Sports

Hornets leap to top of SPSL 3A heap

The White River High girls quickly jumped to the top of the South Puget Sound League 3A standings, picking up weekend victories over Clover Park and Auburn Mountainview.

Those triumphs, combined with a 75-64 decision over Peninsula High on Dec. 9, gave the Hornets a 3-0 league mark, 4-0 overall.

“It’s been a good start,” coach Chris Gibson said, noting that his bench has been a key part of the early success. “I’m really happy with our depth,” he said. “It’s allowed us to keep everyone fresh.”

White River will be looking to maintain its frontrunner status Friday against Franklin Pierce and Monday against Lakes. The Hornets host both league foes at 7 p.m.

White River’s third SPSL 3A victory was an interesting 47-45 conquest Saturday at Auburn Mountainview. After jetting to a 35-21 halftime lead, the Hornets went the entire third quarter with adding a point to the scoreboard. The host Lions took full advantage of White River’s scoring drought and not only erased the deficit, but took a 38-35 lead.

The Hornets canned some late free throws and regrouped in time to escape with a victory over the Lions, who also had entered the game 2-0.

“We just couldn’t buy a bucket,” Gibson said, noting that his crew went just 3-of-31 in the second half.

On a positive note, White River did a good job of taking care of the basketball, charged with just 12 turnovers.

Brooke Paulson led the White River offense with 16 points. The sophomore sharpshooter has scored 64 points in the team’s four wins.

Friday night’s victory wasn’t nearly as dramatic as the Hornets routed winless Clover Park 77-32. Playing in the Warriors’ gymnasium, White River raced to a 23-4 lead after one quarter of play, took a 45-20 advantage into the locker room at halftime and coasted to the easy win.

Paulson poured in 20 points for the Hornets and 6-foot-2 senior center Kendall Williams added 12.

During the home victory over Peninsula High, White River had a hard time shaking the Seahawks. The Hornets lead 16-15 at the end of the first quarter and had a five-point margin, 39-34, at intermission. A 19-13 advantage in the third period provided a bit of a cushion and the teams played an even final frame, giving the Hornets the win.

Williams had 19 points and Paulson contributed 17 for the victory.

Reach Kevin Hanson at khanson@courierherald.com or 360-802-8205.

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