White River hosts Hornets Friday night
When two of the South Puget Sound League 3A’s winless boys basketball squads, 0-4 White River and 0-6 Bonney Lake, locked horns in White River’s gymnasium Friday night, one thing was certain – one of those scrappy contingents was no longer going to be winless in league play.
Despite its rather dubious start in the hard fought contest, when the dust cleared the Hornets emerged with the decisive 61-49 triumph.
Before the Hornets even knew what had hit them, a quick and aggressive Panther pack had sprinted out to a 13-3 advantage. To its credit, White River didn’t panic and by intermission the Hornets had pared the BLHS lead to 31-29.
Bouyed by a solid 22 point scoring night from guard Casey Zimmer, the Hornets played well in the second half and pulled away for their coveted first league win of the season.
“I want this group of guys to believe they can come out and win every time they set foot on a basketball court,” White River coach Bill Hawk said. “I don’t want them to think that this win over Bonney Lake was an aberration or fluke of some kind. If we can duplicate the effort we had against the Panthers consistently, I think we can repeat history and start gathering some victories.”
Hawk also contended that White River’s defense really stepped it up in the second half, as did Zimmer. “Zimmer has kind of flown under the radar this season and suddenly everyone is asking, ‘who is this Zimmer kid?’” said Hawk of one of his sharpshooters, who resides in the Top 10 in league scoring, along with teammates Nolan Gibson and Kenneth Thomas.
White River has its work cut for itself this week. The Hornets already headed down the hill to mix it up with Sumner Tuesday night, with results coming too late to report here. Friday, White River engages in cage warfare with cross-river nemesis Enumclaw (6-1 in league), when that hoop rivalry is renewed at White River’s gym beginning at 5:15 p.m. The WRHS Hornets will then play their third league game of the week when they host a make-up game with Franklin Pierce at 7 p.m. Saturday.
Reach John Leggett at firstname.lastname@example.org or 360-802-8207.