1A Boys Regional: LC Overpowers Seton Catholic, 71-39

The two-time defending state champion Lynden Christian boys basketball team took care of business with a 71-39 victory over Seton Catholic in the Class 1A state regionals on Saturday, Feb. 24, at Lynden High School.

The win, the Lyncs’ 22 in 24 games, propels them back into the state quarterfinals at the Yakima SunDome on Thursday, Feb. 29, at 2 p.m. They will face the winner of Wednesday’s loser-out game between King’s and Tenino.

“We’re excited to get back there,” said Lynden Christian coach Tim Zylstra, whose team has been in the state finals the past three tournaments and won three state titles in the past five tournaments.

“We’ll go to work right away. We’ll probably be watching film tonight. Then we’ll start to plan, prepare on Monday and Tuesday, head over Wednesday, probably have a shoot-around over there, and then get after it on Thursday.”

The second-seeded Lyncs passed their first state test by using their usual formula in knocking off the seventh-seeded Cougars from Vancouver: big offensive runs and tough defense

For the Essential Fans Guide to the Class 1A boys state tournament, check out Fans Guide.

Lynden Christian scored the first 11 points to start the game. After Seton Catholic closed to within three with two minutes left in the second quarter, LC closed the half with eight straight points. A 7-0 run to start the third quarter put the Lyncs up by 18 and then it was just a matter of closing out the win.

Three-pointers by junior Luke Van Kooten, senior Dawson Bouma, and junior Gannon Dykstra ended the third quarter, and 14 straight points to start the fourth quarter — including two dunks and a 3-pointer by senior Jeremiah Wright — finished off the Cougars.

Bouma led the balanced LC attack with 17 points and five of Lynden Christian’s 11 3-pointers. Dykstra had 16 points and a pair of 3s, Wright had 13 points, Van Kooten had 11 points and three 3-pointers, and senior Kayden Stuit had 6 points.

“We shot well, especially early on,” said Zylstra. “I was really proud of the boys in the second half. They were double-teaming us and we were finding the right guy and got a lot of 3-on-2s and 2-on-1s, which is something we work on every day.”

Defensively, the Lyncs not only snapped Seton Catholic’s 13-game winning streak but held the Cougars to their lowest point total of the season.

“Defense was the top thing on our board,” Zylstra said. “We knew they could shoot so we had to be out on them. We had to defend, and our man defense has been something of a staple for us. I thought for most of the game, we did a good job of that.”

Seton Catholic (17-6) isn’t done with Whatcom County. The Cougars will take on Meridian in the round of 12 on Wednesday at 10:30 a.m. The winner of that game advances to the quarterfinals on Thursday and the double-elimination portion of the tournament; the loser is eliminated.

EDITOR’S NOTE: A special thanks to Marie Yates for all the photos and to Butch Kamena for helping with the story.

Lynden Christian 71, Seton Catholic 39

Seton Catholic        13         8         7       11—39

Lynden Christian    16       16       18       21—71

Seton Catholic: Tran 6, Glassier 6, Angelo 9, George 8, Lee, Nguyen, Wilson 10.

Lynden Christian: Hintz, Bouma 17, Dykstra 16, Blair, Van Kooten 11, Bosman 4, Wright 13, Stuit 6, Bouwman 4.


Friday, Feb. 23

Meridian 63, Life Christian Academy 57 (winner to state tournament, loser out)

Zillah 65, Tenino 39 (both to state tournament)

Saturday, Feb. 24

Lynden Christian 71, Seton Catholic 39 (both to state tournament)

Seattle Academy 68, Freeman 65 (both to state tournament)

Annie Wright 79, Royal 51 (both to state tournament)

King’s 43, Lakeside (Nine Mile Falls) 25 (winner to state tournament, loser out)

Sultan 69, Montesano 54 (winner to state tournament, loser out)

Riverside 63, Bellevue Christian 52 (winner to state tournament, loser out)

Jim Carberry of Whatcom Hoops

Jim Carberry is a former Bellingham Herald sports editor and author of several books on Whatcom County prep basketball. Follow him on Twitter @whatcomhoops and visit the Whatcom Hoops Facebook page.

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