Westside will have a chance to repeat as state champion.
The AA No. 1 Lady Renegades started the third quarter with a 7-0 run and held Bluefield to 13 second half points on the way to a 68-34 Region 3 championship win on Wednesday night at Clear Fork.
It sends WHS (23-1) back to Charleston with a chance to win a second straight state championship.
“It’s been even more fun this year than last year,” said all-state center Hope Lester.
“We’re like a family,” stated junior forward Megan Endicott. “We all get along together, and if you see us out in the hall, well all be together.
That togetherness has carried over on to the court.
“Nobody cares whether somebody scores two points or 20 points,” she commented.
Westside had early foul trouble, with both guard Danielle Brown and Endicott sitting on the bench for much of the first half.
The Beavers got within 27-20 when Destiney Sims made one foul shot, and a teammate grabbed the rebound off the missed second shot and laid it in for two.
The Renegades answered with a 9-1 run to finish the half.
Faith Davis stole the ball and had a lay up. Hash scored inside off a feed from Morgan Spolarich and Stepanie Brown laid one in for two more.
Spolarich was fouled on a long three attempt and made two free throws with no time left to give WHS a 36-21 halftime lead.
Danielle Brown hit two threes in the opening 90 seconds of the third quarter to push it to 42-21, and Bluefield didn’t threaten after that.
“You could see the difference (the starters) made when they came back in,” said Westside coach Jamie Lusk. “But I was proud of our bench and thought they did a good job.”
The Renegades held a 53-30 margin after three periods and got six points from Lester to start the fourth.
Lester had a game-high 27 points, and Danielle Brown added nine.
Sheila Hopkins scored seven for Bluefield (13-11).
WHS takes on PikeView on Thursday in the opening round of the state tourney. The Renegades beat the Panthers twice in the regular season.