Bea, Washougal kick off the season with a big win

By Andy Buhler

Columbian staff writer

Beyonce Bea started the season with a bang. And she only needed three quarters to do so.

The reigning 2A Greater St. Helens League MVP poured in 25 points, 20 in the first half, along with nine steals and eight boards — a near triple-double — to lead Washougal to a 75-33 opening night win over Evergreen in a nonleague game at Washougal on Monday.

Washougal got out to a hot start, leading by more than 20 points during stretches of the first half. But a late second quarter run by the Plainsmen cut the Panthers’ lead to 16 at half.

First-year Washougal head coach Britney Knotts said the team came out nervous, compounded by Evergreen’s early energy.

But once the Panthers got settled, they executed a suffocating full-court trap and Bea added to her point total as Washougal began to pull away.

“Today went really well,” Bea said. “It kind of shows what we can do, and gives us confidence to start the season.”

Washougal’s offense runs through Bea, a dynamic 6-foot-2 forward. But shutting her down, the Panthers hope, will only open up other key contributors.

“If a team can shut her down, I have other players who can step up, but I expect that from her every game,” Knotts said.

Freshman Skylar Bea, Beyonce’s younger sister, came off the bench and scored four quick points in her debut as a Panther. She finished with 10 points.