The end of the winter sports season is in clear sight, but that doesn’t mean the competition is any less fierce.
This week brings fans the early pairings of the state basketball tournaments for both boys and girls, along with state finals for gymnastics. The Plateau high schools from both Enumclaw and White River will be represented on all fronts.
Here’s where things stand for the Hornets from each side of the river.
The White River squad again proved to be among the state’s best, wrapping up two days of Mat Classic XXXIV competition with a second-place showing in the final team standings.
The Hornet girls also placed second in 2022 and 2019 and took the team championship in 2020 (there was no tournament in 2021).
White River was sparked by two individual champions. Anna DiCugno capped an undefeated season with a title at 125 pounds and Nicole Poussier did the same at 140.
Both Lilyana Lamothe (120) and Taydem Bylin (140) battled their way to the finals and scored second-place honors. Adriah Blue pinned her first opponent at 110 pounds but then dropped two matches and was eliminated.
There were 50 teams represented in the Class 2A boys’ competition and, in the end, White River placed 11th and Enumclaw was two spots back at No. 13.
White River’s top individual finish was turned in by Riley Simmons who placed third in the 220-pound bracket. Claiming fifth-place honors was Caleb Evanger at 120 pounds and taking sixth was Caleb Dale at 145. Rounding out the WRHS effort were Hunter Oswold at 138 pounds and Chase Campbell at 182, both finishing in eighth place.
The only local championship on the boys’ side was turned in by Enumclaw’s Westin Triplett. Competing at 160 pounds, he pinned three opponents and recorded a technical fall on his way to No. 1 honors. He had reached the finals and placed second at the same weight a year ago.
Teammate Zeke Luchi (285 pounds) won three straight matches to reach the finals and took home a second-place finish. Also representing EHS in the Tacoma Dome were Mason Elder (152) and Caleb Grantham (132); both dropped their first two matches and did not advance.
The girls’ hoop squads from Enumclaw and White River shared a league title, squared off in the District 2/3 championship game and now find themselves in the state Class 2A’s Sweet 16.
There’s just one difference: by claiming the No. 7 seed into state, White River is guaranteed a spot in the state round of 12, to be staged March 1-4 at the Yakima Valley SunDome. Enumclaw, with a No. 12 seed, will have to win its opener to make the Yakima trip.
White River will face Lynden at 8 p.m. Saturday in an opening-round contest at Mount Vernon High School. A victory will result in a March 1 bye in Yakima; a loss to Lynden would bring a March 1, loser-out game against either Mark Morris or Othello.
Enumclaw also will play Saturday, taking on No. 13 Columbia River in a loser-out contest at 2 p.m. at Auburn High School. If EHS wins, they will play March 1 in Yakima against either Tumwater or Prosser in a loser-out contest.
The Enumclaw High boys won two of three games in last week’s District 2/3 tournament and secured a berth in the Class 2A state championships.
EHS will open state play at 4 p.m. Saturday at Auburn High with a game against the Ridgefield Spudders. The loser will be eliminated while the winner advances to the round of 12, to by contested March 1-4 in the Yakima Valley SunDome.
If Enumclaw defeats Ridgefield, the Hornets’ Yakima opener would be against loser of a first-round game between Prosser and Anacortes.
Falling a single point shy of a state berth was the White River High boys’ team. In District 2/3 play they dropped their opener to top-seeded Renton and then defeated Steilacoom. In a winner-to-state, loser-out contest on Feb. 18, the Hornets fell 72-71 to the Foss Falcons.
Swimmers from White River and Enumclaw traveled to the King County Aquatic Center for this year’s state Class 2A championships.
The Feb. 16-18 season finale in Federal Way brought together competitors from all corners of the state.
Enumclaw’s 200-yard freestyle relay team placed 15th in the state field with a finals time of 1:40.89. Making up the state squad were Connor Strong, Samuel Beal, David Prince and Dean Paulson. White River also had qualified a team for the relay event, but could not compete when a member of the relay foursome became ill.
White River also had two swimmers qualify in individual events. Mason Arnold finished 11th in the 200-yard individual medley and 12th in the 100-yard breaststroke. Conroy Meyers placed 10th in the 50-yard freestyle and 11th in the 100-yard freestyle.
GYMNASTS TO STATE
Four Plateau gymnasts – three from Enumclaw High and one from White River – have qualified for this week’s state competition.
The three-day meet, bringing together gymnasts from schools of all sizes from each district of the state, is slated for Feb. 23-25 at Sammamish High School. The local Class 2A competitors will perform Thursday and return Friday for finals.
Making the state meet were Enumclaw High’s Ashley Dickerson, Mylee Bonthuis and Julia Carter; also headed to Sammamish is Kylee Trudgeon, White River’s only gymnast. They earned a state trip during last week’s regional competition.
At Sammamish High, Carter will be taking part in the all-around; Dickerson qualified to compete in all four events (vault, beam, bars and floor exercise); Bonthuis qualified in vault and floor; and Trudgeon is in the state field for both vault and floor.