W.F. West settles in, tops Hudson’s Bay in district quarterfinal


In many playoff games, regardless of the sport, the first phase of the game serves as a feeling-out process.

That was true in Chehalis on Saturday, where W.F. West and Hudson’s Bay exchanged possession in the middle third without generating any scoring chances.

About 20 minutes in, the Bearcats started to be more aggressive offensively, and they even put a few shots on target before the halftime whistle.

“That first 15 was about getting our feet underneath us,” W.F. West coach Allen Anderson said. “Forgetting about the nerves and that we have a job at hand to take care of.”

That aggression carried over into the second half, where a pair of goals lifted the Bearcats to a 2-0 win, one that puts them in the district semifinal and one win away from the state tournament.

“It was a lot of fun,” senior Jeremy Thompson said. “We were a bit nervous, but we locked in.”

Anderson and Thompson admitted that there were naturally some nerves leading up to the game, which was a factor in the early stages of the game.

Anderson was confident that the boys would find their footing, though, noting that though they were coming off a loss, they had also just strung together “three best days of practice they’ve had all season.”

Moises Sanchez-Hernandez recorded the first shot on goal in the 25th minute, and from there on out, it was all Bearcats.

The breakthrough came in the 50th minute. Israel Lopez Cruz was racing a defender to a loose ball in the box, and he was shoved down from the side.

The referee awarded a penalty kick, which Gage Grisham promptly hit in off the left post to open the scoring.

“Definitely cut it close, but it went in,” Grisham said. “Putting confidence in myself was the biggest part. If you don’t think you’re gonna make it, you’re probably not gonna make it.”

Thompson scored the second W.F. West goal, beating a defender down the left side and slotting it past the keeper to double the Bearcat advantage with less than 10 minutes remaining.

It took Thompson’s teammates a few extra seconds to catch up to him to celebrate, as he sprinted towards the W.F. West bench on the other side of the field.

“I was just excited,” Thompson said with a smile. “I just kept running.”

Those two goals were more than enough for the Bearcats, who didn’t allow much pressure in their defensive half throughout the entirety of the game.

It’s the eighth time that the Bearcats have shut out their opponent this season, tying a school record.

“I’m really pleased with our defense,” Anderson said. “It’s just another thing that this team has been able to accomplish this year.”

W.F. West is now just one win away from another accomplishment, as a win in the district semifinal would put them in the state tournament for the second time in the last three seasons. The Bearcats will host or R.A. Long on Tuesday.

“It will be nice not to have to travel,” Anderson said. “I think they’re locked in and motivated. I’m excited to see what they can bring.”