The champion team from White River consisted of, from left: Chloe Narolski, Taylee Goethals, Kara Marecle, Taylor Schmidtke, Sam Fiedler, Sofia Lavinder, Georgia Lavinder and Dee Dee Forsman. Here, the group takes a break from basketball and plays tourist at a Hawaiian volcano. Submitted photo

White River girls capture tournament title in Hawaii

A group of White River High basketball players have logged plenty of miles and enjoyed abundant success this summer, capturing tournament titles in Hawaii and California.

Most recently, an eight-member swarm of Hornets won five straight games to grab top honors at the World Youth Basketball Tournament in Kona, Hawaii. The tourney was staged July 26-30.

Under the direction of coach Chris Gibson, the White River squad opened with a 77-68 victory over the Stingrays and followed up with a 56-20 with against the Blue Tsunami. Playing twice on July 29, White River first registered a lopsided 80-26 triumph over Keaau then took a close 44-36 win over the Wahine Ryders. The July 30 title contest had White River paired against the Straycats, a finale that saw the Plateau girls roll to a 78-45 victory.

All five opponents were from Hawaii, either high school or select squads.

“The kids did a great job, had a great tournament,” Gibson said, adding that the trip allowed time for “a nice cultural experience.”

Making up the winning White River team were Chloe Narolski, Kara Marecle, Sam Fiedler, Dee Dee Forsman, Taylor Schmidtke, Georgia Lavinder, Sofia Lavinder and Taylee Goethals.

Four weeks earlier, White River won seven consecutive games to claim the 2A championship at the San Diego Classic. Gibson has taken a team to the Southern California tourney for two decades and often fared well, but this year provided the first title.

Out-of-state trips require the blessing of the White River School Board, but no public money is involved. The trips are made possible through fundraisers and with the help of the booster club, Gibson said.