Sure, the Lynden Christian boys basketball team was glad to be back playing in the Yakima Valley SunDome on Thursday, March 3. But they were even happier when they were done playing.
Because when the Lyncs were done dominating Quincy, 67-44, in a Class 1A state tournament quarterfinal, they were headed back to the state semifinals.
“It’s so much fun being back here,” said Lynden Christian head coach Tim Zylstra, who was still an assistant when the Lyncs finished second in the last state tournament in 2020. “This is what it’s all about.”
Senior Andrew Hommes, who led the Lyncs with 24 points and was part of the state runner-up team as a sophomore, agreed.
“We’re excited being in the Dome; this is the best time of the year,” said Hommes. “Now we’ll play one game at a time.”
Check later for more photos from the game, and be sure to visit WhatcomHoops.com for stories from the other state games.
The next game will be Friday at 5:30 p.m. against third-seed Life Christian (21-1), one of the favorites along with second-seed LC and defending champion and top seed King’s.
“We have to defend and rebound and help out,” said Zylstra, whose team improved to 20-1. “We’re playing some of our best basketball at state, and that’s what you want to do.”
Lynden Christian certainly played some of its best defense on Thursday. The Lyncs held the eighth-seeded Jackrabbits (21-5) to their lowest point total of the season, and this was a Quincy team that had scored over 80 points six times and had a 91-point game.
A big part of that was stopping Quincy star TreyVaughn Bierlink, who torched Blaine for 31 points in Wednesday’s opening-round victory over the Borderites.
“We didn’t want him to beat us,” said Zylstra, who planned to start with senior Crew Bosman on Bierlink and then rotate defenders. “Crew Bosman took the challenge, and once Crew started to establish himself on defense …”
It was all Lynden Christian. Bosman never let the Bierlink get untracked, holding him to three shots and 4 points in the first half when the game was still in doubt. Bierlink finished with just 9 points, which was two fewer than Bosman had himself. Bosman also helped force Bierlink into 6 turnovers.
“He’s a really good player,” Bosman said after shutting the Quincy senior down. “And I got help from my teammates.”
And how are you feeling about being a star in the biggest game of your high school career … so far? “It’s great to be back in the Dome,” said the man of few words.
Of course, it was great, especially when the Dome debut for most of the players was a big win. The Lyncs were a picture of consistency on offense, scoring 17 points in each of the first three quarters and 16 in the final period.
Hommes led the attack in the early going, scoring 11 points in the first quarter as LC used its height advantage to open up a double-digit lead early in the second period.
The 6-foot-6 senior would finish hitting 9 of 15 from the field and all five of his free throws with 14 rebounds, 2 blocks, and 2 steals tossed in.
In the second half, junior point guard Tyler Sipma went from running the LC offense to running the Jackrabbits out of the gym. He had 15 points after halftime and finished with 21 points, including three 3-pointers.
Zylstra praised the leadership of his five seniors — Hommes, Bosman, William Colwell, Jamison Hintz, and Eli Bootsma — who all played significant minutes on Thursday.
“Our seniors have done a good job all year,” said Zylstra. “All five of those seniors have put us in this position.”
And that position is just where the Lyncs want to be: in the state semifinals.
In the Dome, of course.
Lynden Christian 67, Quincy 44
Quincy 8 10 18 8—44
Lynden Christian 17 17 17 16—67
Quincy: Jalen Spence 8, TreyVaughn Bierlink 9, Aidan Wallace, Collin Averill, Aidan Bews 9, Ethan Gregg, Andrew Townsend, Saul Alvarez 4, Sebastian Valdez 2, Reid Thomsen 1, Aidan Heikes 11, Tim Bensch.
Lynden Christian: Tyler Sipma 21, Griffin Dykstra, Jamison Hintz 6, Crew Bosman 11, Andrew Hommes 24, Jeremiah Wright, William Colwell 1, Lane Dykstra, Kaden Stuit, Eli Bootsma 2, Dexter Zylstra, Dawson Bouma 2.
Class 1A boys state tournament
WEDNESDAY, MARCH 2
Zillah 68, Castle Rock 56 (loser out)
Annie Wright 66, Seattle Academy 55 (loser out)
Freeman 58, King’s Way Christian 41 (loser out)
Quincy 69, Quincy 51 (loser out)
THURSDAY, MARCH 3
Toppenish 58, Zillah 54
King’s 61, Annie Wright 44
Life Christian 53, Freeman 52
Lynden Christian 67, Quincy 44
FRIDAY, MARCH 4
Zillah (17-4) vs. Annie Wright (19-6), 9 a.m. (loser out)
Freeman (22-3) vs. Quincy (21-5), 10:30 (loser out)
Toppenish (21-2) vs. King’s (23-2), 3:45 p.m.
Lynden Christian (20-1) vs. Life Christian (21-1), 5:30 p.m.
SATURDAY, MARCH 5
Consolation game, 8 a.m. (winner fourth, loser sixth)
Consolation final, 11:15 p.m. (winner third, loser fifth)
Championship game, 7 p.m. (winner first, loser second)