When the boys basketball contest between visiting White River and Enumclaw began at 5:15 p.m. Friday in the friendly confines of Chuck Smith Gymnasium, things seemed a little off kilter.
Maybe it was the early start time, but the 8-0 Enumclaw Hornets didn’t register any points until halfway through the initial period and by the end of that same first frame the score was knotted at 11.
Apparently, it just took the No. 2-ranked Class 3A boys squad a while to get revved up though, as once the EHS hoop machine was clicking with 24 points in the second quarter and 20 in the third, it blew out White River by the final tally of 67-41.
Enumclaw held a commanding 55-29 lead after the third period and substituted freely after that, exhibiting its bench strength with junior D.J. Hitch and seniors Lucas Maloney, Anthony Goch, Cody Klemann and Austin Zambrano.
Senior back court wizard Riley Carel was the first of Enumclaw’s starters to snap out of it in the early going, as he began to bomb in 3-pointers from well outside the perimeter and didn’t stop until he finished as the game’s leading scorer with 26 points.
White River never did quite get on track offensively against a stalwart Enumclaw defense.
“It is pretty tough to score or defend against the No. 1 team in the state, especially in their own house” said patient, first-year WRHS coach Rick Tripp. “They pass the ball extremely well and shoot even better. I thought our three rotating big guys Blake Halvorsen, A.J. Rice and Kaleb Murphy did a pretty good job