The White River High School girls opened the South Puget Sound League 2A tournament Feb. 5 with a convincing 66-37 victory over the Franklin Pierce Cardinals. Above, Hornet junior Lucy Starkel drives to the hoop. Photo by Kevin Hanson

The White River High School girls opened the South Puget Sound League 2A tournament Feb. 5 with a convincing 66-37 victory over the Franklin Pierce Cardinals. Above, Hornet junior Lucy Starkel drives to the hoop. Photo by Kevin Hanson

Enumclaw, White River basketball squads qualify for district play

The WRHS girls once again are one of the favorites to take the state championship.

It’s the time of season for basketball playoffs, when teams are scrambling to advance as far as possible.

All four local programs – boys and girls teams from both White River and Enumclaw high schools – are in action this week. All are aiming for district tournaments where top clubs will emerge and land in the state’s Sweet 16.

Here’s a look at where all four squads sit, through games of last weekend.

WHITE RIVER GIRLS

The Hornet girls are in very familiar territory, advancing to the West Central District tournament while been viewed as one of the favorites to move along to the Class 2A state tournament.

By winning twice in the South Puget Sound League tournament, the Hornets will bypass the first day of the West Central District tourney. White River opens WCD play at 7 p.m. Friday hosting either North Kitsap or Washington High.

A Friday victory would send the Hornets to the regional round of the state tourney.

White River’s SPSL tourney experience included two victories: the squad defeated Renton 58-42 on Feb. 8, three days after a 66-37 thumping of Franklin Pierce.

The Hornet girls, under coach Chris Gibson, head to West Central District play with an 18-2 overall record and ranked No. 4 by the RPI formula.

WHITE RIVER BOYS

Coach Zach Johnson and his White River boys will wait until Saturday to open play in the West Central District tournament.

They will host an 8 p.m. contest, taking on either Olympic High or Franklin Pierce; those two will square off Thursday. A Saturday victory will assure the Hornets of a berth in the regional round of the state tournament.

White River heads to WCD play after splitting a pair of contests in the South Puget Sound League 2A tourney. The team opened with an 81-72 victory over Franklin Pierce, then fell 61-60 a night later to the Lindbergh Eagles.

The Hornets enter district competition with an overall record of 18-4, ranked No. 8 according to the RPI formula.

ENUMCLAW GIRLS

With a crossover victory to their credit, the EHS girls this week headed into West Central/Southwest District tournament play.

The Hornets opened last night (Tuesday) with a play-in game against the Emerald Ridge Jaguars, tipping off on the neutral court at Auburn Mountainview High School. It was a loser-out affair.

If the Hornets were successful, they join the 16-team West Central/Southwest field and would play at 7 p.m. Thursday

Coach Ted Carlson and his crew kept their season alive Feb. 6 with a 44-32 road win over Kennedy Catholic. It was a crossover contest matching the No. 5 teams from the North Puget Sound League’s Olympic and Cascade divisions.

ENUMCLAW BOYS

As the No. 8 seed from the North Puget Sound League tournament, the Enumclaw High boys opened West Central/Southwest District play Monday night.

Traveling to Olympia High School, the Hornets took on the Skyview Storm of the Greater St. Helens League in a loser-out contest. Results came too late to be included in this edition.

If the Hornets were victorious, they will travel to Camas tonight (Wednesday) to challenge the Union High Titans, the No. 1 club from the GSHL. If they play tonight, win or lose, the Hornets will take the court again Friday in district play.

By virtue of their league finish, the Hornet boys had started postseason play with a crossover game against Kentlake. The Feb. 5 contest was played on the Falcons’ home court.

Things did not go well for Enumclaw, as the host squad poured in 30 points during the first quarter, held a 47-28 advantage by halftime and went on the a 73-50 victory.

The Hornets were paced by Dane Goudy with 17 points, Tyler Feddema with 14 and John Leonard with 11.

WRHS athlete Brooke Mahler battles Cardinal defenders under the hoop to get a shot off. Photo by Kevin Hanson

WRHS athlete Brooke Mahler battles Cardinal defenders under the hoop to get a shot off. Photo by Kevin Hanson

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