One year ago, the West Seattle High School girls-basketball team’s district-championship season began with a game against Bothell HS, as this season just did. Last year, Bothell took the win, but not this time. In Wednesday night’s game, the Wildcats were dominant right from the tipoff, scoring 17 unanswered points in the first four and a half minutes before the Cougars finally got on the boards with a basket. WSHS looked as good as they had, maybe better than, last season, with their starting stars back, including #11 Jasmine Gayles:
Gayles had the first four points of the night, on her way to the second-leading scoring total, 15, as well as numerous assists. Top scoring honors belonged to #20 Grace Sarver (top photo), with 18. #4 Kelsey Lenzie was in double digits too, at 11. And #10 Jenna McPhee had 8.
… as did #32 Meghan Fiso:
Smothering defense and aggressive pursuit of the ball – both via rebounds and forced turnovers – marked the West Seattle play, too, even once they’d built a big lead. The gap did allow reserves to get significant time, including #34 Anissa Babitu:
At the end of the first quarter, WSHS was already up 23-4; at halftime, it was 35-11.
The second half opened in showy style – starting with Lenzie sinking a three-pointer on an assist from Gayles; a few seconds later, Sarver netted two, soon followed by a Gayles basket, and a three for McPhee on a Sarver assist, all of this happening in the half’s first minute and a half. The Wildcats’ lead soon opened to forty points and then some. Everybody had a share of it; midway through the final quarter, Babitu had a three-pointer, and a few baskets later, the buzzer sounded with WSHS getting the 69-20 win. They’re home again Friday night, vs. Nathan Hale at 7 pm.
COACHING NOTE: The Wildcats were coached tonight by JV coach Mike Gutierrez, whose reminders about rebounding and other exhortations carried across the court:
He filled in for third-year head coach Darnell Taylor, who is suspended for the first two games of the year because of a rule violation toward the end of last year – one WSHS caught and reported itself – it played one game more than permitted, as explained in this Seattle Times report from last May.