The Enumclaw High girls started South Puget Sound League 3A play on a strong note, defeating Sumner Friday night after slipping past Bonney Lake Dec. 9.
“It was a real solid week for us,” coach Ted Carlson said. “It was a nice way to jump into things.”
After absorbing two tough losses to begin the season, the Hornets have definitely turned things around. “We’re executing better on both sides of the ball,” Carlson said. “I’m really happy with the way we’ve been playing.”
The Hornet girls went looking for a third league victory, which would move them into a first-place tie with White River, when they traveled to Peninsula High Tuesday night; results of the key encounter were not available at press time. The Hornets take on the lowly Clover Park Warriors Friday night, their last game before traveling to Wenatchee for a nonleague contest Dec. 30.
The EHS girls upped their overall mark to 3-2 Saturday night with a home-court, 53-49 victory over Yelm.
The Hornets never could shake the Tornadoes, leading by one point at the end of the first quarter, five at the half (24-19) and just three points after three periods.
Enumclaw was paced by Mara Koplitz, who pumped in 15 points, and Hayley Kohler, who added 12.
Crucial to the win was the Hornets’ hot shooting from the line. Enumclaw buried 22 of its 25 free throws to seal the win.
Enumclaw’s Friday night decision over Sumner came courtesy of a defensive effort that kept the Spartans to single-digit scoring in every quarter. The Hornets built a comfortable 27-14 halftime lead and coasted the rest of the way.
Heather Hitch led Enumclaw with a season-high 13 points and Koplitz added 11.
The league-opening victory at Bonney Lake was built in the first half, when the Hornets built a 10-point lead, 38-28. That advantage was crucial, as the Panthers outscored Enumclaw 16-8 in the third quarter. Both offenses stalled in the final quarter, allowing Enumclaw to escape with the win.
Koplitz had 16 points to lead the Hornet offense.
Carlson said a key to the recent run of success is the way his girls are battling on the boards. Generally a bit outsized, the Hornets held the rebounding edge in all three wins. Against Bonney Lake, Jessalyn Clark pulled down 15 rebounds and Hitch had 11.
Reach Kevin Hanson at firstname.lastname@example.org or 360-802-8205.