There’s a sparkling new addition to the Enumclaw High School display case, thanks to the Hornet boys’ fourth-place finish at the Class 4A state basketball tournament.
The Hornets used a regional victory to earn a first-round bye in the four-day tourney, dropped their opener, but then registered back-to-back victories to finish No. 4 in the state.
It was the second year at state during the two-season tenure of coach Terry Johnson. Last year’s squad won its opener but dropped the next two and headed home.
This year’s tournament was staged Feb. 28 through March 3 in the Tacoma Dome.
Johnson was justifiably happy with the way his squad performed in Tacoma, particularly since things didn’t start so well.
“We were disappointed with how we played the first night,” he said. But more important was how his Hornets responded. It was “the type of character they showed all year,” Johnson said, that allowed EHS to rebound with two straight victories and return to the Plateau with a trophy.
Much of the success was on the shoulders of senior Kaden Anderson. After posting some monster numbers – 73 points and 41 rebounds in three games – he was rewarded by being named to the first team, all-tournament squad.
Aside from Anderson, seniors playing their final games in a Hornet uniform were Griffin Webb, Josh Brown, Keegan Ulrich and Kale Van Wieringen.
Enumclaw 62, Skyline57
SATURDAY, MARCH 3
This battle for fourth- and sixth-place honors was a rematch; the teams had met in a Feb. 24 regional contest, also won by the Hornets.
The game delivered a case of slightly different halves. The first two quarters saw the lead change hands 14 times; the second half started with EHS ahead and finished the same way. The Hornets held the advantage throughout, although things got dicey on occasion.
“We played with a little more effort the second half,” Johnson said. “There were some things we didn’t handle very well the first half.”
There were some inspired moments that spurred the Hornet cause. For example, Travis Smith had a putback basket at the buzzer that allowed his squad to carry a one-point lead into halftime.
And none was more uplifting than a 3-point bomb dropped in by Van Wieringen at the buzzer to end the third period, pushing Enumclaw’s lead from eight points to 49-38.
“That might have been the most special shot in any game I’ve even been in,” Johnson said, noting that his senior hasn’t had a ton of playing time. “It was just an absolutely amazing moment.”
Skyview: 11-13-14-19 – 57
Enumclaw: 12-13-24-13 – 62
Enumclaw scoring: Kaden Anderson 17, Bryson Engebretsen 12, Griffin Webb 10, Peter Erickson 6, Travis Smith 6, Kale Van Wieringen 3, Kale Engebretsen 2, Easton Tandecki 2, Josh Brown 2, Keegan Ulrich 2.
Enumclaw 45, Curtis 44
FRIDAY, MARCH 2
The story in this one was a second-half comeback that kept the Hornets alive. EHS trailed by as many as 10 points in the third quarter, 37-27, before mounting a rally. Enumclaw went on a 12-5 run that put victory in reach with more than three minutes on the clock.
Down the stretch, the Hornets received two free throws from Bryson Engebretsen, a bucket by Anderson and, finally, an offensive rebound and putback by Webb that proved to be the game-winner.
Curtis: 16-14-10-4 – 44
Enumclaw: 12-14-7-12 – 45
Enumclaw scoring: Kaden Anderson 21, Griffin Webb 6, Kale Engebreten 6, Bryson Engebretsen 4, Easton Tandecki 4, Kellen Kranc 2, Keegan Ulrich 2.
Lewis and Clark 69, Enumclaw 59
THURSDAY, MARCH 1
Enumclaw’s tournament opener came against a team that had no trouble adjusting to the expansive Tacoma Dome. The Spokane squad shot 60 percent from the field in the first half, building a 41-29 lead. The Tigers were especially effective from long range, hitting 7 of 10 from beyond the arc during the first two quarters.
Enumclaw eventully got on track, cutting into the Tigers’ lead. A 9-2 run to close the third period provided momentum and plenty of room for optimism, as EHS trailed just 51-44 with eight minutes to play.
Enumclaw continued to plug away, eventually getting to within a bucket at 54-52. That was when Lewis and Clark regained its composure, rattled off nine straight points and took a lead that would not be relinquished.
Anderson provided a late spark with a 3-pointer, followed by a steal and breakaway dunk, but the Tigers sealed the win with six consecutive free throws.
Lewis and Clark: 17-24-10-18 – 69
Enumclaw: 18-11-15-15 – 59