BASKETBALL: West Seattle High School girls take third place at state tournament

(WSB photo: With the trophy, right after the game)

FIRST REPORT, 2:28 PM: The West Seattle High School girls’ basketball season has just ended with a triumph – they’re coming home with the trophy for third place in the state 3A championship tournament, after a 64-58 win over Stanwood at the Tacoma Dome. What a season it was – they won every regular-season game aside from three at an out-of-state holiday tournament, and they won the SeaKing district title for the second consecutive year. Photos and details of today’s game after we get back to HQ.

THE REST OF THE STORY, 7:06 PM: The Wildcats had made it into the final four at state for the first time, and they were clearly determined to stay there. When they took to the court at the Tacoma Dome this afternoon against the Stanwood Spartans, it was for third place vs. fifth place. So defeat was not an option.

The victory was a combination of various factors – not the least of which was a tour de force by #11 Jasmine Gayles, who led all players with 33 points, triple what she had done sixteen hours earlier in their loss to Gig Harbor.

Speaking of triple, that was another factor – seven 3-pointers for West Seattle today, compared to just two on Friday night. #4 Kelsey Lenzie again had two, plus Gayles had three in her pile of points, #21 Julianna Horne had one, and #22 Jayla Wilson contributed one as well.

Wilson was one of the reserves who got significant playing time in today’s game – not in the classic “put in the backups toward the end” move, but instead, head coach Darnell Taylor had an almost-all-reserve squad on the court toward the end of the first quarter. #23 Braeden Swanson snagged two steals during her 7 minutes on the court:

So let’s get to the rest of how it unfolded:

Stanwood was first on the scoreboard; the Wildcats tied it quickly with Gayles’ first field goal, which she followed with her first 3-pointer two minutes later.

The Spartans were not an easy opponent. They outrebounded West Seattle in the early going, and while the Wildcats held a lead for much of the first quarter, Stanwood went on a run and pulled ahead 14-12 by the end of the 1st quarter.

By two minutes into the second quarter, most of the starters were back on the floor. Gayles tied things up with a basket seconds later; Stanwood answered with a three; then a basket by #20 Grace Sarver (5 points today) cut the Spartans’ lead to one.

But Stanwood was controlling the game for a while at that point, and pulled out to an 8-point lead with 2:08 until halftime. Horne trimmed it with a three.

And this is where Wilson got her three:

And by halftime, the Wildcats were only one point back, 31-30.

They emerged into the second half in roaring style, scoring first and reclaiming the lead with a basket by #32 Meghan Fiso (second-leading WSHS scorer with 12 and top rebounder with 7), who followed it up with another one shortly thereafter.

She and her teammates shot well in the second half, with 52 percent accuracy, after a chillier 35 percent in the first half. They held the lead for the rest of the quarter and then some, fighting harder to keep possession when it was in jeopardy – one sequence at 2:52 to go in the third was especially memorable, with WSHS hanging on despite players taking a fall and frantically rolling the ball toward teammates. The quarter ended with WSHS ahead by five, 49-44.

Stanwood got a fast basket at the start of the quarter; Wilson responded with one of her own. Then a Stanwood three; then a Lenzie three, and at 5:35 the Wildcats were still up five points, 54-49. But then things got a little dicey, and the Spartans briefly took the lead, 55-54. Then Gayles continued her heroics, with the next three West Seattle baskets all hers, and Westside never looked back, up six points, 64-58, when time ran out. Here’s how the game ended:

After that, the trophy ceremony, and photo-op time:

None of the West Seattle starters are seniors – so head coach Taylor and assistant coaches Karyn Golgart and Tommy Wiltzen have a promising 2018-2019 season to anticipate.

–Tracy Record (words) and Patrick Sand (pictures), WSB co-publishers

7 Replies to "BASKETBALL: West Seattle High School girls take third place at state tournament"

  • jkpatman March 3, 2018 (2:35 pm)

    !estoy tan orgullosa de que hayan ganado el tercer lugar del estado!  ¡ uds. deben estar muy orgullosas también!

    que descansen ahorita después de todo.

  • MJ March 3, 2018 (5:11 pm)

    3rd in State is a darn good season, congratulation

  • Ms.Dahms March 3, 2018 (6:08 pm)

    So happy for these hardworking young women! 

  • Mike March 3, 2018 (7:23 pm)

    Nice work and Congratulations!

  • Gramma Pam March 3, 2018 (7:56 pm)

    Congratulations team great win today it was awesome! So proud.

    Thanks so much to the blog team for all your incredible  coverage of all these games ❤️🏀

  • AJP March 4, 2018 (2:54 pm)

    Wow, that is amazing. And thanks WSB for so thoroughly covering girls sports! 

  • BJG March 4, 2018 (5:14 pm)

    So proud of these young women! Looking forward to another exciting season.  Go West Seattle High!

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