the Eagles’ first lead of the second half at 44-43.
With less than a second left on the clock and the ball out of bounds under the opposite hoop, the Bearcats were unable to get off a final shot.
Alyssa Amann led West Valley with 14 points, with Aliyah Henry adding 11. Taylor finished with eight.
Drea Brumfield scored nine for W.F. West, which shot 36% (15 of 42) from the floor.
The Bearcats held West Valley to 28% shooting (15 of 54), but were outrebounded 38-30. W.F. West led by as many as 12 in the third quarter, but scored just 11 second-half points.
“They did some stuff to change it up a little bit, but we have to be able to capitalize and make a play,” Karnofski said. “We kind of struggled with that at time, but I love my team and I’ll stick with my team any day.”
The winner of Friday’s W.F. West/East Valley game will play at 8 a.m. Saturday in the fourth-place game.
EAGLES 44, BEARCATS 43
W. Valley 17 7 5 15 —44
W.F. West 17 15 6 5 —43
West Valley (44) — Marlow 5, Sherwood 4, Taylor 8, Amann 14, Henry 11, Sicilia 2
FG: 15 of 54 —.278 FT: 8 of 12 —.667 Reb. 38 (Henry 8)
W.F. West (43) — Vadala 6, Brumfield 9, Waring 10, T. McCallum 10, Roberts 2, K. McCallum 4, Henry 2
FG: 15 of 42 —.357 FT: 8 of 12 —.667 Reb. 30 (Waring, Brumfield 6)