The Enumclaw High School boys basketball team didn’t need to beat second-ranked Union. The Hornets just needed to learn from them.
Enumclaw will still head to the Tacoma Dome despite the 75-50 loss in the regional round of the 4A state tournament on Saturday at Battle Ground High School thanks to being in the top eight of the WIAA’s 4A RPI rankings. It will do so with a young roster – its top three scorers are 6-foot-7 junior Kaden Anderson, 6-foot-4 freshman Peter Erickson and 6-foot-4 junior Griffin Webb – a first-year coach and moving up from 3A to 4A before the school year.
"I don’t think Enumclaw gets mentioned with Kentwood and Federal Way and Union and some other schools, but we’re OK with that," Enumclaw coach Terry Johnson said. "We don’t worry about that. We just focus on getting better every day.
"We’re OK being under the radar."
Cameron Cranston, the 6-foot-6 left-hander, led Union with 28 points. Enumclaw trailed 19-16 after the first quarter but was outscored 39-22 the next two periods.
Erickson and Webb each scored 12 points for the Hornets in the loss.
"We knew Union was a great team," Johnson said. "They are experienced, well coached, they can really, really shoot the ball and Cameron Cranston is as good as any player in the state.
“They’re fast. They move the ball so well offensively and they are very unselfish. That’s what we want to get to.”
Johnson will enjoy his return to the Tacoma Dome. The last time Enumclaw went there, it lost to Union, 51-50, in the state title game in 2010, except Johnson was on the girls court, coaching the Auburn Riverside girls to a state title victory against Mead.
Johnson was an assistant at Saint Martin’s University last year.
"I have experience being there and these guys don’t," Johnson said. "Our guys are excited. We are excited about the season we’ve had. But we also know we have bigger goals as a program and what we’re trying to build."
Union earned a bye to the state quarterfinals with Saturday’s win.