West Seattle girls fight hard in knuckle biter
By Gerardo Bolong
KENT - On a day of basketball honoring Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., the Metro 3A West Seattle girls basketball team battled to the bitter end in a 56-53 loss to NPSL 4A Enumclaw at the King Showcase presented by Icelandic Glacial on Mon, Jan. 20.
Trailing by 50-29 with nearly six minutes of elapsed time in the third quarter, the young Wildcats traveled all the way back to tie the score at 53-53 on a Julianna Horne baseline driving lay up with 1:26 remaining in the fourth quarter at the accesso ShoWare Center.
Both teams worked their way through missed shots and turnovers until Sydney Brazier received the ball inside for a Hornet basket as 24 seconds remained.
Enumclaw then stole the back court in bounds pass with Jesslyn Huizenga notching a game ending free throw.
Almost at a loss to explain how this comeback was instigated, Westsider head coach Darnell Taylor said, "You never know what you're going to get. This team is young. Mostly freshmen and sophomores. In the last few games, we've turned the corner a little. Different girls have stepped up. We need to establish depth. They just kept battling. They're a bunch of really good girls. They try hard and are very coachable."
Enumclaw seized the first quarter impetus with close in baskets to lead 12-1.
Persistence by Kaydinse Piersol, Lauren Wright, and Julianna Horne narrowed the deficit to 18-12 by the end of the quarter.
The Hornets lengthened their lead to 25-15 as the Wildcats had problems just making shots.
Four Piersol free throws sandwiched around a pair of Horne charity tosses brought WS within 25-21 midway through the second quarter.
It was time for Enumclaw to buzz away, again, on seven consecutive points to enlarge its margin to 32-21, but consecutive baskets by Horne and Ashley Young closed the gap for West Seattle ahead of an Enumclaw basket that created a halftime score of 34-25.
Still within single digits at 38-29, the Westsiders saw their fortunes go South in the face of an Enumclaw 12-point break out hastened in part by poor West Seattle shooting from the field in the third quarter.
With a possibly daunting 50-29 deficit, the Wildcats suddenly turned into aggressive hunters, chasing down loose balls exuberantly and keeping the Hornets at a standstill.
Young's driving lay up to end the quarter had WS back within striking range at 50-39 entering the fourth quarter.
Ren Olson torched a three-point goal to get the Hornets back to a 12-point difference, 53-41 with 5:27 remaining.
West Seattle initiated its final, furious rally on a Horne basket.
Horne, Piersol, and Wright commandeered eight consecutive Wildcat points that could have been more with good free throw shooting.
Piersol's rebound basket made the score 53-51. Brooke Swanson made a steal for WS to give the Westsiders possession for Horne's equalizing basket and the final moments played out the favor of Enumclaw.
After four years of state and district competition, West Seattle is starting the learning cycle again.
One holdover from last season's sixth place state team explained her new role as a leader and mentor.
"Last season I focused on being a finisher," said junior player Horne who closed with 10 points. "Now, I have to step up and get the ball to everyone when we're playing. In the first half, today we started in a 'man' defense and switched to zone in the second half."
Hardworking sophomore Piersol saw the comeback as a point of expression.
"We communicated more and got more into it," she said. "During the first half, we rushed shots."
Piersol was an anomaly for West Seattle by shooting well from the free throw line and from the field.
Her 16 points came on 12 of 16 free throw shooting and 3 of 7 from the field.
Swanson, Young, and Wright added six points each. Maria Grossi posted four points and Ciera George one.
Brazier was a second half catalyst for Enumclaw on the way to 14 points and nine rebounds. Saydee Anderson added 12 points and Huizenga had 11.
West Seattle's competitiveness was remarkable in the face of daunting game statistics.
West Seattle shot 17 of 54 from the field with zero three-point baskets and were out rebounded 44-33. Free throw shooting was mediocre at 19 of 35, but Enumclaw was only 12 of 22 from the charity line.
Juliana Horne is not the only holdover from last year's state run. Ashley Young, Ciera Jorge, and Emily Buchanan were all active, scoring members of last year's team. Maybe you saw all 4 girls on the floor of the Tacoma dome last year?
Also, Young and Buchanan are seniors and 4 year members of the wshs program providing leadership, mentoring, generosity (private gym passes and transportation) to younger members of this team. They have worked very hard to help not just themselves, but every girl coming up in this program. The Watts family, whose sophomore daughter Jaden was out this game with an injury, has contributed time, facilities and valuable training to these girls, too. Let's try to recognize those who continue to make enormous efforts to keep this program relevant. Not just 1 girl.
Gee, in for a penny, in for a pound. It is hard to see the fawning over wshs players who are not from west seattle. Of the varsity team from the last 3 years, only Kelsey Lenzie and Gracey Sarver were from West Seattle. Anissa Babitu commuted the entire 3 years she attended from Edmonds...team bonding activities were scheduled specifically to accommodate her long daily commute, Jayla Wilson was from Renton using her grandmother's address, Jenna McPhee has never lived in West Seattle, she was from Burien (Mt Rainier high area where her parents still live), Meg Fiso's family move their kids high schools to suit what they feel is the best NCAA recruiting environment for their kids...Briana went to Evergreen, Emily to Mt Rainier until the older McPhee twins graduated...then on to West Seattle, Meg went to WSHS simply to play with the girls from her Nike sponsored AAU team...until they graduated, then on to Garfield. Jasmine Gayles was from Kent....So, of course for this article you interview Juliana Horne, a graduate of Whitman middle school (that would be in North Seattle). Now there's a news story for you...but no, let's ignore the lifelong west seattle products for the recruits from elsewhere. Btw Kaydinse Piersol is from Sealth and still lives at her old Sealth address. How do I know? Because my daughter is one of those seniors , who along with leadership and mentoring, is providing transportation. Maybe that would be a more worthy story to report.
This is actually funny....... sounds like your a little jealous! If i was a parent of any of these players i would rip your head off when i saw you. Why do you feel
It is okay to mention other peoples kids? What makes it worse is some are currently your daughters teammates. You have issues lady get it together!
The fact that you have the time to list all of those irrelevant facts makes me cringe. I’m wearing purple socks by the way. But, I bet you know that as well.
As women, moms and adults, Our job as adults is to be leaders. This is not leading. I’m fact, it is not like me to respond to spectators- but you brought my name into it. No one cares about a HS game. No one cares about what teams people played for, where I went to school and whatever else you listed. No. One. Cares. It’s 2020. No one is going to remember 10+ years from now your comment and no one is going to say “Hey, remember when you played HS basketball.” It doesn’t matter. It’s a stepping stone in life. I was bullied terribly badly at my prior school and if you looked into the facts you would’ve saw TONS of documents, therapists appointments and trauma. But, you wouldn’t know that because it’s easier to point the finger. Also, I attended MRHS for their IB program. Not because of “twins.” Check my transcripts. Lastly, don’t ever bring my family up again. Ever.
Also, I checked the stats for last years state run - they didn’t include any of the players you listed. It doesn’t matter where my sister were to ever be, she would always go D1 and play in the NCAA, because she’s good. And stats simply don’t lie. Do better. Life’s too short to be bitter and angry and complaining about a HS basketball team and YOUNG girls and adults who really are finding these comments as pure comedy.
Emily from Mt. Rainier who transferred to West Seattle in 2015.
I find it so disgusting that a parent would turn something positive into something so nasty and disrespectful by using this article as a way to vent their obvious frustration and bitterness. Whoever, made these comments should be ashamed of themselves for verbally attacking these girls both former and current. Furthermore, they might want to get their facts straight before talking trash about these girls and making obvious false accusations!!
What a horrible parent in the previous comments! How dare you as a parent put your OWN child in this position with her teammates. Maybe you should spend your time working out because you’re obviously stressed out with what ever is going on in your miserable life, instead of digging up dirt on every child on your daughters team. You should probably try minding your business. I’m sure your daughter is embarrassed of you and I’m sure this isn’t the first and won’t be the last. Karma will find you but before it does I’m sure there’s a lot parents who will find you first. Good luck bitter lady!
Can we just have one positive article about the hard work and perseverance of the WSHS teams without someone trying to make it negative and accusatory?
Great work ladies, keep it up!
To whoever commented last... What a shallow and ignorant thing to say. Who are you to judge parents for trying to give their children the best opportunities possible. Also some of your information is just straight wrong, why in the world would you slander girls who all have and continue to work their asses off. The fact that you can’t handle your kid not playing so you feel the need to attack hard working athletes is honestly pathetic. Maybe instead of spending your time attacking other people go rebound for your daughter so she can get some shots up.
Such disgusting comments. First, there are blatant lies regarding graduated students and their places of residence. Second, implying Juliana Horne is not deserving of acknowledgement because of where you assume she resides is ignorant based on the simple fact that she lives about 10 minutes from WSHS. I know this to be true because my daughter provided transportation plenty of times last season. Third, and I don’t even know why I bother to share this but my child, also falsely accused of not living in WSHS, is also a legitimate resident who was assigned to WSHS...not recruited. Finally, you do realize WSHS is an open enrollment school, right?
Your comments reek of jealousy. Maybe get to know the new West Seattle players and their families rather than making snap judgments. You would then realize the sacrifice, effort and talent each girl brings is much more important than their zip code.
This isn't a wshs problem, this is a broken metro league problem that happens across the board for boys and girls programs. For years schools like Garfield and Rainier Beach both backed up by money rich alumni have been pickpocketing kids to their schools for a chance at the championship. Look at the number of transfers each school has every year of the kids on the roster. I know of at least 4 girls, including former wildcat Meg Fiso, who has transferred to play for the bulldogs. The boys programs are even worse. Ingraham high school in the North end had 7 transfers, one from right here in west seattle. This is just the tip of the ever-changing school rosters of transplants that come in, recruited by promises of glory. Don't even get me started on the private schools who offer waived tuitions and who knows what else to get the kids to play at their schools. eastside catholic is the worst this year with the girls program. The landscape of hs basketball is changing and not for the better. I personally wish metro league, wiaa and whoever else is in charge looks at what's happening and puts an end to it.