CONGRATULATIONS! West Seattle High School girls repeat as district champions

(Added: Postgame photo with trophy)

FIRST REPORT, 10:05 PM: We’re at Bellevue College, where the West Seattle High School girls have just repeated as SeaKing district champions, defeating Cleveland 56-51. Next stop – head coach Darnell Taylor and team head to the regional/state tournament at the Tacoma Dome. Photos and details to come later tonight after we’re back at HQ.

(Video: First basket of the game, by WSHS #32 Meghan Fiso)

ADDED 11:55 PM: The clip above shows the first two of the 21 points with which #32, sophomore Meghan Fiso, led the Wildcats tonight. They were out to a 9-0 lead halfway through the first quarter before the Eagles even got onto the scoreboard – that also included a three-pointer by #20, junior Grace Sarver, who had a 12-point night:

West Seattle owned most of the first quarter, with ironclad defense that kept Cleveland from driving in close, and fast-footed response that meant Wildcats were always in the way even when an Eagle did make her way through. But then they got a bit sloppy, and Cleveland recovered from a double-digit deficit to be down only three points going into the second quarter, 15-12.

That momentum continued for a few minutes, and they got within one point, before West Seattle regained their surefootedness. #34 Anissa Babitu helped the Wildcats scrap back.

Then a three-pointer by Fiso mid-quarter gave WSHS a bit of breathing room, 21-16. Two battles for the ball followed, and while Cleveland closed the gap to one point again, 23-22, six unanswered WSHS points sent the Wildcats into halftime ahead 29-22.

The second half began with two scoreless minutes, until Cleveland got a basket at 5:53. #11, junior Jasmine Gayles, tirelessly puncturing the Eagles’ defense yet again, answered shortly thereafter.

Toward the end of the third quarter, Cleveland started gaining ground and seemed re-energized, tying the game at 36-36 with 1:10 to go, then taking the lead on two foul shots. That’s when a three-pointer by Gayles got the lead back and brought the Eagles back down.

#4, junior Kelsey Lenzie (9-point game), added a three right after that, putting WSHS ahead 42-38 going into the final quarter, which turned into even more of a nerve-wracker.

Cleveland went ahead, 45-42, but #21, freshman Julianna Horne, erased that lead with a three-pointer.

The Wildcats weren’t back in their groove yet, though. Cleveland went on a six-point run that could have been their turning point – but wasn’t – and with just under two minutes left in the game, a clutch three-pointer by Fiso gave WSHS the lead back, 52-51. Fans were on their feet. Lenzie followed with another three. And then Cleveland had no choice but to foul, which they did, without gaining any ground. The clock ticked down, the Wildcats added one point from a foul shot, and that was it – 56 to 51, they were the district champs for the second year in a row.

WHAT’S NEXT: It’s on to the regional/state tournament, with their next game no sooner than Friday; the brackets will be posted here.

ADDED SUNDAY: The WSHS girls are now slated to play Garfield at 6 pm next Saturday (February 24th) at Bellevue College.

2 Replies to "CONGRATULATIONS! West Seattle High School girls repeat as district champions"

  • jkpatman February 18, 2018 (12:54 pm)

    congratulations all the way from chile!  so excited to read this news and to know that you’re headed to tacoma ;)

    anisa, vakathegu mada!

  • MJ February 18, 2018 (4:12 pm)

    Great job, a few more wins and the grand prize of State is at hand.  Play hard, enjoy and good luck; and I hope the bball gods continue to smile upon the team.

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