The White River High girls find themselves in a familiar situation this week, east of the Cascade Mountains for the Class 2A state basketball championships.
The Hornets are just one of 12 teams in the state field, all chasing honors in the Yakima Valley SunDome. The tournament begins today, Wednesday, and concludes Saturday evening.
By virtue of their victory in a Feb. 23 regional game, White River has received a first-round bye and will not begin tournament play until Thursday afternoon. At 3:45 p.m., the Hornets will take on either Sequim or Port Angeles.
Those two, from neighboring districts on the Olympic Peninsula, play Wednesday. White River faced both schools earlier this month during the West Central District tournament, beating Sequim before losing to the Roughriders in the WCD championship contest.
Heading into the state tournament, White River (24-3 on the season) carries a statewide No. 4 ranking. Port Angeles arrives in Yakima with a 20-3 record and No. 6 ranking, despite recently defeating the Hornets, and Sequim (16-7) is No. 14.
If the Hornets win Thursday, they will play at 7:15 p.m. Friday; a Thursday loss would bring a loser-out game at 12:15 p.m. Friday.
White River’s regional championships came via a 49-41 victory over Archbishop Murphy. The game was staged the afternoon of Feb. 23 at Puyallup High School.
The victory didn’t come easy, as the Hornets had to contend with AM’s height advantage. An early 7-0 deficit was quickly turned around and White River used a big second quarter to carry a 29-19 lead into halftime. During that crucial second period Chloe Narolski scored six points while Emma Robbins and Kara Marecle added five each.
“They’re a really good team,” Hornet coach Chris Gibson said of Archbishop Murphy. “It was a battle.”
His team’s second-quarter comeback, Gibson said, was sparked by an effective, pressing defense. In the third period, White River was helped when AM ran into foul trouble.
For the game, Robbins and Marecle led the way with 12 points each; Lee Audrey Norris and Narolski added nine apiece, Taylor Schmidtke had five and Sam Fiedler had two.