BASKETBALL: West Seattle High School girls are in the state semifinals!

(WSB video: Fourth-quarter basket by tonight’s top WSHS scorer, #11 Jasmine Gayles)
FIRST REPORT, 8:38 PM: The West Seattle High School girls just won their first game in this year’s state 3A basketball-championship tournament at the Tacoma Dome – 46 to 40 over Seattle Prep – and that means they play in the semifinals here Friday night at 9 pm, vs. the winner of the Bethel-Gig Harbor game that starts here shortly. Photos, more video, and details after we get back to HQ.

THE REST OF THE STORY, 11:59 PM: Gig Harbor won, so that’s who West Seattle will face on Friday night. But before we consider that further – here’s how tonight’s Wildcats win unfolded. One thing about them – they aren’t a team built around one standout; they have three stars shining amid a galaxy of talented teammates. On any given night this year, it’s been #11 Jasmine Gayles, #32 Meghan Fiso, and/or #20 Grace Sarver piling on the points and/or pulling down the rebounds. Tonight, Gayles was atop the stats.

But that was after Fiso scored West Seattle’s first 8 points, two of them on 3-pointers, including this one:

Gayles contributed the next six, and WSHS was out to a 14-6 lead at the end of the first quarter. The Wildcats had beaten the Panthers in both their previous two meetings of the season, and they didn’t seem terribly bothered by them now.

Foul shots by #4 Kelsey Lenzie padded that lead out to 10 points as the second quarter began. But then, the Prep players gained their footing, and cut the West Seattle lead to two points by mid-quarter. A few minutes later, they regained the lead, 19-18, though Sarver took it away with a three at 1:20 left in the half, after #34 Anissa Babitu pulled a steal.

The problem at that point was that they were being outrebounded. Prep managed to add three points before the buzzer sounded for halftime, and the Panthers held a 22-21 edge.

The Wildcats reclaimed the lead in the first minute of the second half, thanks to a Fiso field goal. The teams traded the lead for a few minutes, and then this Gayles basket put West Seattle ahead for good:

Last West Seattle scoring of the third quarter was a basket by #21 Julianna Horne, extending the lead to 36-28.

A Prep three-pointer made a dent in that – but that still sent the Wildcats into the final quarter with a 36-31 advantage, and they seemed clearly in control. #5 Rilcy Newsome was in the game with two minutes to go and kept the momentum high, including a basket and some key rebounds:

Things got momentarily nerve-wracking when Prep got within four points at just under a minute to go – which in basketball can be an eternity. They of course had no choice but to gamble on fouls to try for possession, and the gamble cost them two more points from WSHS foul shots … and that’s where the game ended, West Seattle 46, Seattle Prep 40, smiles all around, including head coach Darnell Taylor:

If you’re interested in cheering them on at the Tacoma Dome at 9 pm Friday, ticket info is on the right side of the brackets page.

P.S. This is the second year in a row that WSHS has had a team in the semifinals – last year, the West Seattle boys took third place at state.

2 Replies to "BASKETBALL: West Seattle High School girls are in the state semifinals!"

  • jkpatman March 1, 2018 (8:43 pm)

    qori! rairai vinaka, girls :)

    the cookies are baked and ready.

    hasta mañana!

  • MJ March 2, 2018 (12:28 pm)

    And hopefully will be cutting the nets down in a couple of games

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