White River to honor ‘73 state champs

1973 White River Hornets champions Dan Anderson, Mark Baydek and Greg Baker - Courtesy photo
1973 White River Hornets champions Dan Anderson, Mark Baydek and Greg Baker
— image credit: Courtesy photo

It was more than 40 years ago that members of the White River High boys basketball team hoisted the state Class A championship trophy – but it’s just days until that illustrious group is celebrated.

The state title squad will be featured during a 6:45 ceremony on Friday, Jan. 10, sandwiched between a pair of home court basketball contests between White River and Orting.

Led by coach Lloyd Blanusa, the Hornets of the 1972-73 season defeated the Omak Pioneers 35-31 to claim the 1973 state title. Taking top honors completed a wild ride for a squad that wasn’t quite break-even during the regular season. Prior to postseason play, the Hornets were 9-11 overall and finished fourth in a Seamount League that included foes like Curtis High, Foster, Bethel, Mount Si and Tahoma.

But it was entirely a different story once the second season commenced. White River won three straight playoff games to make it to the state tourney. At state, the Hornets defeated Lake Roosevelt, Colfax and Washougal before squaring off against the Pioneers.

Making up the championship squad were Brian O’Neal, Lee McGehee, Gary Stock,  Glenn Emry, Phil Hiam, Dan Anderson, Mark Baydek, Kim Baydek, Brad Hubbard, Fred Arsanto and Greg Baker.

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