The 2A No. 3 W.F. West girls basketball team fit a marquee non-league game into its 2A EvCo run, and with familiar faces in the house in Chehalis, the Bearcats ground out a tough 56-51 win over Montesano to stretch its current winning streak to six games.
“I was really proud of our girls, that was a really tough two-week stretch,” WFW coach Kyle Karnofski said.
The Bulldogs, ranked No. 3 in the 1A ranks, came in with three wins over 2A teams already, and brought two of Julia Dalan’s cousins to the party, in 5-foot, 11-inch freshman Evanjillie Dalan and 6-foot, 1-inch senior — and Minnesota commit — McKynnlie Dalan.
“You play people you know all the time, it's awesome to see and play them,” Karnofski said. “They’re going to go about their business and we need to go about ours. We had to collectively know that they’re going to do the same thing. You have to have that mindset that it's business. It was straight business, it was cool to see all three go at each other. “
Facing a Montesano defense that hadn’t allowed an opponent to hit 30 points in 2023, W.F. West came out firing, with 20 points in the first quarter. By halftime, the Bearcats led 30-18, though the Bulldogs got a bit closer on a buzzerbeater at the end of the second quarter.
That one shot sparked the guests into the locker room, and with Julia Dalan getting into foul trouble in the third quarter, the Bulldogs went on a run, hitting another buzzer beater to end the period down just seven.
“Those were two huge swings, but we came back and were calm and talked about playing our game and the tempo we need to,” Karnofksi said. “We weathered those storms.”
The Bearcats would see the lead slip to as few as four late in the fourth, but held on at the line for the win. Julia Dalan led the way for W.F. West with 21 points — just shy of cousin McKynnlie, who led all scorers with 23 for Montesano — despite having to miss time in foul trouble. Julia also finished with nine rebounds and seven blocks.
Lena Fragner added 13 points, the majority of which came to ice the game in the fourth quarter. Morgan Rogerson scored 10, and helped pitch in on defense down low on Montesano’s posts. Giving up a lot of size inside, Rogerson battled for seven boards and seven assists from the other forward spot.
“Morgan played awesome,” Karnofski said. “To go in there with a couple of the Dalans, she was really tough tonight. I was really proud of her.”
Grace Simpson and Amanda Bennett rounded out the scoring with six points apiece.
W.F. West will get back to the 2A EvCo slate next Wednesday, going to Shelton.