State Girls Basketball: Turnovers doom W.F. West in 2A quarterfinal setback


YAKIMA – It has turned into a yearly occurrence.

Two high school programs that are on the path of collision once the Class 2A state tournament makes the trek to the Yakima Valley SunDome – W.F. West and Prosser – put together performances that rarely are clunkers.

The final result has routinely stayed the same.

Fueled by forcing 26 turnovers and wreaking havoc in critical moments, the fourth-seeded Mustangs clipped the third-seeded Bearcats 57-41 in a quarterfinal matchup on Thursday morning.

“Any loss is going to be frustrating for us,” senior Carlie Deskins said. “Just the pressure they put on us, it can sometimes (be difficult).”

For the third straight day, W.F. West (21-5) will play bright and early when it faces White River in a consolation elimination game. The winner of that will guarantee a top-six placement in the field.

Even after falling short of their ultimate goal, the Bearcats’ atmosphere in the locker room afterwards was focused on earning the next best thing.

“We’re tough,” head coach Kyle Kornofski said. “At no point is anybody going to back down.”

Still, there were more than a handful of chances for the District 4 champions to overcome a slim halftime deficit.

W.F. West cut the margin to two points, 28-26, early in the third quarter. After Prosser ballooned the lead back to eight, Joy Cushman buried a corner 3-pointer to make it 36-33 with under two minutes left in the quarter.

“That was a big one,” Kornofski said. “I can’t fault our effort; they played their butts off.”

The Mustangs scored the last four of the stanza, then drained back-to-back 3-pointers within the first minute of the fourth quarter to make it a 13-point cushion. The Bearcats never got within single digits the remainder of the way.

Of Prosser’s seven made trifectas, three came in the first 2 minutes, 15 seconds of the final frame.

“That was the more frustrating part for me,” Deskins said. “We had three empty possessions and that killed us. We can’t have that.”

There was no out-pouring of emotions once the final buzzer sounded. The looks on the players and coaches of W.F. West were of disappointment.

It is promised at least one more game, with the chance for two and staying in Yakima until Saturday. Julia Dalan, fresh off her 30-20 game, notched another double-double with 20 points and 12 rebounds.

Dilyn Boeck chipped in 10 points and Deskins snared eight rebounds.

“We can’t dwell on it,” Deskins said. “Watch the game, take notes, move on and play our best game (against White River)."

The start couldn’t have been scripted better for the Bearcats.

They were able to set up in their zone defense and jump out to a 7-0 lead. They minimized Prosser’s guards to run and stymied them down low.

“Loved it,” Kornofski said of the start.

A 9-0 spree unlocked the Mustangs, then some controversy happened in the last 30 seconds of the opening quarter.

The scoreboard read 13-11 in favor of Prosser and the game operations staff wanted to pause the game to figure out the correct score. W.F. West guard Dilyn Boeck was fouled beforehand and the officials let her shoot her two free throws. Boeck made both of them.

The delay went on for several minutes, eventually leading to a meeting between both head coaches, three officials and two members of the WIAA.

When it was all said and done, the score read Prosser 15, W.F. West 10. The Bearcats’ crowd was far from happy.

“They were adamant it was 10, W.F. West was adamant it was 11,” Kornofski said. “The conclusion came that it was 10. That’s the end of that.”

“We have to control the controllables,” Deskins added.

The Mustangs’ notch on their full-court press that featured traps was turned up in the second quarter, helping them build a three-possession lead. They never trailed from the end of the first stanza on.

W.F. West had just six assists to its 26 turnovers. It shot the ball 24 times less than Prosser despite winning the rebounding battle 36-28. Yet on the offensive glass, the Mustangs had 16 boards for nine second-chance points.

“That’s something we talked about in the locker room, we just needed to get in there more,” Deskins said. “There were a lot of stretches where they got a ton of rebounds, we got a ton of rebounds, but they had more of those stretches.”