WR boys, girls after another postseason trip

The traditionally-tough White River girls basketball team has launched another campaign and, once again, coach Chris Gibson sees reason for optimism.

The Hornets faced off last Friday, with Enumclaw barely squeaking by with a win 53-52 over White River. Photo by Dennis Box.

The traditionally-tough White River girls basketball team has launched another campaign and, once again, coach Chris Gibson sees reason for optimism.

The positive vibe surrounding the Hornet program begins with Kendall Bird and extends to a handful of returning varsity players, along with a crop of newcomers.

The 6-foot-2 Bird enters her senior season having already signed a scholarship offer to play for San Diego University. While Gibson has seen a healthy list of players advance to the collegiate ranks, Bird is the first he has sent to the Division I ranks.

With facing-the-basket skills and ball-handling abilities rare in a player her size, Bird garnered Most Valuable Player honors a season ago. She was a first-team, all-league selection following both her freshman and sophomore campaigns before claiming MVP honors as a junior.

Other key returnees include Georgia and Sofia Lavinder, a pair of 5-8 junior guards, and Lucy Rasmussen, a 5-10 senior forward. Georgia Lavinder was a second-team all-league pick a year ago.

Also on the varsity roster are senior Lily Tranquillo, junior Megan Cash and sophomores Chloe Narolski and Noelle Mills.

New to the program are the Norris sisters, who were part of the Sumner High varsity program last year. JaneAllyn, a senior, is a 5-6 guard, and LeeAudrey, a sophomore, is a 5-9 forward.

The 2016-17 group will look to continue a run of success rivaled by few in the state. During Gibson’s 18 years at White River, the Hornets have reached the Sweet 16 in all but two seasons.

Last year’s team finished with an overall record of 21-4. That included a 14-0 mark in league play, a league title and four district tournament victories. Reaching the 2A round of 16, the Hornets fell to Washougal in overtime and were eliminated.

White River boys

With an experienced lineup that has enjoyed a taste of postseason success, coach Rick Tripp leads his White River Hornets into another season of boys basketball.

His roster of 11 players includes six seniors, most boasting plenty of varsity experience. Tripp begins his eighth season at the Hornet helm.

Among the returnees with notable court time are seniors Alex Wallen, Ryan Larsen, Cameron Cawley and Ryan Lusk. The roster also includes seniors Xean Pennington and Dylan Sutherland; juniors Kaden Phillips, Brian Charest and Matt Funkhouser; and sophomores Joe Flanigan and Brandon Howard. Both Flanigan and Howard were regular contributors as freshman a season ago.

Following last season, Wallen was a second-team all-league selection and both Larsen and Cawley received honorable mention.

They were part of a team that placed third in the South Puget Sound League 2A with a 10-4 record. That squad also won a pair of district contests before being eliminated, eventually finishing with an overall mark of 15-9.

More in Sports

WR standout Vandegrift signs with Huskies

White River fastpitch standout Megan Vandegrift formalized her athletic future, signing a National Letter of Intent to play for the University of Washington.

Robotics teams rock in Tacoma

Enumclaw High School’s robotics teams fared well during the first qualifying match of the fall season.

White River places fourth in Class 2A state volleyball

There is a new addition to the White River High trophy case, this one provided by the Hornet volleyball team that placed fourth during the Class 2A state championships.

Early start to Crystal ski season

The outdoor season has officially greeted those heading uphill, with snow deep enough to enjoy.

Panthers, Spartans ousted from soccer tournaments

Bonney Lake and Sumner High Schools both met the end of their soccer season last week.

WIAA honors Spartans’ Ben Wilson

Sumner High two-way football standout Ben Wilson was recently honored for his accomplishments by the Washington Interscholastic Activities Association.

Sumner advances to Elite Eight in 4A football playoffs

Sumner High’s march to gridiron glory continues this week as the Spartans host Monroe in the quarterfinal round of the Class 4A football championships.

White River girls third in state 2A soccer tournament

The White River High girls brought a third-place trophy home from the Class 2A state soccer championships.

Sumner heading into 4A football semifinals

The Sumner Spartans are one of just four teams still in the hunt for the Class 4A state football championship.

White River two wins away from state 2A soccer title

The girls of the White River soccer program put together an undefeated regular season, steamrolled a pair of district foes and shut out their first two opponents in the Class 2A state tournament.

Sumner’s Mikaela Miele swam in the 4A state meet, nabbing fourth in the 500-yard freestyle event and sixth in the 200 free. Photo by Ray Still
Local swimmers, diver compete at state meet

Sumner High placed 13th and Enumclaw tied for 23th during the two-day, Class 4A state swimming and diving championships.

White River heads to state volleyball tournament Friday

The White River Hornets take their near-perfect record to St. Martin’s University Friday for the beginning of the Class 2A state volleyball championships.