A trio of Plateau basketball teams journeyed east of the mountains for the Class 2A state championships, meeting with varying levels of success.
Faring the best were the girls from White River High, who returned to Buckley with a fifth-place trophy in hand. The Enumclaw High boys’ team picked up a huge victory before losing twice and being ousted from tourney play. And the Enumclaw girls were limited to a single game, falling short in a loser-out contest.
The scene was the Yakima Valley SunDome, which hosted both the Class 2A and Class 1A state festivities. In all, there were 48 teams on hand – a dozen each in both boys’ and girls’ play, in both the 2A and 1A classifications – with games stretching from March 1 through the March 4 finales.
Here’s a rundown for each of the Plateau programs that made a SunDome appearance.
WHITE RIVER GIRLS
Prosser 53, White River 50 (March 4): In this Saturday afternoon battle for third- or fifth-place tournament honors, the Hornets and the Prosser Mustangs slugged it out for four quarters. In the end, it was Prosser celebrating a 53-50 victory.
The contest featured rallies by both teams with the lead – and the momentum – changing hands. White River trailed by nine points early in the second quarter but sliced the deficit to 28-26 by halftime, aided by back-to-back 3-pointers by Lexie Banks.
The Hornets opened the third quarter with a 10-3 run to take the lead, with Morgan Greene and Ava Banks sharing the success with five points each. An 11-6 rally to open the fourth quarter gave White River a 46-40 advantage, but Prosser responded with a 12-4 run of its own and held on for the victory.
Vivian Kingston had her best offensive game of the tournament, leading the Hornet effort with 16 points.
White River: 11-15-13-11 – 50
Prosser: 19-9-12-13 – 53
White River scoring: Vivian Kingston 16, Ava Bright 11, Morgan Greene 10, Lexie Banks 9, Ella Klemkow 4.
White River field goals: 19-54, 35.2 percent; 3-point attempts 5-15, 33.3 percent; free throws 7-14, 50 percent.
Burlington-Edison 47, White River 38 (March 3): This wasn’t a tale of two cities as much as a story of two quarters: namely, the first and third periods, when the Hornet offense went stagnant.
White River opened the semifinal game with a single point during the initial eight minutes but, despite the paltry output, trailed by just 23-16 at halftime. Then came the third quarter when the Hornets managed just two points and found themselves in a 37-18 hole.
That simply set the stage for a White River rally in the final frame, an eight-minute stretch in which the team more than doubled its output for the previous three quarters. The Hornets outscored the Tigers 20-10, making the final score a respectable 47-38.
For the contest, Morgan Greene paced the Hornet offense with 11 points and also pulled down a team-high seven rebounds.
White River: 1-15-2-20 – 38
Burlington-Edison: 7-16-14-10 – 47
White River scoring: Morgan Greene 11, Dakota Sprouse 8, Josie Jacobs 8, Vivian Kingston 5, Sophie Ross-Soler 5, Lexie Banks 1.
White River field goals: 12-42, 28.6 percent; 3-point attempts 5-12,41.7 percent; free throws 9-17, 52.9 percent.
White River 44, Sequim 37 (March 2): The Hornet girls skipped the tournament’s Round of 12 by virtue of a regional-round victory, then used an overtime advantage to slip past the Sequim Wolves in quarterfinal play.
The teams battled even all the way, tied 30-30 after three quarters and 35 apiece at the end of regulation play. The four-minute overtime period was almost all Hornets, who capitalized on hoops by Ava Bright and Vivian Kingston, then used five free throws to stretch the lead and advance to the semifinal round.
White River: 9-14-7-5-9 – 44
Sequim: 11-9-10-5-2 – 37
White River scoring: Ava Bright 9, Morgan Greene 8, Vivian Kingston 6, Dakota Sprouse 6, Ella Klemkow 6, Lexie Banks 4, MacKenzie Hinson 3, Josie Jacobs 2.
White River field goals: 14-53, 26.4 percent; 3-point attempts 3-24, 12.5 percent; free throws 13-29, 44.8 percent.
Tumwater 60, Enumclaw 42 (March 3): The Hornet boys’ final game of the season came on Day 3 of the Class 2A tournament. It didn’t go as the EHS faithful hoped, as the Tumwater Thunderbirds prevailed 60-42.
Enumclaw held its own during the first and third quarters, but the other periods made the difference. Tumwater outscored Enumclaw 17-7 during the second frame to take a 29-18 halftime lead and stretched its lead with a 14-8 advantage during the final eight minutes.
A pair of seniors playing their final game in a Hornet uniform – Carter DeRosier and Noah Seabrands – led the offense with 14 and 10 points, respectively.
Enumclaw: 11-7-16-8 – 42
Tumwater: 12-17-17-14 – 60
Enumclaw scoring: Carter DeRosier 14, Noah Seabrands 10, Karson Holt 8, Garrett Shatswell 3, Ty Hanson 2, Liam Leonard 2, Austin Pierce 2, Wyatt Neu 1.
Enumclaw field goals: 11-39, 28.2 percent; 3-point attempts 6-18, 33.3 percent; free throws 14-25, 56 percent.
Pullman 54, Enumclaw 40 (March 2): Defeating the unanimous No. 1 team in the state takes a lot – hot shooting, solid defense and other intangibles that lead to success.
Not enough of that worked in Enumclaw’s favor the afternoon of March 2 and the result was a 54-40 loss at the hands of the top-seeded Pullman Greyhounds. The game was on Day 2 of the Class 2A state tournament.
The early stages of the game had Enumclaw more than holding its own against the top-rated crew from the Palouse. The Hornets managed an 11-10 lead after one quarter of play and trailed by a slim 30-26 margin at the halftime break. Doing most of the offensive damage for EHS was senior Carter DeRosier, who poured in 13 points during the opening 16 minutes.
The second half was a different story, however, as the Greyhounds slowly pulled away to eventually secure a 14-point margin of victory.
Numbers tell the story behind the quarterfinal tilt: the Hornets shot just 28.6 percent from the field and 24 percent from 3-point range.
Enumclaw: 11-15-7-7 – 40
Pullman: 10-20-10-14 – 54
Enumclaw scoring: Carter DeRosier 19, Noah Seabrands 11, Ty Hanson 6, Karson Holt 4.
Enumclaw field goals: 14-49, 28.6 percent; 3-point attempts 6-25, 24 percent; free throws 6-8, 75 percent.
Enumclaw 63, Anacortes 41 (March 1): The Hornets opened the 2A tourney with a bang, racing past Anacortes High 63-41 in a loser-out contest.
The Seahawks entered SunDome play as one of the favorites, carrying a 21-3 season record and the tourney’s No. 2 seed, while Enumclaw (also 21-3) was pegged at No. 10. That didn’t appear to make any difference, with the Hornets taking the wire-to-wire, 22-point victory over their opponent from the Northwest Conference.
Enumclaw took control in the second quarter, racing from a 12-7 first quarter advantage to a 35-13 halftime lead. The outburst was sparked by a trio of 3-point buckets by Noah Seabrands and six points from Wyatt Neu.
Seabrands continued his offensive show in the second half, eventually scoring a game-high 22 points. He connected on eight of his 15 shots from the field, including five of nine from 3-point range. Karson Holt pulled down a game-high 10 rebounds to go with nine points.
Enumclaw: 12-23-16-12 – 63
Anacortes: 7-6-12-16 – 41
Enumclaw scoring: Noah Seabrands 22, Karson Holt 9, Wyatt Neu 8, Carter DeRosier 7, Liam Leonard 7, Austin Pierce 5, Ty Hanson 3, Evan Cheney 2.
Enumclaw field goals: 24-51, 47.1 percent; 3-point attempts 7-22, 31.8 percent; free throws 8-17, 47.1 percent.
Tumwater 36, Enumclaw 29 (March 1): The defense was willing but the offense was weak.
That’s the storyline behind the Enumclaw High girls’ exit from the state Class 2A basketball championships. Hitting just 22 percent of their shots from the field (including one of 22 from 3-point range), the Hornets were ousted 36-29 by the Tumwater Thunderbirds.
Enumclaw (seeded No. 12) squared off against the No. 5 T’birds the evening of March 1 in the Yakima Valley SunDome. It was a loser-out contest, putting an end to the Hornets’ 2022-23 campaign.
Enumclaw got off to a rocky start, scoring just two points in the opening quarter, digging themselves a hole that proved much too deep. Tumwater also was guilty of plenty of miscues but still managed to take a 16-8 lead into halftime.
The star of the first half of the Thunderbirds’ Kylie Waltermeyer. She scored Tumwater’s first nine points and finished with 11 for the half.
Tumwater built its biggest lead of the game with about two minutes remaining in the third quarter, surging to a 30-14 advantage. A 3-point bucket by Marissa Lindberg shortly before the end of the third period sliced the EHS deficit to 13 points, a margin that held until midway through the fourth quarter. That was when the Hornets rattled off eight straight points to grab all the momentum.
The late-in-the-game rally included three consecutive layins by Charlee Torgison and a pair of McKinley Rubin free throws, which cut the deficit to five. Those proved to be Enumclaw’s final points of the season.
Enumclaw: 2-6-9-12 – 29
Tumwater: 9-7-14-6 – 36
Enumclaw scoring: Natalie DeMarco 10, Charlee Torgison 8, Bella Firnkoess 4, Marissa Lindberg 3, McKinley Rubin 2, Gabi Martel 2.
Enumclaw field goals: 13-59, 22 percent; 3-point attempts 1-22, 4.5 percent; free throws 2-5, 40 percent.