When they state tournament schedule-makers put their collective heads together, they did White River High no favors.
In Thursday’s opening round of the eight-team state Class 2A basketball tourney, the Hornet girls were paired against Longview’s Mark Morris High, the concensus No. 1-ranked team in the state.
That ranking appeared justified Thursday afternoon in Yakima’s SunDome – again host to the 1A and 2A hoopfests – as the Monarchs blasted the No. 3-ranked Hornets 78-51.
The Mark Morris girls did much of their damage from the outside, eventually scoring more than half their points on 3-point bombs. For the game, the Monarchs put up a whopping 30 shots from beyond the arc, burying 15.
That outside effectiveness was crucial in the game’s opening stages. The Monarchs launched a dozen 3-pointers during the first quarter, connecting on six, contributing to a 23-16 lead after the first period of play.
By halftime, White River trailed 41-28.
The third quarter was really the Hornets’ undoing, as Mark Morris put together a 26-12 run that put the game on ice.
White River’s offense was paced by Amanda Lance and Kendall Bird, who scored 10 points each.
For the game, the Hornets shot 34 percent from the field. They were good on 14 of 39 shots from 2-point range and made seven of 23 from beyond the arc. They went to the free-throw line just eight times and made only two.
With the Thursday loss, White River will next play at 12:15 Friday afternoon. Their opponent will be River Ridge, which lost Thursday to Ellensburg by a score of 60-35. The White River/River Ridge winner will play Saturday in the fourth-place/sixth-place game.
White River and River Ridge are both members of the South Puget Sound League 2A, which means they squared off twice during the regular season. White River won both times, once by a landslide and once by a much closer margin.