West Seattle takes down Blanchet with ‘something still left in tank’

The No. 2 Wildcats knocked off the defending Metro League champs and improved to 6-0 with a 58-50 win over Blanchet.

There’s a scary aspect to how West Seattle girls basketball views itself.

The Wildcats, who were ranked No. 2 among Class 3A schools in the preseason, were tenacious on defense and fluid on offense to defeat Bishop Blanchet 58-50 on the road Friday. But to the team, the performance was average.

“We still have something left in the tank,” Wildcats coach Darnell Taylor said. “I’ve seen it in practice. The energy was there (Friday); I never have to worry about that with our group. The schematics and knowing where to apply that energy at certain times — we still have room to grow.”

West Seattle, the defending SeaKing District champion, remained undefeated to start the season and collected its first win against Blanchet since the 2015-16 season. The Braves (3-2, 2-2 Metro League) won the league title last season against the Wildcats and are the defending Class 3A state tournament runner-up.

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“We have a target on our back after last year,” Blanchet senior Ella DiPietro said.

While the Wildcats returned their core payers, it was apparent the Braves were getting adjusted to a new lineup. Blanchet fell behind 28-23 at the break and 39-27 after West Seattle junior Grace Sarver spotted sophomore Kaiya Mar under the hoop for a layin with 3:17 left in the third quarter.

“We fell asleep for four minutes in the first half,” DiPietro said. “We have some new players, and it was hard to get into a flow. But it really just comes down to effort. We need to have a stronger start. We figured that out and played hard late in the second half, but need to do that for an entire game.”

Blanchet opened the fourth quarter on a 7-0 run to close within 44-43 after a powerful drive to the hoop by senior Jillese Bush.

West Seattle (6-0, 5-0) adjusted to the zone defense thrown at it and used three-pointers by sophomore Meghan Fiso and junior Jenna McPhee to help close it out by outscoring Blanchet 14-7.

The Braves were also stunted by missed free throws. They were 3 for 11 from the line in the opening half. Bush led the team with 16 points.

Sarver led three West Seattle players in double digits, scoring 18 points. Fiso added 15 points and McPhee had 13.

“I was excited for…

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