The Bonney Lake High girls basketball hosted a Teal Out game Friday night in its 3A PCL league meeting with Spanaway Lake, an eventual 56-22 win over Sentinels.
The win was significant itself as it moved Bonney Lake (2-4, 2-2) into a third-place tie with Wilson (3-3, 2-2) heading into the break, where the Panthers will play three nonleague games, which started with Tahoma (6-2, 3-2 4A NPSL) on Monday.
Bonney Lake closes out the calendar year with a road game at Fife (5-3, 2-2 2A SPSL) on Dec. 29 and at home against Auburn (2-5, 2-3 4A NPSL) on Dec. 30.
“It’s just like a community thing where we all come together,” said Payton Mitchell about the Teal Out game honoring former Bonney Lake student Cheyann Clark.
The Panthers handed the Sentinels a decisive loss in the contest, but even as they found ways to create turnovers and add on to their lead, the Bonney Lake way of competing held strong throughout.
“(Spanaway Lake coach Robert Morrison) told me after that the girls played with a lot of sportsmanship,” Bonney Lake coach Dan Lisk said. “He said thanks for not piling on the points when we could have.”
And that brings it back to the game at hand, and what it truly meant for the Panthers and the community around them.
The Teal Out game was in honor of Cheyann (Shaw) Clark, a Bonney Lake graduate, who has been diagnosed with ovarian cancer and has been going through chemotherapy.
“Bonney Lake is a really small town, and when someone is need like that, we kind of bond together and work together,” Amanda Hone said. “We all have a pretty life — we all live pretty well here at Bonney Lake (High), and when someone’s in need like that, you want to reach out and help them.”
In life, there are bigger things than what happens on the court, something Bonney Lake and its athletes have begun to take to heart.
“We think it’s really important for us to honor the people who came before us, because they helped pave the way for Bonney Lake basketball,” Shaya McQueen said. “No matter if she played basketball or not, she was Bonney Lake student, and we’re a small community. It’s the right thing to do.”
When a team embraces the aspect of reaching out to the community — past, present and future — there are is always a reason to respect the program’s level of commitment to its area.
For Bonney Lake girls athletics, this is just who it chooses to be and how players want to represent themselves to the world outside of their community on the hill.
Back on Sept. 10, the girls soccer team held its own Teal Out game against Black Hills. When the girls heard that a parent from Black Hills’ team was dealing with cancer, the Panthers did everything they could to honor them with the game.
“We decided to treat everyone the same and show them that we care about them even if they are a past student like Cheyann or someone from another team,” Mitchell said. “It’s a school-wide thing, and we have great coaches throughout all our sports that promote that mindset.”
And the mindset has created a movement of sort as the Bonney Lake community has come to embrace this mindset by the school, Mitchell added, even if only incremental at most.
“I’ve seen it where people will say hello more often,” Mitchell said. “That kind of friendliness makes you proud to call yourself a Panther and to say you come from Bonney Lake.”
That kind of mindset can be appreciated any kind of year.