The Borderites lost to W.F. West High School 47-38 on Friday, March 2, at the Yakima SunDome in what proved to be a career-ending defeat for several Blaine girls.
“We really wanted to keep playing together,” Blaine senior Stefawn Perrin said. “We kept fighting to keep playing, and that was what brought us back in the fourth quarter, but it just wasn’t enough.”
Indeed, after three quarters of offensive and defensive struggles including a 13-minute scoring drought, Blaine seemed poised to make a comeback in the fourth, outscoring W.F. West 12-11. However, the Bearcats, aided by an overwhelming height advantage, had already run up an insurmountable 12-point lead heading into the final period.
“The competition is obviously very good when you reach that level,” Blaine coach Jeremy Hinchey said. “We didn’t shoot the ball particularly well in either game, and [W.F. West] was just a very good team.”
After going 8 for 56 – a measly 14 percent – from the floor in Thursday’s match against White River, the Borderites once again had difficulty finding the bottom of the net against the Bearcats, shooting 11 for 51 – or 26 percent – on Friday.
“I think there was a lot of nerves in our first game, and it carried into the second game a little bit,” Hinchey said. “We had to just calm down and start playing.”
Perrin, in her last game as a Borderite, posted a game-high 13 points and a game-high three steals. Mandy Hayes added 10. Freshman Taylor V’Dovec scored five points, grabbed a game-leading 11 rebounds and blocked as many shots – 4 – as the entire Bearcats roster.
The Borderites have not reached state competition since 2004 – long before the current roster was around. Perrin has spent four years working as the go-to scoring option for her teammates with little to show for it. With the addition of some talented new freshmen – Breanna Chau, Hayes and V’Dovec – Perrin was able to finally get a taste of glory.
“This was a great season, a great way to end my basketball career as a senior, and I just wish I could come back and play with these guys again,” Perrin said. “It’s really emotional for us seniors, but I know they will do great next year without us.”
Hinchey said he couldn’t be prouder of his team and all they have accomplished this season.
“What a great season,” Hinchey said. “Where we came from last year to where we got this year was amazing, and a testament to the hard work of all the girls.”
Seven of the 10 Borderites are freshmen or sophomores, so the team can look forward to returning talent.
“[Next year’s lineup] will be great. They will have a lot of great players again, and hopefully they will go on to state again,” Perrin said. “And hopefully they will do even better than we did this year.”
Says Hinchey, “The future is very bright for these young ladies.”