On the high school athletic scene, most Season 3 sports have put the finishing touches on end-of-year events, polishing off a year like no other.
For basketball and tennis players, wrestlers and swimmers, there were league championships that served as culminating events. One of the realities of a pandemic-influenced sports world is the lack of district, regional and state contests.
Not all are finished, however, as athletes are still competing in water polo and lacrosse.
Here’s a look at those who have put away their uniforms and called it a season.
BASKETBALL: TOURNAMENT APPEARANCES FOR FOUR LOCAL TEAMS
A two-night postseason tournament capped an outstanding regular season that saw the White River girls go undefeated to capture the SPSL 2A championship while the Hornet boys dropped just a single league game and claimed second place.
Across the river in Enumclaw, coach Danny Graham and his EHS girls finished in the No. 2 spot while the boys nailed down No. 4 to get a postseason tourney berth.
The White River girls added to a run of success that rivals any in the state. With a June 8 road win over Enumclaw in the regular-season finale, Chris Gibson’s squad racked up its 98th consecutive league victory. The league makeup has changed a couple of times through the years, but the Hornets’ success has been a lone constant: the White River girls have continued a regular-season roll that stretches back to the 2014-15 campaign.
When it came time for the end-of-season league tournament, Gibson’s crew racked up two victories and secured the tourney title. They opened June 9 with a lopsided 72-34 home-court win over Eatonville, where seniors Rylie Lund and Taylor Schmidtke scored 11 points each to pace the offense, while fellow senior Lucy Starkel added 10.
That set the stage for a showdown with Plateau rival Enumclaw for all the tournament marbles. Staged in the Washington High School gymnasium, the championship contest was, indeed, a tale of two distinct halves. White River raced to a big lead during the first 16 minutes, holding a 41-18 advantage as they headed into halftime.
During the third and fourth quarters, EHS whittled the deficit and, at one point, closed to within five points. White River responded, though, and eventually claimed the title with a 64-55 victory.
Senior Kara Marecle, one of only seven players to score move than 1,000 points in her White River career, went out with a bang. She scored 29 in her final game as a Hornet.
Enumclaw’s girls had finished second in SPSL 2A play, with their only loss coming to White River. Earning a spot in the postseason tourney, coach Danny Graham and his squad advanced to the finals with a 51-50, home-court win over Franklin Pierce.
Charlee Torgison finished with 15 points to lead the EHS offense while Rosie Penke added 12.
The White River boys also advanced to the tournament’s title game where they squared off against the regular-season champs from Franklin Pierce High School.
Coach Zach Johnson saw his crew fall behind early, cut into the Cardinal advantage and eventually take a slim fourth-quarter lead. The Hornets kept things close to the end, but Franklin Pierce had too much firepower, primarily in the form of John Barbee Jr. and his 37 points, and the Cards earned the title with a 75-70 win.
White River had earned its shot at the championship with a 58-56 victory over neighboring Enumclaw in tournament opener.
Dueling at White River, the teams played nearly even all night, trading the lead at times. The scored was knotted 25 apiece at halftime and Enumclaw held a two-point margin (45-43) after three quarters.
The Enumclaw High boys had secured the regular-season No. 4 berth to qualify for the postseason tourney.
The EHS boys had an outstanding day at the league meet, taking the overall team title. That came courtesy of seven grapplers who reached the finals, with four earning individual championships and three walking off with second-place finishes. In addition, four Hornets won their final match to garner third-place honors.
The South Puget Sound League 2A finale was contested June 5 at the Puyallup Fairgrounds.
Winning individual titles for EHS were Owen Harris (113 pounds), Westin Triplett (160), Lorenzo Luchi (220) and Zeke Luchi (285).
Taking second were Cade Carter (132), Zane Eilers (152) and Ryder Popke (285). Finishing third were Tyson Russell (126), Anthony Martinez (138), Kaden Gerber (152) and Isaiah George (220). Placing fourth was Colton Jarosz (132).
WHITE RIVER WRESTLING
The talented White River girls had a quartet of individual champions, with Shelby Moore winning the 125-130 bracket, Claire DiCugno taking the top spot at 135-140, Nicole Poussier winning at 145 and Alex Hernandez emerging as the champ at 170.
Anna DiCugno was second (125-130), Mercedes McVea was No. 2 at 135-140 and Kirya Reither was second at 145. Adrian Blue took third place at 120 pounds.
The White River boys were paced by a trio of second-place performances: Ben Milligan (120), Cole Cashman (145) and Julian Sandoval. Placing fourth was Zachary Martinez (126).
The season came to a close for the Hornet boys during the opening day of the South Puget Sound League 2A tournament. The single-elimination affair was staged at Clover Park High School and EHS players were limited to June 8 action.
A pair of Enumclaw entries, Nathan Leonard in singles play and the doubles pairing of Carter Eldridge and Keagan VanHoof, won their opening matches and advanced. Leonard defeated Justin Mann of Franklin Pierce High 6-4, 6-4; the Eldridge/VanHoof team, after an opening-round bye, whipped White River’s Derek Brennan and Zach Slominski 6-1, 6-0 to stay alive.
Leonard was then ousted from tourney play, losing 6-0, 6-0 to Jimmy Longino of Franklin Pierce. The EHS doubles team was eliminated with a tough 6-4, 6-4 loss to a Washington High duo.
Ousted in the first round were Levi Jones in singles and the doubles team of Greysun Harris and Carter Williams.
WHITE RIVER TENNIS
This year’s postseason tournament – a single-elimination affair contested over two days at Clover Park High School – produced a gold-medal effort by the Hornets’ Jared Zaugg.
The White River senior, who went undefeated in singles play during the regular season, opened on June 8 with a convincing 6-0, 6-0 victory over Enumclaw’s Levi Jones. Earlier in the day, SPSL 2A coaches had honored Zaugg as the league’s Most Valuable Player in singles.
Later in the day, Zaugg picked up another victory to advance to the semifinals in a field that started with 16 hopefuls.
That set the stage for a dominating performance on June 10, when Zaugg picked up two more victories and claimed the tournament championship. He opened Thursday’s play with a semifinal, 6-0, 6-0 victory over Steilacoom’s Josh Da, then rolled past Jordan Allen of Foss High 6-1, 6-2 for the title.
In doubles play, the White River pairing of Derek Brennan and Zach Slominski opened with a win, but then fell 6-1, 6-0 to Enumclaw’s Carter Eldridge and Keagan VanHoof. The same held true for a second White River doubles team. Hayden Stevenson and Tate Ringel won their first match but were eliminated with a loss in the second round.
Jon Gilbert also went to the league tourney, but fell in the first round.
ENUMCLAW SWIM & DIVE
Enumclaw High swimmers shattered three meet records during last week’s South Puget Sound League 2A championship meet.
The season-culminating event, which brought together competitors from eight schools and saw EHS place third in the final team standings, was staged June 8 at Mount Tahoma High in Tacoma.
Setting a new individual record for the league meet was EHS junior Ben Jazbutis in the 100-yard freestyle. He joined Luke Perlot, Tanner Harms and Jacob Hauswirth in setting new records in both the 200- and 400-yard freestyle relays.
Enumclaw dominated the leader board in the 50-yard freestyle where Perlot placed first, Jazbutis was second and Hauswirth finished fourth. Harms had the meet’s top time in both the 100-yard butterfly and 100 breaststroke, Jazbutis won the 100 free and Perlot was No. 1 in the 100 freestyle.
Additionally, Hauswirth was sixth in the 100 freestyle, Logan McNabb placed sixth 100 breaststroke and Josh Hughes-Kuruganti took eighth-place honors in the 200 freestyle.
WHITE RIVER SWIM & DIVE
With a handful of Top 10 finishes to their credit, the White River High boys placed fourth in the team standings during last week’s South Puget Sound League 2A swim and dive championships.
The end-of-the-season meet was contested June 8 at Tacoma’s Mount Tahoma High School.
Leading the way was Mason Arnold, who placed second in both the 200- and 500-yard freestyle events. Others with strong showings for the Hornets were Colton Humphreys, third in diving; Jordan Simon, fifth in the 100-yard breaststroke and sixth in the 50 freestyle; Evan Slish, fifth in the 100 freestyle and seventh in the 50 freestyle.
The White River quartet of Simon, Slish, Gavin Humphreys and Arnold placed fourth in the 200-yard freestyle relay and fifth in the 400 freestyle relay.