It’s on to state for Whatcom County’s four Class 1A teams.
The Lynden Christian boys and girls, the Nooksack Valley girls, and the Blaine boys all won their District 1/2 cross-over games Saturday, Feb. 18, at King’s High School to earn spots in next weekend’s state regionals.
The District 1 champion LC boys defeated Sultan, 68-32, and the District 1 champion Nooksack girls dispatched Overlake, 71-8.
The District 1 runner-up LC girls ran over Cedar Park Christian (Bothell), 73-19, and the District 1 runner-up Blaine boys beat the Northwest School, 67-56.
All four teams will have to wait until Sunday to hear who, when, and where they will be playing next. State regionals are played at local sites on Friday and Saturday, Feb. 24 and 25, using a format determined by seeding.
The top four teams host the fifth through eighth seeds (1 vs. 8, 2 vs. 7, etc.) with both teams advancing to the state tournament in Yakima. The winners, however, advance directly to the March 2 quarterfinals and the double-elimination portion while the losers must play a first-round, loser-out contest on March 1.
Teams seeded ninth through 16 in the regionals face off in loser-out games (9 vs. 16, 10 vs. 15, etc.) with only the winner advancing to the first-round, loser-out contests on March 1.
While a committee will do the official seeding on Sunday, the state’s RPI rankings are somewhat helpful. As of Saturday, here are our Class 1A teams’ rankings: Nooksack Valley girls #1, Lynden Christian boys #2, Lynden Christian girls #4, Blaine boys #11.
Lynden Christian Shoots Down Sultan, 68-32
The Lyncs came out hot and easily handled a Sultan squad with an impressive record.
Junior Dawson Bouma had nine of his game-high 16 points and senior Tyler Sipma had seven of his 15 points in the first quarter as the District 1 champion Lyncs stormed to a 26-4 lead and never looked back.
“We started off really hot,” said Lynden Christian coach Tim Zylstra, whose squad improved to 22-2. “You lose and you go home, so it feels good to lock up our (state) spot.”
Junior Jeremiah Wright joined Bouma and Sipma in double figures with 11 points, senior Braden Kuik had 9 points, and senior Griffin Dykstra added 7 points.
“We shared the ball really well,” said Zylstra. “I was really proud of the boys. They came out and really left no doubt.”
The Turks were the District 2 fifth-place finisher but came in with a top 10 RPI state ranking and with a 19-3 record. Of course, they left Seattle on Saturday with a 19-4 record and their season over.
Lynden Christian 68, Sultan 32
Lynden Christian 26 23 14 5—68
Sultan 4 14 7 7—32
Lynden Christian: Sipma 15, Ga. Dykstra 2, Bouma 16, Zylstra 3, Robertson, Gr. Dykstra 7, L. Dykstra 2, Paxton, Kuik 9, Blair 3, Van Kooten, Wright 11.
Sultan: Talik, Agnew, Galle, Khan, Bauer-Galle, Lopez, Vargas, Horne, Spikes, T. Trichler, E. Trichler, Murphy.
Blaine Rallies To Knock Off Northwest, 67-56
The Borderites used a big fourth quarter to complete a comeback and avoid an upset by defeating the Northwest School.
“I’m proud of the way our guys stuck together and got the job done tonight,” said Blaine coach Nate Sullivan, whose team improved to 16-7 with the victory and eliminated the House (10-13), which finished fourth in District 2.
Blaine had to dig out of an early 18-9 hole and was still down by three going into the fourth quarter. But a big 25-point final period had the Borderites rolling into the state regionals.
It was a group effort in the fourth led by the Blaine seniors. Carson Lehnert had half of his 14 points in the period, Lucas Smith made six of his 11 points, Ethan Koreski had five of his 11 points, and Matt Russ had four of his team-high 18 points in the critical final period.
Russ, Lehnert, Koreski, and junior Noah Tavis, who had 10 points, each had two 3-pointers for Blaine.
Blaine 67, Northwest 56
Blaine 9 16 17 25—67
Northwest 18 14 13 11—56
Blaine: Smith 11, Creasey-Pulphus 3, Russ 18, Koreski 11, Audette, Bleazard, Deming, Dalry, Censale, Lehnert 14, Tavis 10.
Northwest: Traina 6, N. Welsh, Phinney, Huang, C. Welsh, Horn 19, Parmer, DeVore 11, Nelson 20.
BI-DISTRICT 1/2 PLAYOFF
Saturday, Feb. 18
At King’s High School
District 1 #1 Lynden Christian 68, vs. District 2 #5 Sultan 32 (winner to state regionals, loser out)
District 1 #2 Blaine 67, District 2 #4 The Northwest School 56 (winner to state regionals, loser out)
Nooksack Valley Overwhelms Overlake, 71-8
Nothing could stop the top-ranked Pioneers, including their school bus breaking down on the way to the game and certainly not the fifth-seeded Owls from District 2.
Despite arriving late, Nooksack Valley ended the suspense early with a 27-2 first quarter highlighted by senior Hallie Kamphouse’s three 3-pointers and six points each from juniors Lainey Kimball and Devin Coppinger.
The three would end up each outscoring the entire Owls team as Coppinger finished with 22 points, including a pair of 3s, and Kimball and Kamphouse had 12 points each with Kamphouse sinking four of the team’s eight 3-pointers.
“We did a good job taking care of business considering our bus broke down on the way to King’s,” said Nooksack Valley coach Shane Wichers, whose team improved to 23-1. “The gym manager from King’s was gracious, and we didn’t start the game until 1:10 instead of 1 p.m.”
The District 1 champion Pioneers shined on defense, allowing the Owls (13-11) only two points in each quarter.
On offense, eight of the 10 Pioneers scored with sophomore Kate Shintaffer collecting 7 points, senior Taylor Lentz 6 points, and junior Kaylee Anderson and freshman Grace DeHoog having 5 points each.
Nooksack Valley 71, Overlake 8
Nooksack Valley 27 17 14 13—71
Overlake 2 2 2 2— 8
Nooksack Valley: Kimball 12, Shintaffer, 7 Bartl, Kamphouse 12, Coppinger 22, Hoekema 2, Lentz 6, Anderson 5, Perry, DeHoog 5.
Overlake: Malladi, Hwang 1, Guralnick 2, Idris, Evans, Li, Wickham 2, Shi 2, Emigh, Leeks 1.
LC Chops Down Cedar Park Christian, 73-19
The Lyncs’ defense took a quarter to get warmed up, but once it did Lynden Christian used a 24-2 second quarter to turn a close game into a blowout and head into the state regionals.
For Cedar Park Christian (Bothell) the first quarter was the Eagles’ highlight as they managed 10 points and only trailed by eight. But by halftime, the No.4 seed from District 2 was down by 30 and with LC’s defense only allowing nine points after the first period, the Eagles saw their season end with an 11-13 record.
“We brought great energy today,” said Lynden Christian coach Brady Bomber, whose District 1 runner-up team improved to 22-3. “Everyone contributed. Our players are excited to play another week.”
Sophomore Grace Hintz led the balanced LC attack with 15 points. Freshman Ella Fritts had 14, senior Demi Dykstra had 12, senior Reganne Arnold had 9, junior Tabitha DeJong had 8, and senior Daisy Poag had 7 with a pair of 3-pointers.
Lynden Christian 73, Cedar Park Christian (Bothell) 19
Lynden Christian 18 24 21 10—73
Cedar Park Christian 10 2 3 4—19
Lynden Christian: Hagen, De. Dykstra 12, Herwerden, Anderson, Fritts 14, Hintz 15, Fay 4, DeJong 8, Poag 7, Arnold 9, Shumate 2, Da. Dykstra 2.
Cedar Park Christian: Alharbi 2, S. Perrigoue, Lynch, Decker 5, M. Perrigoue 2, Byeman, Phillips 2, Chi, Flynn 6, Smalley, Thomas 2.
BI-DISTRICT 1/2 PLAYOFF
Saturday, Feb. 18
At King’s High School
District 1 #1 Nooksack Valley 71, District 2 #5 Overlake 8 (winner to state regionals, loser out)
District 1 #2 Lynden Christian 73, District 2 #4 Cedar Park Christian (Bothell) 19 (winner to state regionals, loser out)