Plenty of experience found on Panthers’ varsity lists

Both teams are looking to do better in districts than last year.

BONNEY LAKE GIRLS

It’s an experienced group that will take the court this season for coach Dee Nelons, who counts seven seniors on the early-season varsity roster.

The list starts with Maisyn Jensen, who received honorable mention on last season’s all-Pierce County League 3A squad, and includes Jessica Day, Nicole Harris, Alexis Brooks, Jordann Hofstrand, Payton Schelin and Abby Frame. The rest of the varsity squad includes junior Carleigh DeLapp, sophomore Ashley Hollenbeck and freshmen Skilar McLean and Brooke Mansfield.

The squad will be looking to rebound from a season that brought a 4-10 mark in PCL play and a 4-16 overall record during the regular season. The sixth-place finish was enough to qualify the Panther girls for the district tournament, where they won one of three games.

BONNEY LAKE BOYS

Coach Sam Oliver and his Panthers will be counting on an experienced lineup to bring greater success this season.

A year ago, Bonney Lake’s boys placed sixth in the eight-team Pierce County League 3A with a 5-9 record (9-11 overall). That was enough to get into the district tourney, where the Panthers dropped two games and were eliminated; it was the team’s second straight playoff appearance.

This season’s varsity roster includes seniors Tyson Lawes, Kyle Schoen, Elijah Brown and Jaedin Falby; juniors Braeden Goff and Drew Hollenbeck; and sophomores Austin Mitchell, Dylan Preston and Champ Spencer.

The most notable among that group are Lawes, who led the Panthers in scoring last season at more than 12 points per game;Spencer, who played in every game and averaged 9.3 points per outing; and Brown, the third varsity returnee, who will be counted on for leadership and court experience.

Oliver sees reason for optimism and knows what it will take to record victories. “If this year’s team can embrace our program identity of 100 percent effort, focus, and a positive attitude, we should be able to continue to find success,” he said.

Teams in the past have embraced that mentality, he said, and the recipe for success hasn’t changed. “It’s just a matter of mental toughness and grit,” he concluded.

Oliver saw this year’s crew in action for the first time Nov. 24 when the Panthers turned out for the White River Jamboree. Tonight, Wednesday, brings the regular-season opener, a home contest against the neighboring squad from White River.

More in Sports

Sumner hoops: Blakeslee takes over girls program

Meanwhile, the boys are aiming to reverse their win-loss record from last year and make it to districts.

White River girls aim to return to Sweet 16

The team hasn’t made it to state in only two season out of the last 20 years.

Sumner, Bonney Lake athletes spring into winter season

The Panthers wrestling team is looking to be the top school in the Tacoma Dome this year.

Hornet wrestlers take honors at WR Classic

Two White River competitors came away with placing first in their weight class.

Mix of varsity experience, newcomers dot winter rosters at Enumclaw, White River

White River’s boys wrestling is now full of experienced seniors, and an Enumclaw swimmer is looking to make another splash this year.

Three local teams bounced in first round of state soccer playoffs

Bonney Lake, White River and Sumner went out early in postseason this year.

White River eighth in 2A state volleyball

The Hornets stated the tournament facing an old enemy, the Fife Trojans.

State cross country meet included runners from all four local programs

Check out how area athletes did in Pasco last weekend.

Buckley’s Roberts joins PLU Athletic Hall of Fame

Roberts was once coached at Sumner High School, before joining up with Enumclaw.

White River in state volleyball, Bonney Lake aims for 3A berth

The Enumclaw Hornets took two losses, ending their season at the West Central/Southwest District tournament.

Trio of area soccer teams land in state tournaments

Enumclaw lost their last game against Olympic High 2-1, ending the Hornets’ season.

Area football teams play final games of season

Enumclaw and White River ended their season with a loss, but Sumner and Bonney Lake had exciting last games.