Bearcats outlast Panthers in thrilling semifinal

Washougal needs two more wins to get to state

The Bearcats and Panthers fought tooth and nail for 32 minutes of basketball.

After both teams battled to a 40-40 tie through three quarters, a 30-point fourth period propelled W.F. West to a 70-57 victory against Washougal in the semifinal round of the 2A Southwest District 4 tournament Feb. 13, at Centralia High School.

“It was a good game,” said Washougal head coach Brian Oberg. “We were right there. Had some really good looks. The shots just didn’t fall.”

Beyonce Bea led the Panthers with 24 points, 10 rebounds and four blocks. Mason Oberg added 17 points and six assists. Lindsey Thomas had nine points and four assist. Toryi Midland collected nine rebounds, four points, three blocks and three assists.

Washougal defeated Tumwater 59-45 in the first round of the tournament Feb. 10, in Washougal.

The Panthers jumped out to a 15-0 lead at the start of the game.

“We had a couple days to prepare and did some live scrimmages,” said coach Oberg. “That first quarter looked exactly like our practices have the last few nights.”

Mason Oberg scored 33 points on seven 3-pointers, six of them coming in the first half.

“Everyone had a really good game,” she said. “We shared the ball. Our defense was outstanding with all the steals. It was really great just to see everyone come together and win.”

Once Tumwater started focusing on her, Oberg found Bea, Thomas, Kaitlyn Reijonen, Maggie Hungerford and Tianna Barnett open for points.

“She got her head up and tried to involve everybody, and then her shot’s falling on top of it,” said coach Oberg. “On the defensive end, everybody kept their focus and was doing their job. They were rotating well. That was our game plan, to force them to turn the ball over as much as we could.”

The Panthers hung with the No. 2 ranked team in the state for three quarters in the semifinals, before W.F. West got away with their tickets to state.

Washougal must beat Columbia River Wednesday and Mark Morris or Woodland Saturday to get to the state tournament. If the Panthers lose Wednesday or Saturday, their season is over.