WRHS AND EHS GIRLS BASKETBALL: WR begins road to state

After clinching its second consecutive South Puget Sound League 3A title with a 71-43 drubbing of a young but spunky Enumclaw bunch Friday night, the 14-2 White River girls basketball squad was named the SPSL 3A’s No. 1 seed for its subdistrict rendezvous with the Seamount League’s top group – the undefeated Kennedy Catholic crew – Friday beginning 7:30 p.m. at Foster High.

A relentless and unbeaten Kennedy club seems to be on a mission this season as it has been punishing other Seamount League teams for even showing up on the same hardwood to play against them.

While the White River squad has been dominant this season as well, with the exception of dropping games to Lakes and Bonney Lake, it seems to depend primarily on the play of Brooke Paulson, Sabra Sproul and Megan McKune, who have averaged 17, 12 and 10 points per game respectively in the 20 meetings that White River has played in this season.

Conversely, the Lancers are a team that lives and dies on teamwork. This philosophy seems to be working for them. They didn’t buckle in a single league tilt during the current campaign and have been winning contests against league opponents by an average of 25 points per victory.

If Kennedy does have two standouts offensively, the ones to keep an eye on Friday are senior guard Yaz Fuller and junior forward Aminah Williams, who is one of the Lancers’ four 6-foot ringers and finished the league season as one of the Seamount’s top five scorers, averaging nearly 16 points per engagement.

Playing the tall and experienced Lancers is not going to be the stroll in the park like the cakewalk against rival Enumclaw Friday.

White River’s basketball squad rolled out the red carpet for the beleaguered 3-13 Enumclaw bunch and raced out to a 37-9 half time advantage.

Enumclaw traveled to the Cardinal Cage Feb. 9 and edged out Franklin Pierce 44-43. Hailey Hall, Hayley Kohler and Katina Ferguson helped pull off the stunner, combining for a total of 32 points.

When Enumclaw hosted White River earlier in the season, first-year EHS coach Beth Madill compared playing her Plateau nemesis, to trying to patch up a garden hose that had been riddled with machine gun fire.

“They just have to many weapons,” Madill said. “If you try to concentrate on stopping one of their players, the hose will spring a leaksomewhere else, as another one of its players will pop up and smoke you. And their coach, well let me just say it is an honor to coach against a guy that has coached as long as he has. I don’t think there is any situation that he hasn’t seen in his tenure as coach there. He was coaching there when I was a player for Enumclaw.”

White River coach Chris Gibson must of had some measure of respect for Enumclaw as a squad, because he left his starters in for three quarters.

Enumclaw appeared solid in the second half as it got great scoring nights out of senior starters Noelle Bauer, 12 points, and Kohler, 10, and matched White River point for point as both contingents racked up 34 points in the second half.

“We played every girl on the team tonight and I thought we looked great clinching the league title for the second year in a row. I feel like we will be ready for Kennedy by the end of this week. They do have a great team this year though don’t they,” Gibson said, as his team disassembled the net in celebration of back-to-back SPSL 3A championships.