The White River High boys basketball squad recorded its initial victory of the season Friday against Steilacoom, winning 61-47.
“It felt really good to get that first win under our belts,” said coach Rick Tripp, who after witnessing a 66-37 drubbing at the hands of Clover Park a few days previous, had watched his squad slip to 0-5 overall.
“The thing most people didn’t understand is that all of the games prior to this contest with Steilacoom were against highly-ranked squads,” noted Tripp. “Not to take anything away from Steilacoom, because they are a great team, too, but R.A. Long, Mark Morris and Clover Park are all a cut above the rest in Class 2A and Enumclaw and Bonney Lake are both 3A teams.”
When White River lifted the lid on its South Puget Sound League 2A campaign by hosting Clover Park Dec. 14, the athleticism of players like Tana Pritchard (28 points) and David Crisp (14 points) proved a bit overwhelming for the undersized Hornets.
When White River traveled to Steilacoom Friday, things seemed a bit more managable.
“Steilacoom’s Jake Essein is a physical player, who was able to put up 25 points on us because he created some genuine mismatches,” Tripp said. “But even though our post Nicco Wolfskill got into some early foul trouble and our forward Lyle McCarragher rolled his ankle and did not return to the action, we were able to hold our own with the Sentinels rebounding-wise, as our guards did a great job of compensating by following up their shots and securing some clutch boards.”
Collecting caroms wasn’t all White River’s backcourt managed to do, though, as guards Billy Kiel and Jason Tyler shot well from the field and the line combining to score 35 of of the Hornets’ 61 points.