District tourneys next for local hoop squads

Check out who’s in and who’s out for postseason play this year.

With basketball’s postseason gearing up, local teams are pushing for berths in district tournaments with their eyes on the big prize – an appearance in one of the four-day state tournaments, set for Feb. 28 through March 3.

Regular seasons have wrapped up at Enumclaw, Sumner, Bonney Lake and White River high schools. Here’s where each of the local teams sits through games of last weekend.

WHITE RIVER

The highest-rated squad in the immediate area is the Hornet girls team. Always tough, Chris Gibson’s crew carries a No. 9 RPI ranking among Washington’s Class 2A teams. The Hornets finished the regular season with a record of 17-4, including a perfect 14-0 mark in South Puget Sound League 2A play and another league title.

The girls West Central District tournament opens today, Feb. 7, and the Hornets will have a first-round bye; their first game will be at 7 p.m. Friday on their home court, against an opponents that had not been decided as of Monday.

The White River boys finished the regular season at 9-11 overall and were fifth in the eight-team the SPSL 2A Mountain Division. Only the top four advanced to postseason play.

ENUMCLAW

The Hornet boys will open West Central/Southwest District 4A tournament play tonight, Feb. 7, on their home court. EHS will face Rogers of Puyallup, a team from the South Puget Sound League.

The Hornet boys will play again Friday night in the double-elimination tournament. With an opening round victory, EHS would play at 6 p.m. Friday at Mount Tahoma High School; with an opening loss, EHS would be scheduled for a 6 p.m. game at Wilson High.

They are one of 16 teams in the district tournament chasing seven berths into regionals.

The Enumclaw High boys put together an impressive regular season, finishing North Puget Sound League 4A play with a record of 12-2 (15-5 overall). That was followed by a 64-48 victory over Kennedy Catholic in the SPSL tournament on Feb. 3.

The EHS girls completed their regular season with a 12-9 overall record, including a 9-5 mark in NPSL play. That brought a Feb. 2 game against Hazen in the NPSL tourney, which resulted in a 44-31 loss for the Hornet girls.

That forced the Enumclaw girls into a play-in game Tuesday night against Skyview High. The loser was done for the season while the winner was entered into the West Central/Southwest District tourney. If EHS plays its way into districts, the first tournament game would be at 7 p.m. Thursday against Bellarmine Prep; the contest is slated for the Bellarmine campus.

The district tourney is a double-elimination affair and, win or lose, the Hornet girls would play again at noon Saturday.

SUMNER

The Spartan girls completed the regular season with an impressive record of 12-4 in SPSL play and 16-4 overall, earning a No. 16 RPI ranking.

The Spartans open West Central/Southwest District tournament play with a 7:30 p.m. contest Thursday against Thomas Jefferson on the Raiders’ home court. The Raiders are a formidable foe, having won the North Puget Sound League with a 14-0 record.

Should the Spartan girls beat the Raiders, they would next play at 5:30 p.m. Saturday at Mount Tahoma High; a Thursday loss would bring a game at 5:30 Saturday at Wilson High.

The Sumner boys finished the regular season 7-9 and were sixth in the nine-team SPSL 4A. That brought a play-in game Monday night against the Decatur Gators. It was a loser-out game, with the winner slotted into the West Central/Southwest District tourney.

If Sumner survived Decatur, the Spartans’ district opener will be at 730 tonight, Wednesday, against the powerful squad from Federal Way High. Win or lose, SHS would play again at 7:45 Friday.

BONNEY LAKE

The Panther boys finished the Pierce County League 3A season with a record of 5-9 and sat at 9-11 overall. That left the Panthers sixth in the eight-team PCL.

That was enough to qualify for the West Central/Southwest District 3A tourney, but brought a long road trip to Clark County. The Panthers open district play at 7:45 tonight, Wednesday, at Prairie High. Knocking off the Plainsmen would bring a 1:45 game Saturday at Puyallup High; a Wednesday loss would result in a 1:45 game Saturday at Rogers High.

The Bonney Lake girls finished the Pierce County League season with a 4-10 mark, 4-16 overall. The sixth-place finish was good enough to make the WCD/Southwest District tournament.

The Panther girls begin play tonight, Wednesday. Like the BL boys, they will travel south to take on Prairie High, tipping off at 6 p.m. Win or lose, their Saturday game will begin at 7:45 p.m.; a win will send the Panthers to Bellarmine Prep and a loss would result in a game at Washington High. The Panthers and Prairie share an opening-round bracket with Mount Tahoma and Timberline; winners and losers will be paired for second-round contests.

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