WHITE RIVER GIRLS
The highly-regarded Hornet girls certainly didn’t disappoint, sweeping two contests to emerge as the West Central District champion.
Next up is the regional round of the state tournament, to be played Friday or Saturday, where White River is paired against Washougal. While both will head to the March 1-4 Class 2A tournament at the Yakima SunDome, the winner will receive a first-round bye.
With the new Rating Percentage Index system in play for the first time, the Hornets continue as the No. 3 ranked team in the state. Washougal enters as No. 6.
After winning a WCD title a year ago, White River was knocked from postseason play by Washougal, making for an interesting rematch.
White River claimed the WCD title the afternoon of Feb. 18, defeating North Kitsap 56-41 at Foss High School in Tacoma.
The win brought another stellar show for Hornet senior Kendall Bird, who poured in a game-high 20 points and moved to No. 1 on White River’s all-time scoring list.
The win didn’t come particularly easy, as the Hornets found themselves in unfamiliar territory – trailing 23-22 at halftime. An 18-7 advantage in the third period turned the tables, however, and White River coasted to the title victory.
The Hornets opened district play with a dominant 58-26 victory over the Lindbergh Eagles on Feb. 11.
The Hornet boys face a tough foe in the regional round of the state tournament, paired against Union High. Union enters the contest with the No. 1 RPI ranking in the state Class 4A ranks while Enumclaw sits at No. 8.
Both teams will advance to the March 1-4 state tournament in the Tacoma Dome, but the Enumclaw/Union victory will enjoy the benefits of a first-round bye.
Competing in West Central/Southeast District tourney play, Enumclaw dropped a Feb. 17 contest to Kentridge High. The final score was 59-53.
Ten Hornets cracked the scoring column, paced by Griffin Webb’s nine points.
The Hornets had punched their ticket to state with a 66-55 victory over the Auburn Trojans.
The win came Feb. 15 at Rogers High on Puyallup’s South Hill.
The victory came courtesy of a 16-3 advantage during the third quarter. The teams had been tied at 33 heading into halftime.
The Hornet offense was paced by Kaden Anderson’s 18 points and Webb’s 16.
WHITE RIVER BOYS
The Hornet boys saw their season come to a close the evening of Feb. 14, when they traveled to University Place and fell again to the Clover Park Warriors.
The West Central District contest, staged at Curtis High School, ended with White River on the short end of a 66-59 score. The game was close throughout, with the Warriors leading 22-19 after one quarter of play and 31-27 at halftime. The Hornets pulled within two points by the end of the third period but Clover Park had too much at the end.
The Hornets were paced by sophomores Joe Flanigan and Brandon Howard, who scored 15 points each.
White River finished the season with a mark of 14-11. That included a South Puget Sound League 2A record of 10-4, good for third place, and a regular season slate of 12-8. The Hornets split a pair of crossover games – including an overtime loss to Clover Park – then dropped two of three district games.
BONNEY LAKE GIRLS
After splitting their first two West Central/Southwest District tournament games, the Panther girls were ousted by the Mountain View Mighty Thunder.
The Vancouver school captured a 47-41 victory the evening of Feb. 14 at North Thurston High School in Lacey.
After falling behind 21-13 at halftime, the Panthers rallied to tie the game at 27 apiece by the end of the third quarter. The final eight minutes made all the difference and the squad from the Greater St. Helens League advanced.
Leading the Bonney Lake offense were Shaya McQueen with 12 points and Payton Mitchell with 10. They were among six seniors playing their final game in a Panther uniform.
Bonney Lake finished with an overall season record of 9-14, which included a 6-8 mark and fifth-place finish in the Pierce County League 3A. In district play, the Panthers sandwiched a victory over North Thurston High between losses to Timberline and Mountain View.