EHS BOYS BASKETBALL: Enumclaw cruises to top seed

During the first few minutes of Friday’s subdistrict basketball game, the No. 1-ranked Enumclaw High Hornets momentarily forgot their identity and tried to compete in a track meet instead of playing their productive, patient style against the fleet-footed No. 1 seed out of the Seamount League, 12-4 Kennedy Catholic.

Enumclaw fell behind by as many as eight points in the first half. The Hornets quickly recovered their stolen identity, though, and surged back from a rare 29-24 halftime deficit, outscoring the Lancers 40-26 in the second half to record a 64-55 victory and move on to a 3A district encounter with the loser of Monday’s meeting between Capital and Bremerton High. Enumclaw’s next tip-off will be at 8 p.m. Friday at Auburn High.

Hornets coach Phil Engebretsen, who has piloted his squadron to an untarnished 21-0 record, said he didn’t detect any widespread anxiety from his experienced group at intermission. “These guys have been playing together for so long now that there was no sense of panic,” he said. “We just contested their shots a little harder in the second half and plugged away offensively.”

Taylor Myers ignited EHS in the third period, connecting for four buckets.

“This group of seniors knows that at this stage of the season, you don’t get hung up on the consecutive win streak thing and you sort of just find a way to win playing them one game at a time,” Engebretson said.

The Lancers’ early success turned to frustration late in the game and Enumclaw center Tarren VanTrojen was repeatedly sent to the free-throw line as a result. VanTrojen made the Lancers pay, scoring many of his 16 points late in the contest.

Each of the Hornet starters notched double figure scoring, as upperclassmen Myers and Clyde both contributed 13 points. Riley Carel and Jayson Lewis tallied 11 points each.