High-school baseball: West Seattle Wildcats over Cleveland

March 28, 2015 at 7:29 am | In West Seattle news, West Seattle schools, WS & Sports | 2 Comments

As they look ahead to today’s High School Baseball Classic game at Safeco Field, the West Seattle High School baseball team is celebrating a win. Thanks to Caryn Johnson for the report on Friday’s game:

Under beautiful skies at Hiawatha Field, the West Seattle Wildcats hosted the Cleveland Eagles Friday afternoon. West Seattle started Junior Jamie Maples on the mound. He pitched two full innings, striking out 5 of the 7 batters he faced. Freshman Cameron Paskett and Senior Daniel Kemp came in to pitch the rest of the game holding the Cleveland batters to just 2 hits and 5 runs.

Junior Morgan McCullough started the West Seattle bats will a Home Run blast to center field. He would continue to pile up the hits with another Home Run in the 2nd, a triple and a double. Jamie Maples and Sophomore Jack Page each had three hits. As a team, West Seattle had a total of 18 hits, producing 15 runs, 9 of which were earned.

In the end, West Seattle won in 5 innings, 15-5. Next game is this afternoon at Safeco Field at 12:30. Come on out to cheer on the boys at this free event. The next conference game is scheduled for Monday, vs. Nathan Hale at Meadowbrook, at 3:30.

High-school baseball: Chief Sealth IHS off to 2-1 start

March 26, 2015 at 11:58 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle schools, WS & Sports | No Comments

Thanks to Howard Chilcott for this report on the Chief Sealth International High School Seahawks‘ first week of baseball:

Our Seahawks are off to a nice start to their Metro schedule, posting a 2 win/1 loss record over week 1. That includes strong wins over Ingraham and Franklin and a heartbreaker yesterday vs. Lakeside. Highlights have included strong pitching, increasingly solid defense, and big hits as the team is developing nicely early in the season.

The schedule includes a rematch with Lakeside away on Friday, then Ballard on Monday, 4 pm at SWAC! Also, please join us in supporting the boys at their Annual Spaghetti Dinner & Auction Saturday 4/4 at the School Galleria, 6 pm.

(Sealth is at 2600 SW Thistle.)

Award-winning basketball coach Sonya Elliott is leaving West Seattle High School

March 26, 2015 at 10:19 am | In West Seattle news, West Seattle people, WS & Sports | 2 Comments

(WSB photo from February 2015: Coach Elliott helps cut down net after Metro League title win)

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

It’s the epitome of “going out on top.”

After a history-making season in which her team made it to the state tournament and won the Metro League championship, West Seattle High School girls’ basketball head coach Sonya Elliott is leaving.

Elliott, a longtime West Seattle resident, was honored as Metro League Coach of the Year twice, in 2013 as well as this year, a showstopping season that concluded March 7th (WSB coverage here) – a season that, as she remarked at the WSHS pep rally before the team’s first state game, had the whole school (and community!) cheering for girls’ basketball.

She shared the news with WSB via e-mail late last night and said her players already know: “I won’t be coaching at West Seattle next year. It was a really tough decision, because as you know there are some amazing girls on the team and we have all worked hard over the last 5 years to build the program, but it was time.”

2014-2015 was Coach Elliott’s fifth season leading the team. We first checked in with her during the first season – noting that she took over after a season in which the WSHS girls had won a total of three games, and that she brought in new initiatives including a holistic focus on academics as well as basketball fundamentals.

That first 2010 story featured an inspirational guest Elliott brought in to talk with her team; she continued that initiative up through this year, too. Elliott herself proved an inspirational figure beyond her basketball-coaching skills, with a story she turned into a book titled “Back on the Court,” telling how she came back from a life-threatening and heartbreaking tragedy.

We have a followup question out about what’s next for her, and we’re also asking WSHS what’s next for the team; we’ll add updates as we get them.

Free baseball game at Safeco Field – WSHS Wildcats on Saturday!

March 26, 2015 at 9:00 am | In West Seattle news, West Seattle schools, WS & Sports | No Comments

(2014 photo by Greg Slader)
See a baseball game free at Safeco Field this Saturday – while cheering for local players! West Seattle High School assistant baseball coach Bryan Tupper shares the reminder:

Come out and support West Seattle High School Baseball at Safeco Field. WSHS continues the annual tradition of playing in the High School Baseball Classic for the 9th year in a row! This year, they take on Sedro Woolley from the Northwest Conference. Admission is free and concession stands will be open.

The game is at 12:30 pm Saturday (March 28th).

High-school baseball: West Seattle HS vs. O’Dea at Hiawatha

March 23, 2015 at 11:45 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle schools, WS & Sports | No Comments

Thanks to Caryn Johnson for this report on today’s West Seattle High School varsity baseball game on a showery afternoon at Hiawatha:

Sophomore Carson Wright started on the mound and pitched 5 2/3 innings. He pitched well against a big-hitting O’Dea team. Giving up 11 hits, but only giving up 6 runs (4 earned). He struck out 3, hit one, and didn’t walk any. Freshman Anthony Coats came into pitch in the 5th inning and pitched the remaining of the game not giving up a hit.

Jamie Maples led the team on the offensive side of the ball with 4 hits and 2 RBI’s. Morgan McCullough also had a good outing with 3 hits and 1 RBI. As a team they had 9 hits.

Defense had their first test of the season against the big bats of O’Dea. Everyone on the field got into the action and recorded outs. The highlight on the defensive side was a 6-4-3 double play in the top of the 7th inning by Morgan McCullough, Jack Page and Alex Pastrana. This closed out the top of the 7th and gave West Seattle one more shot to score some runs. In the end they fell a little short, losing to O’Dea, 6-4.

WSHS is on the road for its next game, Wednesday against Cleveland at Rainier Beach HS.

Congratulations! 13-year-old girls-basketball champs ‘The Storm’

March 23, 2015 at 12:56 am | In West Seattle news, WS & Sports | 1 Comment

Congratulations to The Storm, the basketball team from Hiawatha Community Center that won the 13-year-old Girls Competitive Division Championship on Sunday! Mike Jensen shares the photo, reporting, “They played another team from Hiawatha in the championship game (Sunday) afternoon and won a close one, 22-17 … to cap off an undefeated season.” Left to right in the photo are Cami, Ruby, Hannah, Jackie, Madi, Nina, Jaeley, Maddie, Mikayla.

West Seattle sports: New ‘practice squad’ forming for youth rugby

March 22, 2015 at 1:02 am | In West Seattle news, WS & Sports | 1 Comment

Know a 7-to-11-year-old interested in rugby? A local coach just arranged to form a “West Seattle practice squad” for the Seattle Vikings Youth Rugby Club, and is hoping to add more participants. They’ve just started practicing, 4:30-6 pm on Tuesdays and Thursdays in West Seattle. Coach Skylar Pond notes: “No experience necessary, low cost, (players will) learn safe ‘Seahawks’ tackling technique.” They’re planning “either tackle or two-hand-touch matches every weekend from the end of March through the end of May” – more info in this flyer. You can reach Coach Pond at skylarponddc@gmail.com or 206-552-5750.

Congratulations! 10-year-old girls’ Hiawatha team makes it to city championship game

March 21, 2015 at 8:34 pm | In West Seattle news, WS & Sports | 7 Comments

Thanks to Coach Rob Wright for sharing news of these girls’ awesome accomplishment:

I wanted to let you know about a great girls’ basketball team that just wrapped up their season.

Our 10-year-old-girls team based out of Hiawatha Community Center had a dominating season, going undefeated in the regular season and a top seed in the playoffs. The girls lost in the city championship today against a much-larger Rainier Beach team that played a great game. We’re very proud of their efforts this season, especially considering a number of the girls have never played basketball before. Quite an accomplishment to reach the city finals out of nineteen teams in our division across the city. Great job, girls! The future of girls’ basketball in West Seattle is really looking great!

From left to right:
Zoey Adams
Wynn Larsen
Hannah Bonsack
Brooke Swanson
Emily Larsen
Josaphine Contreras
Kaylei Campbell
Lauren Wright
Chloe Stephens
Angelina Smith
(not pictured)
Coaches Rob Wright & Jeff Larsen

High-school baseball: West Seattle shuts out Rainier Beach. P.S. – Boosters still selling M’s tickets!

March 21, 2015 at 1:54 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle schools, WS & Sports | 3 Comments

The West Seattle High School baseball team won its first conference game of the season on Friday in a big shutout, 12-0 over Rainier Beach. Thanks to Caryn Johnson for the photo and report:

Jamie Maples #6 pitched the entire game. He struck out 12 and only gave up 1 hit. The West Seattle defense was able to keep Rainier Beach off the bases for the most part, only allowing one runner to reach as far as 2nd base. Lots of offense for the game by West Seattle. In the 2nd inning, they sent 11 batters to the plate.

Next game is Monday against O’Dea, at Hiawatha at 3:30.

Also coming up, the team’s game vs. Sedro Woolley at Safeco Field, one week from today, 12:30 pm on March 28th, admission free! To qualify for the High School Baseball Classic at Safeco again NEXT year, as well as to raise money for the Wildcats’ team, boosters are selling tickets for a Mariners game THIS season – 7:10 pm Monday, June 22nd, vs. Kansas City. You can buy one or more $12 tickets by e-mailing wshsmarinerstickets@gmail.com. (You’ll get a reply with info on what to do from there.)

High-school soccer: Chief Sealth, West Seattle open with a tie

March 17, 2015 at 10:30 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle schools, WS & Sports | No Comments

(WSB photos by Torin Record-Sand)
Crosstown rivals faced off today as high-school boys’ soccer got going, with Chief Sealth International High School (in red) and West Seattle High School (in white) facing off at Walt Hundley Playfield in High Point.

The game, played in intermittent rainshowers, ended in a 1-1 tie. Sealth’s goal was by Abdiaziz Hursane, WSHS’s goal by Carter Mensing.

Next up: The Wildcats play Nathan Hale at Adams, 3:30 pm Thursday; the Seahawks host Cleveland at home, 4 pm Friday.

Time for high-school soccer – and for Sealth soccer summer camp signups, grades 3-9

March 15, 2015 at 12:55 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle schools, WS & Sports | No Comments

It’s time for high-school soccer to resume, with the boys’ spring season starting (girls play in fall). The varsity teams from Chief Sealth International High School and West Seattle High School have a match scheduled for Tuesday (March 17th), 3:30 pm at Walt Hundley Playfield in High Point.

It’s also time to sign up for Sealth’s popular summer Soccer Skills Camp for girls and boys going into grades 3 through 9 this fall, all skill levels. The camp is under the direction of CSIHS’s award-winning head soccer coach Ron Johnson and will be led by current and past Sealth boys and girls soccer players. The camp is not until July 27-31, but spots fill fast. Here’s the flyer/application form.

You can help! Refs, 6th-12th-grade players needed for ’206 Bangout’ 3-on-3 basketball tournament @ WSHS

March 14, 2015 at 11:22 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle schools, WS & Sports | No Comments

Know a middle- or high-school student who loves to play basketball? The Junior Class at West Seattle High School is hosting another 206 Bangout tournament, and inviting girls and boys in 6th through 12th grades from all over the area. Two more weeks for players to register, and they’re looking for referees too. Class of 2016 event coordinator Jaimie Bell says the tournament is three weeks from today, with the signup deadline a few days earlier:

The West Seattle High School Junior class is hosting a 3 x 3 Basketball tournament “206 BANG OUT” on Saturday, April 4th. This event is for 6th – 12th grade kids, with open divisions for all skill levels, from 9-3 pm in the WSHS Gym. Cost is $20 dollars per team. A team of 4, with 1 sub and 3 players.

To sign up, please contact: 206bangoutrsvp@gmail.com or pick up a registration packet outside the Activity Center inside WSHS. Entry deadline is April 1st.

We are also looking for experienced people who would like to help with refereeing at this event.

Bring your friends, bring your family, and take it to the hoops!

Congratulations! Straight Blast Gym of Seattle team triumphs at The Revolution

March 12, 2015 at 11:24 pm | In Delridge, West Seattle news, WS & Sports | No Comments

Big congratulations are in order for local contenders who just scored big in a regional competition.

Coach Sonia Sillan from Straight Blast Gym of Seattle (WSB sponsor) shares the photos and the news:

On Saturday, March 7th, Straight Blast Gym of Seattle took a small team of 12 kids and 5 adults to a local Brazilian Jiujitsu competition, The Revolution, in Tacoma. 17 competitors finished out the day with 18 medals!

Every competitor from the SBG Seattle team has been training hard for this competition and it showed – every single individual from kids to adults put their best effort forth when it was required. In the end, that is all that counts.

We couldn’t be prouder of every person who stepped out on the mats.

To find out more about the results (and see more photos), check out this post on the SBG website. SBG (which is at 5050 Delridge Way SW) has a web special for kids’ martial arts right now, by the way – check it out here.

Congratulations to West Seattle High School’s Unified Basketball Team – #2 in the state!

March 10, 2015 at 5:31 am | In West Seattle news, West Seattle schools, WS & Sports | 11 Comments

Belated congratulations to the West Seattle High School Unified Basketball Team! While covering the WSHS girls’ state-tournament run last week, we learned that the Unified Team had already been to state and finished at #2. (If you haven’t heard of Unified Sports – explained here – it’s a Special Olympics-led program; teams include players with and without intellectual disabilities.) West Seattle Coach Billy Edwards shared the top photo from the team’s win at districts; he tells WSB, “The team was 11-0 and District champs going into the state tournament. The team was short handed going into the state tournament due to illness and travel. The team still fought hard and earned 2nd place in state.”

West Seattle weekend scene: Wheelchair-basketball championships wrap up at WSHS

March 8, 2015 at 1:52 pm | In West Seattle news, WS & Sports | 2 Comments

The junior/preps West Coast Conference championships of the National Wheelchair Basketball Association have wrapped up at the West Seattle High School gym, after a day and a half of games.

Seattle Adaptive Sports, which hosted the tournament, explains that WSHS is one of the few places in the region with two accessible courts in one place, and that’s why they play here, even though the group isn’t based here. Teams participating this weekend were from Seattle, Spokane, Portland, Berkeley, Phoenix, and San Diego, according to the tournament bracket.

(We don’t have the final score on today’s game but will add it when we do.) The national tournament is next up for the victorious athletes, in mid-April in Louisville, Kentucky. Then the next season starts up again late in the year.

UPDATE: Seattle Lutheran boys over Shorewood Christian for 3rd place in state

March 7, 2015 at 1:34 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle schools, WS & Sports | 1 Comment

(Added 2:34 pm: Photo texted from Spokane)
1:34 PM: It’s halftime in Spokane at the boys’ 1B basketball tournament, and Seattle Lutheran is up by one over Shorewood Christian, 30-29. That’s a turnaround from the end of the 1st, when the Lions were up 16-10 over the Saints. Thanks to the folks who are over there with the teams and texting updates!

2:02 PM UPDATE: Three quarters now in the books and SLHS maintains a one-point lead over SCHS, 45-44.

2:24 PM UPDATE: Final score 61-53, Seattle Lutheran over Shorewood Christian. Saints get third place at state, Lions get fifth.

UPDATE: West Seattle HS girls finish #6 in state after losing final tournament game by just 1 point

March 7, 2015 at 8:00 am | In West Seattle news, WS & Sports | 11 Comments


(WSB photos by Patrick Sand)
SATURDAY NIGHT TOPLINE: The West Seattle High School girls left the Tacoma Dome this morning with the trophy for finishing #6 in state, after a 41-40 loss to Arlington. Below, we’ve added more photos and notes to our as-it-happened report from courtside:


(Video: WSHS pep band with pregame fight song)
8:00 AM: We are back at the Tacoma Dome one last time this morning as the West Seattle High School Wildcats cap off a great season with one last game, tipping off seconds ago to play Arlington for fourth place. We’ll post periodic updates as the game proceeds.

(WSHS’s Emily Fiso)
8:06 AM: After an Emily Fiso three-pointer, it’s 7-5, WSHS in the lead, midway through the first quarter.

8:13 AM: First quarter over – WSHS is leading 14-13.

8:21 AM: Almost midway through the second quarter, Arlington is ahead 18-14.

(WSHS’s Lani Taylor in the foreground, Lexi Ioane in the background)
8:32 AM: And it’s halftime, with WSHS leading 21-18. The bands and cheer squads perform briefly during the 10-minute halftimes; WSHS’s band is playing Adele’s “We Could Have Had It All,” while the Arlington cheer squad stands by on the court waiting for its turn. (2 minutes later) Halftime scoring sheets are in. Fiso accounts for 11 of WSHS’s 21 points, including three 3-pointers.

(WSHS’s Ioane, Charli Elliott, Lydia Giomi)
Rebounds are an even match – 16 for the Wildcats, 17 for the Eagles.

8:51 AM: 3 minutes left in the third quarter, and WSHS retains the lead, 25-21.

8:58 AM: This is it – last quarter of the last game of the season for WSHS, win or lose. They’re going into the fourth quarter ahead 26-24.

(WSHS’s Annalisa Ursino)
9:10 AM: Less than 3 minutes to go and it’s 38 Arlington, 33 West Seattle. The Eagles have been more prolific with the three-pointers.

(Head coach Sonya Elliott talks to her team during the final time out)
9:24 AM: All over. They got to within one – and time ran out.

(Instagram video of the last WSHS basket, scored by Giomi)
Final score, Arlington 41, West Seattle 40. They finish as #6 at state. WSHS band is playing the fight song as the girls leave the court.

9:31 AM: Final stats – Fiso top scorer for WSHS with 16, then Lydia Giomi with 12, Lexi Ioane with 8. Top in rebounds: Giomi 13, Charli Elliott 9.

EVENING POSTGAME NOTES: The Wildcats were the dominant rebounders for most of the game (41 total, six more than Arlington) but conversion was a challenge, making 26 percent of their field-goal attempts; they were cooler from the foul line today than during their Friday victory, 40 percent. The WSHS defense was ferocious and forced outside shots, but as seemed to be too often the case during the postseason, their opponents had more than one good outside shooter, and so they got around the blocked interior – Arlington and WSHS had almost-identical success rates on the threes, 37 percent for the Eagles and 36 percent for the Wildcats, but the difference was in the number of attempts – 24 by Arlington, 11 by West Seattle.

WHAT’S NEXT: The squad that went to state includes four seniors (Elliott, Fiso, Ursino, and Rachel Devore), so this was their swan song. Returnees Giomi, Ioane, Taylor, and healing-from-an-injury Gabby Sarver are juniors; Izzy Turk‘s a sophomore; Kathryn Anawalt, Rosa Grossi, and Rilcy Newsome are freshmen. Next season – which they will start as defending Metro League champions – is just nine months away.

Boys’ state tournament update: Seattle Lutheran, Shorewood Christian to play Saturday for third place after semifinal losses tonight

March 6, 2015 at 9:12 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle schools, WS & Sports | 2 Comments

9:12 PM: Final score’s just in from Spokane – Lummi Nation 66, Seattle Lutheran 47, in the boys’ 1B state basketball tournament. SLHS plays for 3rd place tomorrow at 1 pm; their opponent will be whoever comes up on the short end of the next game, which is Shorewood Christian (from just east of Arbor Heights) vs. Neah Bay. We’ll update when the score’s in on that; you can watch for live updates here.

10:35 PM: And the last game of the night is over – Shorewood Christian also losing its semifinal game, 67-44, to Neah Bay. So tomorrow, it’s Seattle Lutheran vs. Shorewood Christian for third place.

VIDEO: West Seattle High School girls win 2nd game @ state tournament; play again Saturday

March 6, 2015 at 10:58 am | In West Seattle news, West Seattle schools, WS & Sports | 7 Comments

12:20 PM TOPLINE: West Seattle High School wins, 54-45 over Prairie. The girls will play Arlington for state 4th place tomorrow morning, again here at the Tacoma Dome, 8 am. Here’s our Instagram clip of this game’s final seconds:

Top scorers: Emily Fiso 14, Charli Elliott 13, Lydia Giomi 12.

(WSB photos by Patrick Sand. Above, Elliott & Giomi; below, Fiso)

Below, here’s how it unfolded:


10:58 AM: We’re at the Tacoma Dome again this morning, and the West Seattle High School Wildcats have just started their second game in the state 3A girls-basketball championship tournament. After Thursday’s loss, they’re in the round contending for 4th place – this game against Prairie (from southwestern Washington) is a must-win. We’ll be updating as it goes.

11:04 AM UPDATE: Three minutes into the first quarter, it’s Prairie 7, WSHS 6. First Wildcat basket was a three-pointer by Emily Fiso.

11:12 AM UPDATE: End of the first quarter, Prairie 18, WSHS 13. It’s early, but WSHS looks a lot sharper today, though Prairie has a tough smothering defense as did Lynnwood yesterday. The Wildcats are doing better on the boards.

11:18 AM UPDATE: Thanks in large part to hot three-point shooting, Prairie maintains the lead, 21-15 with 4:42 left in the half.

11:27 AM UPDATE: Halftime. Prairie 23, WSHS 22 after an at-the-buzzer basket by the Falcons. (Added: Quick clip of the cheerleaders/band at halftime, via Instagram – go here.)

11:40 AM UPDATE: With 5:46 to go in the third quarter, suddenly WSHS is up 29-23 including two baskets by Elliott in the first few minutes (see tweeted photo above from the start of the second half).

11:49 AM UPDATE: WSHS still in the lead, 33-29, with three minutes left in the third quarter.

11:54 AM UPDATE: After three quarters, West Seattle is in the lead, 39-35.

12:02 PM UPDATE: WSHS still leading 43-41 with 4:21 to go in the game.

12:10 PM UPDATE: Under 2 minutes to go, and WSHS is ahead 49-43.

12:17 PM UPDATE: Final score – Wildcats win! 54-45

8:10 PM: Over the next hour or so, we’re adding photos, interspersed above, plus some additional game notes/photos below.

Lexi Ioane, above, pulled in 10 rebounds, second only to Giomi’s 14. The Wildcats dominated in rebounding, 61 total, with the Falcons mustering only 35. And their defense was back in the groove.

The main reason Prairie stayed in range until the fourth quarter was three-point shooting, 33 points in all from threes, more than double WSHS’s 15 points from outside (Fiso accounted for four of those five successful distance shots). WSHS, meantime, converted well from the free-throw line – 17 points to just 2 from the line for Prairie. A few more scenes from the game:

(Above, Lani Taylor; below, Annalisa Ursino)

Tomorrow, the team’s spectacular season ends, win or lose. We’ll be in Tacoma again to cover that final game.

UPDATE: Seattle Lutheran boys win 1st game at state, play Lummi Nation tomorrow

March 5, 2015 at 5:09 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle schools, WS & Sports | 3 Comments

Just in from Spokane – Seattle Lutheran won its 1B boys-basketball state quarterfinal game, 58-36 over Cusick. Their next game will be at 7:15 tomorrow versus the winner of tonight’s next game, Entiat vs. Lummi Nation.

10:35 PM UPDATE: Lummi won that game, so that’s who the Saints will play Friday night. The other semifinal includes Shorewood Christian, which is in the unincorporated area just east of Arbor Heights, so there’s a chance right now that the state 1B championship game could feature 2 teams from schools less than 10 miles apart.

PHOTOS: West Seattle High School girls lose 1st game in state tournament at Tacoma Dome; play again Friday morning

March 5, 2015 at 2:02 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle schools, WS & Sports | 2 Comments

(EVENING UPDATE: Photos added)

2:02 PM: The game has just begun, in the 3A girls’ basketball state-championship quarterfinals at the Tacoma DomeWest Seattle High School Wildcats vs. Lynnwood Royals. You can watch a live webcast on Sound Live Sports Network; we’ll also publish periodic updates.

(WSB photos by Patrick Sand, added Thursday evening)
2:07 PM: West Seattle got out to a 4-0 lead. Lynnwood has just scored its first basket at 5:22 to go in the first quarter, and the score is now West Seattle 4, Lynnwood 2.

2:12 PM: Lynnwood has gone on an eight-point tear and is ahead 10-4 with 3:23 to go in the first quarter.

2:20 PM: End of the first quarter – Lynnwood 14, West Seattle 6.

2:39 PM: At halftime, it’s Lynnwood 29, West Seattle 17. WSHS scoring leaders in the half were Charli Elliott (#10, above) with 6 and Izzy Turk (#3, below) with 5.

3:18 PM: Lynnwood is ahead 58-33 with 2:20 to go in the game.

3:26 PM: Game over – West Seattle loses to Lynnwood, 60-36.

WSHS is now in the consolation round, with another game tomorrow morning (added: 10:30 am Friday vs. Prairie). Full report with photos and more later.

ADDED 9:58 PM: We’ve added photos interspersed with the updates above, plus a few more with some observations below. The lopsided score doesn’t reflect aspects including how much of the game was a wrestling match – the Wildcats and Royals battled for the ball so many times (numerous jump balls, which is the only stat that the tourney’s comprehensive form didn’t seem to capture). Here are three instances we caught on camera:

That was both a testament to the Wildcats’ fighting spirit and to the tenacity of their opponents. While WSHS often dominates on rebounds, this was one time in which the other team seemed to be everywhere, including in just the right place to pull down the boards, outrebounding the Wildcats – but not by much – 37-32. Lynnwood also was defensively aggressive, requiring West Seattle to bulldoze through to have a chance at a shot, as #12 Annalisa Ursino was doing here:

Getting a clear route to a pass had its challenges at times, too:

Elliott ended the game as WSHS’s leading scorer, with 11. #32 Emily Fiso was next, with 8 points:

#30 Lexi Ioane was right behind with 7:

(Flanking Lexi in that photo are #3 Izzy Turk and #11 Lani Taylor.) #4 Lydia Giomi was held to 5 points but tied with Elliott on rebounds, 8 each:

Head coach Sonya Elliott and team are back on the court at 10:30 am in Tacoma, and we’ll be there too.

(Their opponent, the Prairie HS Falcons, are from Clark County in southwestern Washington.)

‘Let’s go, ladies!’ Pep-assembly sendoff as West Seattle High School girls head to state basketball tournament

March 5, 2015 at 11:20 am | In West Seattle news, West Seattle schools, WS & Sports | Comments Off

They’re on the road now, and in less than three hours, the Metro League champion West Seattle High School girls’ basketball team will be on the court at the Tacoma Dome, one of eight teams vying for the state 3A championship. They boarded their bus after a loud-and-proud pep-assembly sendoff in the school gym about an hour ago. Head coach Sonya Elliott recalled the excitement of the postseason win against two-time state champ Cleveland, and the thrill of someone remarking it was great to see students up on their feet raucously cheering a girls’ basketball game:

The coach declared they were off to “take care of business at the Tacoma Dome,” with an aside to her players: “Let’s go, ladies!” Emceeing the assembly, athletic director Trevor Leopold declared this to be a great day in WSHS history. The cheer squad offered a few cheering lessons, and the band preceded everything with the fight song:

And before the rally, WSHS principal Ruth Medsker showed off the commemorative T-shirt:

While she can’t play because of an injury that cut her season short, senior Gabby Sarver rolled into the rally, accompanied by teammates Emily Fiso and Lexi Ioane.

And senior Charli Elliott took the mike to say she is “so proud of her teammates,” recalling that they won just three games her first year – and now, here they are going to state:

We’ll be updating from Tacoma during the game, which also will be webcast live by the Sound Live Sports Network (which regularly webcasts Lynnwood games).

One more reminder: Even if you won’t be there to cheer for them today, you can give the girls an assist via a donation through the West Seattle Booster Club to help them cover the costs of going to the tournament – because of the game scheduling, they have to stay overnight in Tacoma, and that means hotel and food costs, among other things – here’s where to donate (be sure to specify that it’s for “girls’ basketball”). They thank everyone who’s given so far!

VIDEO: Seattle Lutheran sendoff as boys’ basketball team heads to state tournament

March 4, 2015 at 7:13 pm | In West Seattle news, WS & Sports | 2 Comments

As the school day came to an end at Seattle Lutheran, students gathered in the gym to wish the boys’ basketball team good luck at the state tournament, which starts tomorrow in Spokane.

Then it was time for team pictures out in the sunshine:

The commemorative T-shirts list the team members, and head coach Brett Kapels:

The Saints open the 1B tournament playing Cusick at 3:45 tomorrow afternoon; more info here. They advanced to the state’s final 8 with a regional win over Yakama Nation last Saturday in Bellevue (WSB coverage here).

P.S. As you probably know, the West Seattle High School girls are playing in the state tournament too; their first game is 2 pm tomorrow in Tacoma, and WSHS plans a pep assembly in the morning before they leave.

Wheelchair basketball championships this weekend in West Seattle: Spectators and volunteers invited!

March 3, 2015 at 9:47 pm | In West Seattle news, WS & Sports | 3 Comments

More championship basketball in West Seattle! This weekend, Seattle Adaptive Sports is hosting the West Coast Conference Championships of the National Wheelchair Basketball Association at the WSHS gym, with players in the junior/preps classification, high-school age and younger. Organizers are inviting spectators – no admission fee – and also seeking volunteers to help with scorekeeping, time-clock, possession-arrow duties, and preparing/serving lunch. You can sign up via this link on VolunteerSpot (which, we’re told, does not require you to set up an account). The games run 9 am-4 pm Saturday and 9 am-2 pm Sunday, as noted on the official flyer, which you can see here if the embedded version above isn’t showing up for you.

UPDATE: West Seattle HS girls’ basketball to state after big regional win over Sumner; first opponent, Lynnwood

February 28, 2015 at 9:25 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle schools, WS & Sports | 6 Comments

(UPDATED SUNDAY AFTERNOON with WSHS’s first state opponent)

(Instagram video of a moment from the game, basket by Emily Fiso, one of four Wildcats who scored in double digits)
9:25 PM: We’re at Renton High School, where a big win by the West Seattle High School girls’ basketball team means they’re heading to the state tournament next weekend in Tacoma. They beat Sumner in a win-or-go-home game, 56-18. Photos and details to come.

ADDED EARLY SUNDAY: The victory’s afterglow lasted a good long while. Walking back to the parking lot from the gym, we passed the WSHS bus, with its windows open and the cheerleaders on board, heard chanting, “WE’RE GOING TO THE DOME! WE’RE GOING TO THE DOME!”

That’s the Tacoma Dome, of course, where the state tournament starts Thursday. We’ll find out today (Sunday) when and who the Wildcats will play.

But first – the story of their resounding comeback after two defeats. The 38 points by which they topped Sumner represented the largest victory margin of any game in this weekend’s 3A girls’ regionals. Perhaps the ensuing eight days of rest were exactly what they needed. Or maybe it was just time to think. A season in which they had risen to #2 in the state and beaten last year’s state champs for the Metro League title was too good to end just yet.

While the Renton HS gym was intended to be a “neutral” site for the game, Sumner was the designated “home team” and its big, booming band added to that feeling. (The school’s marching band performed in West Seattle twice last summer – in the Grand Parade and the Band Jam.) The pregame songs included Macklemore‘s anthemic “Can’t Hold Us.”

But it was the WSHS girls who could have been singing that line.

While the Spartans scored first, the Wildcats answered fast, with Emily Fiso striking first. West Seattle dominated the boards from the start and made their own second (and third) chances over and over and over again. Even in the late going, with a big lead, they refused to relinquish the ball without a fight. Scenes like these abounded:

Head coach Sonya Elliott talks a lot about her players’ teamwork, and tonight they really showed it. Not just in the scoring, with four in double digits – Lexi Ioane with 13:

Lydia Giomi with 12:

Annalisa Ursino with 10:

And Emily Fiso with 10:

… but also in the clutch moments. Charli Elliott showed her knack for tearing the ball away from the opponents – or swatting in a save when the Wildcats were in danger of losing possession:

In her moments off the bench, Lani Taylor was tenacious:

By two minutes into the second quarter, the West Seattle lead was up to double digits. And that’s when they started to pull away. On one series, Fiso missed an outside shot but managed an inside basket that widened the lead to 18 points with a little over two minutes left in the first half.

Yet no one was taking anything for granted. The West Seattle fans were bemoaning the misses and holding their breath for the near-baskets as halftime approached. A sharp series of passes led to a basket for Taylor with a minute to halftime, and the score was 29-8. After a Sumner basket, a solo drive by Giomi had the fans chanting MVP! MVP! in a nod to her Metro League honors. And at 31-10, halftime arrived.

While the injury absence of Sumner star Jamie Lange had to be noted, that could not entirely explain the third quarter, in which the Spartans failed to score a single point. West Seattle just kept building on its lead, clearly taking nothing for granted. They built a 30-point lead by just under 2 minutes to go in the third quarter – which ended with WSHS ahead 46-10.

Sumner’s first points of the second half came at 6:47 to go in the game. By that point, coach Elliott was resting her starters, at least for a few minutes.

No matter who was on the court, the Wildcats remained in charge, drawing fouls as Sumner tried again to spark a comeback; what resulted instead were foul shots. Izzy Turk was at the line to bring West Seattle to a 40-point lead, 55-15. With 1:46 to go, more WSHS reserves came in to get a bit of playing time. By then, with a lead that big, even standing at the foul line with unlimited shots couldn’t close the gap, so the clock ran out and the Wildcats were able to bask in the realization that they’re state-tournament-bound.

We’ll publish an update when the first state game is set.

ADDED 3:47 PM SUNDAY: Lynnwood will be the Wildcats’ first state opponent, 2 pm Thursday in Tacoma.

UPDATE: Seattle Lutheran HS boys’ basketball team advances to state, will play Cusick first

February 28, 2015 at 3:21 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle schools, WS & Sports | 4 Comments

(SCROLL DOWN FOR SUNDAY UPDATE: SeaLu’s first state opponent has been drawn)

(Our Instagram clip is from the final seconds of the game – photos a bit later)
We’re at Bellevue College, where the Seattle Lutheran High School boys’ basketball team has just secured a spot in the state tournament, defeating Yakama Nation Tribal School 52-49 in a regional playoff game at Bellevue College. More to come.

ADDED 7:24 PM: This was a close game most of the way, but Yakama was as much as 10 points ahead a few times, before the Saints finally clawed back ahead toward the end.

The first quarter was low-scoring, ending with the Eagles ahead by one, 10-9. Their crisp passing was a strong suit, as was rebounding, until they faltered in the final quarter.

Along the way, the Saints’ winning ways were the result of a team effort – no single player dominated, though Roberto Duenaz (below) finished as the top scorer with 19, including a trio of 3-point shots.

Xavier Turner (1st photo below) and Josh Meyer (2nd photo below) – recipient of the sportsmanship award given to one member of each team postgame – had 11 each.

A run-and-gun series of tradeoffs saw Yakama threaten to pull away by the middle of the second quarter, leading 19-9 until Lutheran started a comeback, including two foul shots representing Duenaz’s first two points of the game, and a resurgence in rebounding. By halftime, they were behind by just four, 25-21.

In the third quarter, it wasn’t yet clear that the Saints would be able to regain the lead. After they cut the Eagles’ advantage to two, they fell behind by 9. Another of Duenaz’s threes kept that margin from growing. His next one provided a few seconds of drama, swirling the rim what seemed like half a dozen times before finally dropping through the net.

Two successful foul shots by Turner brought SLHS to within three with a little over 3 minutes to go in the third quarter, and that’s where the tide really started to turn. Meyer was often there when the Eagles missed a shot, and the Saints would head back to their side for another chance. They were down by just one, 38-37, at the end of the third, and a foul shot by Ryan Okabayashi tied it up just seconds into the fourth. SeaLu went up by two shortly thereafter, 40-38. A three-pointer from Yakama gave them the one-point edge, and a short bout of see-sawing ensued.

The Saints’ defense got even more aggressive.

The Eagles seemed to lose their confidence a bit as Lutheran kept it close. Their last lead was with three and a half minutes left in the game, when a three-pointer by Joseph Sanchey put them up 46-44. DEFENSE! hollered the Saints’ fans, and they obliged, with a three by Garrett Ball putting them up by one, 47-46.

With the final moments still in cliffhanger status, both sides called multiple timeouts to strategize.

The lead seesawed again – Yakama had it one last time at 49-48, with Duenaz then scoring four points – a basket and two foul shots – for the final score, 52-49. The jubilant Saints now look ahead to the state tournament in Spokane, with their first game next Thursday (opponent TBA).

12:05 PM SUNDAY UPDATE: Just drawn – SeaLu’s first state opponent will be Cusick, 3:45 pm Thursday at Spokane Veterans Memorial Arena. The Cusick district is 50 miles north of Spokane and serves the Kalispel Tribe as well as the towns of Cusick and Usk.

Good luck, Dolphins! YMCA swimmers start regional competition tonight

February 27, 2015 at 5:41 pm | In West Seattle news, WS & Sports | 3 Comments

The West Seattle YMCA (WSB sponsor) Dolphins Swim Team has 20 swimmers, ranging in age from 6 to 18, in the 2015 Pacific Region North YMCA Swimming Championships in Boise. They’ll be swimming in the 2-1/2 day competition starting tonight, competing against 29 teams from throughout the Pacific Northwest. Thanks to Carl Baber for sharing the photo and info, including:

The West Seattle Y Team offers open enrollment, swim instruction, and competition throughout the year (except for August). Swimmers are assigned to one of six groups based on ability. Each group is designed to assist swimmers to improve swimming skills, learn the values of sportsmanship and cooperation as a team member, experience competition, make friends, and have fun. These 20 swimmers have successfully achieved qualifying times and are now striving for personal bests and medals, so good luck to all of our Y Dolphin swimmers!

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