Highlights: White River girls top Foster for 2A SPSL title
Make that five consecutive Class 2A SPSL championships for the White River High School girls basketball programs — and 71 consecutive wins over league opponents.
Saturday evening in Tacoma, the Hornets pulled away from Foster in the second half, wrapping up another undefeated league title with a 58-45 win at Foss High School.
“It’s big ... we’re pretty hyped,” senior forward Lee Audrey Norris said. “The locker room is going to be pretty awesome when I go in there.”
The Hornets (21-2) earn the top seed into next week’s 2A West Central District tournament — where they are the three-time defending champion — with the win. The Bulldogs (18-3) are the No. 3 overall seed behind Olympic League champion Port Angeles.
“We’ve been fortunate to win a lot over the years, but you never know when it ends. You appreciate the victories,” longtime White River coach Chris Gibson said. “The kids have had a good year, they’ve worked hard, but bigger games to come.”
Norris (15 points, nine rebounds), Kara Marecle (17 points) and Taylor Schmidtke (10 points) each finished in double figures to ensure White River’s long league winning streak continued.
“We came into this game and had to make sure we were respecting them — because they’re definitely a team that could beat us,” Norris said of Foster, which lost to White River by eight points during the regular season.
“We were excited to come out here and play a really good team and end up with a win.”
White River overcame an early scoring drought, and rallied from a 17-9 deficit in the second quarter to eventually take a one-point lead into the break.
“Give Foster credit, they have great athletes, they shoot the ball well, they handle the ball well,” Gibson said, noting he thinks the Bulldogs have a state-tournament caliber team this season.
“They have a really nice team. That’s a Yakima basketball team. Sometimes it’s not so much what we do, but what they do. They got their hands on a lot of balls, and we cleaned up things a little big offensively and took care of the ball. We just needed that first basket to go in.”
Foster was assessed with a pair of consecutive technical fouls — on on the bench, and one on coach Eric Smith — midway through the third quarter, and White River made 3 of 4 free throw attempts to begin to pull away.
The Hornets had a double-digit lead by the end of the quarter, and led by as many as 16 points in the final period.
“In the second half, we were able to get the ball inside,” Gibson said. “That was a big focal point for us.”
Makana Montoya paced the Bulldogs with 15 points, but no other Foster player finished in double figures. Precious Serafica was the closest with eight points, and pulled down eight rebounds.
F – Shooting: 11 of 53 (20.8 percent). Free throws: 19 of 30 (63.3). Turnovers: 23.
WR – Shooting: 20 of 60 (33.3 percent). Free throws: 14 of 17 (82.4). Turnovers: 20.
F – Amerie Pastores 7, Kaimyla Nolen 6, Makana Montoya 15, Meera Santos 2, Diyhani Frazier 6, Precious Serafica 8, Julianna Dempsey 1.
WR – Chloe Narolski 2, Emma Robbins 4, Noelle Mills 2, Lee Audrey Norris 15, Kara Marecle 17, Taylor Schmidtke 10, Sam Fielder 8.