WR girls slip past Fife, lock up another league title

The Hornets basketball team took down Fife 53-49 in the last game of the league season.

Following a pattern made familiar in recent campaigns, the White River High girls have claimed yet another league championship and are nearing the end of another stellar regular season.

Through games of last week, the Hornet girls were a perfect 11-0 in South Puget Sound League 2A play, having dispatched second-place Fife on Friday. The team played earlier this week – traveling to Washington High for a Tuesday night contest – and wraps up the season Jan. 26 with a trip to Foss High School and a Jan. 30 home contest against Evergreen of Seattle.

If recent history is any indication, the Hornets may have no trouble posting an undefeated league season. The final three opponents occupy the lowest three rungs of the SPSL 2A ladder; earlier in the season, White River beat Foss by 48 points and took Evergreen by 57.

Friday’s victory over Fife – which put White River three games ahead of the pack with three games to play – wasn’t the easiest of the season. The Hornets led by just five points at halftime, a margin that was cut to 38-37 by the end of the third period.

Georgia Lavinder scored 17 points to pace White River and LeeAudrey Norris came through with 13.

This season is typical of recent Hornet schedules under coach Chris Gibson. Without great challenges in the SPSL, he has sought tough nonleague battles to better test his troops.

This year, for example, brought a stretch during winter break in which White River lost three games in eight days. The setbacks were at the hands of Bishop Blanchet, Lynden Christian and Ferndale. Lynden Christian is currently No. 1 in the state’s Class 1A ranks; Bishop Blanchet and Ferndale are larger 3A schools, both ranked in the state’s Top 20. White River’s only other loss was to W.F. West of Chehalis. The Bearcats sit at No. 3 in the Class 2A rankings.

The four teams that defeated White River had combined to win 44 of 55 games through Jan. 17.

With a 14-4 record through games of last weekend, White River was ranked eighth, according to the Rating Percentage Index used by by Washington Interscholastic Activities Association.

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