WRHS BOYS BASKETBALL: Patriots surprise Hornets with win

White River’s boys basketball team fell Friday on the road against Washington. The 2-8 Patriots collected their second South Puget Sound League 2A victory of the campaign, clipping the Hornets 55-54.

Washington, which had been hitting about 25 percent from the field, caught White River flat-footed and cold cocked the Hornets into reality, as the home squad couldn’t miss and burst out to a 20-8 upper hand after the game’s opening stanza.

“I don’t think the Patriots missed a single attempt from the floor in that first period,” coach Rick Tripp said, “and we just couldn’t get anything going.

The loss to Washington served as a wake-up call, Tripp said, heading into Franklin Pierce Thursday and at Fife Friday. The Hornets control their destiny.

“We had a high energy practice on Saturday after that loss to Washington and I think the kids are feeling confident that if they play the way they know they can, we still have a great chance to finish the regular season in second place,” Tripp said. “We should have a solid seed in the subdistrict tournament.”

Subdistricts begin Feb. 10 at Clover Park.

The Hornets hosted Steilacoom Jan. 25, handing the 2-8 Sentinels a 65-53 loss.

WRHS remained dependent on its back court as Jason Tyler and Billy Kiel teamed up for 45 points. In the loss to Washington, Kiel, who is currently the SPSL 2A’s third-leading scorer, finished with 18 points.

In that one-sided affair the Hornets had broken out to a 29-12 halftime advantage as they allowed Steilacoom a paltry half dozen points in both of the first two quarters.