The Lynden Christian boys basketball team has one of the biggest guns in the state, but the Lyncs proved once again that they are at their best when all their weapons are firing.
On Saturday, it was the Connell Eagles who felt the Lyncs’ full volley as top-ranked and undefeated LC blasted its way to a 79-53 victory in its Class 1A state regional game Saturday at Mount Vernon High School.
All-state guard Cole Bajema, who had 42 points in his last game, had a “quiet” 18 points to lead Lynden Christian. But this time Bajema got more than enough help with Christian Colwell adding 17, Andrew DeVries 11, Luke Bos 10, Bryce Bouwman 9, and Cole Langstraat 8.
For stories and pictures from the 1B, 1A and 2A regionals, be sure to keep checking www.whatcomhoops.com.
The Lyncs improved to 24-0 and will now head to Yakima’s SunDome to defend their state championship. LC will advance directly to the quarterfinals on Thursday at 5:30 p.m. to play the winner of Wednesday’s Deer Park-King’s game.
“We were fired up,” said Colwell. “We wanted to have a more balanced offense. Coach told us to be confident and to go for it.”
The Lyncs went for it from the start, taking a double-digit lead into the second half and putting the game away with a 24-point fourth quarter.
One of the nice sights for LC fans was seeing DeVries firing in three 3-pointers. The junior guard had been averaging in double figures this season but has been slowed the last two weeks because of a concussion and was having trouble finding his rhythm. Not Saturday.
“It felt good to get my rhythm back,” he said. “With Cole and Christian inside, we get a lot of open shots. Hopefully, that will carry over (to Yakima).”
The eighth-seeded Eagles (19-5), who are making only their second state appearance in the past 10 years, also will be heading to Yakima but they will have to play a loser-out contest against ninth-seeded Royal on Wednesday at 9 a.m. Royal (19-5) defeated Cascade Christian, 57-45, in Friday’s regional.
Lynden Christian 79, Connell 53
Connell 13 15 11 14 — 53
Lynden Christian 19 19 17 24 — 79
Connell: Nolan Chase 9, Ethan Morrill 2, James Colclasure 9, Cutter Easterday 2, Austin Smith 11, Tyler Moore, Tony Herrmann, Payton Riner 9, Silas Chase 11, Camren Chase.
Lynden Christian: Bryce Bouwman 9, Tanner Feenstra 2, Brevin Zylstra, Jaden DeBoer 3, Zach Sipma, Cole Langstraat 8, Andrew DeVries 11, Cole Bajema 18, Jake Libolt 1, Luke Bos 10, Cristian Colwell 17.
CLASS 1A BOYS STATE TOURNAMENT
(With RPI seedings)
#9 Royal 57, #15 Cascade Christian 45 (loser out)
#2 La Center 63, #7 Deer Park 46
#12 Bellevue Christian 58, #13 Seton Catholic 48 (loser out)
#1 Lynden Christian 79, #8 Connell 53
#11 King’s Way Christian 71, #14 Overlake 52 (loser out)
#3 Zillah 84, #6 Cashmere 56
#5 Seattle Academy 65, #4 Okanogan 62
#10 King’s 65, #16 Naches Valley 55 (loser out)
(Full schedule and bracket at nwcathletics.com)
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.