Centralia kept it close for three and a half quarters but W.F. West finally put the game away with a big run that spanned the end of the third and the entire fourth quarter for a 72-50 victory in Swamp Cup action Wednesday in Chehalis.
The Tigers trailed by just one at the half off Brandon Yeung’s 11 first-half points and were down by four with two minutes left in the third before W.F. West snatched momentum and ran away with the game.
“We were really flat,” W.F. West coach Chris White said. “I compliment (Centralia). Their effort was really good and they came to play. We were just kind of in a daze. Tried to fire them up at the half to try and make guys play harder.”
It finally sunk in as the Bearcats caught fire offensively to lead 54-41 heading into the fourth, then used tough defense the rest of the way to keep Centralia at bay.
“It was cool,” White said. “They answered the call.”
One of those sparkplugs was freshman Braden Jones, who came off the bench for his first crucial varsity minutes, and played lockdown on-ball defense.
“He did a really nice job,” White said. “Heck, he almost had a 10-second backcourt. We were just looking for little victories because we were not being ourselves. It was nice to break out of that and wake up.”
Junior Dirk Plakinger led the Bearcats with 17 points, while point guard Gabe Cuestas added 13, Carter McCoy had 12, Soren Dalan 10, Whalen Deskins eight and Camryn Bostwick seven.
W.F. West (8-3, 4-1 league) hosts Black Hills (4-1 league) on Friday. A win over the Wolves would secure the league title.
Centralia (3-7) is off until the district tournament next week.
Tumwater seniors Camden Oram and Jack Jones combined for 38 points as Tumwater held off Black Hills, 67-62, at home Wednesday in 2A EvCo action.
The win moves the Thunderbirds (9-3, 4-1 league) into a three-way tie for first place with W.F West and Black Hills. The Bearcats and Wolves play on Friday for the league crown.
Oram led the T-Bird with 24 points and eight boards, while Jack Jones added 14 and Luke Brewer and Ryan Otten each had 11.
Tumwater travels to Rochester for its regular-season finale on Friday.