White River runs over Bonney Lake to stay undefeated

Kendall Williams protects the ball against Bonney Lake’s Rachel Wiegand and Tosha Lyonais in South Puget Sound League 3A play Friday night . -  Photo by Dennis Box
Kendall Williams protects the ball against Bonney Lake’s Rachel Wiegand and Tosha Lyonais in South Puget Sound League 3A play Friday night .
— image credit: Photo by Dennis Box

Fridays are proving crucial for the undefeated White River High girls’ basketball team.

The Hornets knocked off the potent Bonney Lake Panthers last week and face league-leading Enumclaw this week in a contest that will decide the South Puget Sound League 3A frontrunner.

White River, which finds itself firmly planted in the state’s Top 10 rankings, has improved to 8-0 on the season and 5-0 in SPSL 3A play. Through games of last week, Enumclaw led the pack with a 6-0 mark and Bonney Lake sat in third at 4-2.

Coach Chris Gibson continues to emphasize that his well-stocked bench is his team’s greatest strength.

“Our ability to go deep really helps us,” he said. “It’s been a big part of our success.”

The Hornets added two more victories over the weekend, picking up a 53-35, nonleague win over Yelm Saturday, a day after dispatching Bonney Lake 63-51 on the Panthers’ home court.

Taking on Yelm on the neutral St. Martin’s University court, White River bolted to a 27-14 halftime lead and added to the margin the rest of the way.

“We were a little sloppy with the basketball,” Gibson said, but the Hornets were able to overcome their mistakes.

Heading the offense was sophomore Brooke Paulson, who poured in 17 points and continues as the team’s leading scorer, averaging 15 points per outing.

Friday’s victory at Bonney Lake was plenty satisfying, Gibson said.

“It was nice to get a road win against a playoff-caliber team,” he said.

White River showed a balanced offensive attack, outscoring the hosts in every quarter.

Megan McKune scored 15 points for the second game in a row, leading the offense, and 6-2 center Kendall Williams added 14, just a fraction better than her season average.

After hosting Enumclaw at 7 p.m. Friday, White River hosts Franklin Pierce at 5 p.m. Saturday as part of a doubleheader with the boys’ teams. The game against the Cardinals is a makeup affair that was originally scheduled for Dec. 19 but postponed due to poor weather.

Reach Kevin Hanson at or 360-802-8205.

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