Chris Gibson at first was at a loss for words.
He had a gaze of amazement as he looked up at the scoreboard, then checked it one more time with his White River High School girls basketball team leading Bothell, 51-47, with 1.4 seconds remaining.
The Hornets inbounded the ball and a celebration ensued as they toppled the previously unbeaten and second-ranked 4A Cougars in the nightcap of the ShoWare Shootout on Thursday at the ShoWare Center in Kent.
Not bad for a little 2A school from Buckley.
And not bad for Gibson’s 499th career coaching victory.
“I’m kind of speechless right now,” Gibson said. “That’s an amazing club. Those teams make you better — win lose or draw.”
But winning feels so much sweeter.
White River (8-0), the No.1-ranked 2A team, trailed 42-37 in the fourth quarter before it went on an 11-0 run to take the lead for good against the Cougars, who returned their top two scorers from their 4A state-semifinal team a year ago.
JaneAllyn Norris made a corner 3-pointer with about three minutes to play to give White River a 44-42 lead after Kendall Bird had scored underneath to pull the Hornets within one.
Bird, a University of San Diego signee, scored a game-high 27 points and had 11 rebounds. White River outrebounded Bothell, 48-33.
“We didn’t handle Bird very well,” Bothell coach Kent Shaefer said. “And we didn’t get enough pressure on their guards for most of the game.
“They played with some pace and were more confident than us. They were the better team.”
Taya Corosdale, a 6-2 Oregon State signee, led Bothell with 16 points and had eight rebounds.
Bird was matched against her for most of the game. Bird played all 32 minutes and was visibly fatigued.
“We kept at it the whole game — pretty tiring,” Bird laughed.
“Before the game we just said, ‘We have nothing to lose. Just go out there and prove to everyone that we can beat a 4A team.’ ”
It was tied at halftime before Bothell took a 33-27 lead near the end of the third quarter.
But Bird kept playing physical down low, Georgia Lavinder made a 3-pointer and Norris hit hers to bring the Hornets back into it.
Gibson said he couldn’t think of a better regular-season victory in his 29 seasons.
“I had to talk my kids out of the fact that they are playing Bothell,” Gibson said. “My kids are smart, they know what kind of team that is. ‘Why did you schedule this?’ And I was thinking the same thing. That is a really good basketball team and things just went our way today.”
Kentwood 40, West Seattle 37: The fifth-ranked Conquerors had no business winning.
Not when they made 7 of 26 shots (26.9 percent) in the first half, and the 4A Conquerors were significantly outrebounded by a dark-horse team from the stacked 3A Metro League.
Yet, they somehow pulled away— rallying from a double-digit deficit for the victory against West Seattle, the No. 5-ranked 3A team.
“The good thing about having a lot of seniors is they know how to finish games,” Kentwood coach Blake Solomon said. “When it comes to winning time, we feel pretty good.”
Kentwood took its first lead at 34-33 when D’Angelo Minnis came off the bench to get a steal and hit Darius LuBom for a fast-break layup. Minnis followed with a 3-pointer from the right corner.
Eli’Sha Sheppard later got a fast-break bucket to put the Conks ahead 38-35 with 18 seconds to play. Sheppard had 10 points and five rebounds, and Beau Roggenbach had 10 points and seven rebounds.
Those post players stepped up while standout guards LuBom and Rayvaughn Bolton were limited to a combined 13 points.
And Kentwood was outrebounded, 40-28.
“It’s not that we weren’t getting open shots and not that they were locking us up, we just weren’t knocking down the shots,” LuBom said. “And the energy was very low. Second half we picked up the energy and saw a different result.”
Enumclaw 62, Sumner 59 (2 OT): Kaden Anderson had 26 points and six rebounds as the Hornets rallied in the fourth quarter to send the game into overtime, then pulled ahead with some key defensive stops in the second overtime.
“We needed it,” Anderson said. “We had a bad game a couple of days ago (in a loss to Decatur). We definitely needed this.”
Anderson made a pair of free throws with four seconds remaining in the second overtime and Thane Birrer’s long 3-pointer at the buzzer went off the front iron.
Luke Ross led Sumner (0-8) with 16 points, including four 3-pointers, and Birrer had 13 in the battle of former 3A SPSL rivals. Now Enumclaw (5-4) is in the 4A NPSL’s Olympic division and Sumner in the 4A SPSL.
Wilson 58, Mercer Island 49: Emmitt Matthews Jr. had 16 points and seven rebounds, and Londrell Hamilton added 15 points and four assists, as the Rams rebounded from their first loss of the season to beat the Islanders.
Wilson (6-1) outrebounded Mercer Island, 36-34, and limited its turnovers, with 12 to Mercer Island’s 18.
Wilson went on a 13-0 run to regain control of the game, pulling away in the fourth quarter.
The Rams lost to No. 6 Lincoln last week, 86-68, at the University of Puget Sound. Wilson’s next game is against Steveston-London of British Columbia on Wednesday at the three-day Franklin Holiday Tournament in Seattle.
Bonney Lake 58, Yelm 52: The Panthers (4-3) overcame an 11-point deficit and held on late behind Zach Goff, who had 17 points and 15 rebounds.
Antonio Perez led Yelm (2-6) with 14 points, including three 3-pointers.
Kentlake 51, Cascade Christian 44: The Falcons earned their first win of the season and first under first-year coach Brad Valentine.
Michael Alar had 13 points and Larry Alar added 12 for Kentlake (1-8). Tyler Fox led Cascade Christian (2-5) with 13 points.
TJ Cotterill: 253-597-8677