— West Seattle Blog (@westseattleblog) February 25, 2017
(Video: How the game ended)
1:25 PM: We’re at Bellevue College, where the West Seattle High School girls have just beaten Edmonds-Woodway 63-41 in a must-win regionals game. This means they’re off to the state tournament next – their first game will be against Lincoln HS at 9 am Wednesday in the Tacoma Dome (here’s the bracket). In this afternoon’s game, the Wildcats led all the way; we’ll add photos and details later.
ADDED 7:45 PM: This is the second time in three years that the WSHS girls have made it to the state tournament, first time under head coach Darnell Taylor.
In this afternoon’s game, the Wildcats never trailed. #11 Jasmine Gayles was their top scorer today with 17 points; she drove in for the first basket of the game at just over one minute in, 2-0 WSHS over Edmonds-Woodway, who for most of the game played far less aggressively than West Seattle.
The Wildcat defense forced the Warriors to shoot from outside; WSHS controlled the boards, and that meant not many second chances.
#10 Jenna McPhee put up five points after that, two foul shots and a 3-pointer, and WSHS was up 7-0 at 5:36. Shortly afterward, the Warriors got their first points, taking the score to 7-2, but little else for the rest of the first quarter. West Seattle ran up the lead to 15 points, 17-2 at 1:30 after #4 Kelsie Lenzie sank a three. She was the Wildcats’ second-leading scorer for the afternoon, with 10.
Edmonds-Woodway’s second basket followed that, but it was erased and then some on a #3 Izzy Turk three with just under a minute to go.
That brought WSHS up to the 20-4 lead with which they ended the first quarter.
She opened the second-quarter scoring with two foul shots (and tied for the third-leading WSHS point total, 9). The Wildcats continued overwhelming the Warriors, and soon built a lead past 20 points. Their intensity stayed high, and the pace was fast. Another Lenzie three-pointer put the score at 31-11, with 2:45 left, and that’s where it was when the buzzer sounded for halftime.
The Wildcats started the second half strong but then lost some steam for a bit. #32 Meghan Fiso, who also netted 9 points on the day, netted 7 of them with two baskets and a three in the first three-plus minutes of the half. Both sides were racking up the points for a breathless stretch here, but Edmonds-Woodway had the upper hand for a while, taking West Seattle’s lead down to 11 points, 42-31 with about a minute and a half left in the quarter. The Wildcats shook themselves out of it and ended the third quarter with two more points, 44-31.
The fourth quarter opened in a whirlwind of possession-trading and fouls. West Seattle steadily built their lead back up, increasing it to 21 with 4:40 left in the game, 54-33 after an Izzy Turk steal and basket. Shortly thereafter, another two points from Gayles, after her steal led to a pass to McPhee who returned it with an assist for Gayles’ basket.
When the lead looked insurmountable with two and a half minutes left, 58-38 West Seattle, Taylor brought in some of the non-starting players, who took nothing for granted, with their efforts including a three-pointer by #34 Anissa Babitu.
Final: 63-41, the biggest winning margin for the Wildcat girls so far this post-season. Wednesday morning’s game against Lincoln is a must-win for them to continue in the tournament.