1A Boys State: LC Loses In Semifinal To Annie Wright

Until last year, the Lynden Christian boys basketball program had never won back-to-back state titles. Unfortunately, with a 48-46 loss to Annie Wright in the Class 1A state semifinals on Friday, March 1, there will be no three-peat for the Lyncs.

Lynden Christian now will join Seattle Academy in the consolation final on Saturday at 11:15 a.m. in the Yakima SunDome with the winner taking third and the loser fifth. Annie Wright moves on to the state championship game against top-ranked and undefeated Zillah.

“Nothing changes as far as the boys,” said LC coach Tim Zylstra of resetting the team’s goals. “We don’t want to lose a game like that, but they played their hearts out. You have to be humble in a loss. There are lessons we can learn (from losses). True character shows on how you bounce back. We’re still blessed.”

For the latest game stories and photos from all our state teams, keep checking Whatcom Hoops throughout the day.

Although the Lyncs came in as the second seed with a 23-2 record thanks to their difficult schedule, third-seeded Annie Wright was just as dangerous. The athletic Gators were 23-1 with an 18-game winning streak coming into the game, their only loss to one of the top schools in Oregon’s largest classification.

“We expected a tough game,” said LC junior Gannon Dykstra. “We just had some unlucky calls and got outhustled on a couple of plays.”

The two physical teams proved evenly matched with nine lead changes and five ties in the game. Annie Wright led by as much as eight but LC came back to lead by seven. It all came down to the final few minutes with the Gators holding a 43-42 lead.

But an offensive rebound off a missed 3-pointer gave Annie Wright an extra attempt and bucket to go up by three. LC missed one opportunity to tie and after an offensive foul on a Gator, Lynden Christian missed another opportunity with its own offensive foul with a minute to go.

An Annie Wright layup after breaking the LC press made it a 47-42 lead but LC senior Dawson Bouma scored inside with 20 seconds left. An Annie Wright free throw put the lead back at four with 18 seconds to go giving the Lyncs one last try to send the game into overtime.

But senior Jeremiah Wright’s putback with two seconds was not enough as the clock ran out on LC’s dream of a third straight state title.

Wright would again lead the Lyncs with 15 points and 7 rebounds. Dykstra had 13 points and both of Lynden Christian’s 3-pointers as the Lyncs were a chilly two of 13 from beyond the arc. Bouma added 12 points, but no other Lync had more than two points.

With one game still left in their season, both Zylstra and Dykstra wanted to give “props” to the seniors — Wright, Bouma, Kayden Stuit, Treven Blair, and Brody Bouwman. The coach not only mentioned all five but explained how each made a difference to the team.

“These seniors have shown the younger guys how to even get to state,” said Zylstra. “Each one has impacted their teammates’ lives and our program.”

Annie Wright 48, Lynden Christian 46

Annie Wright         12       15         6       15—48

Lynden Christian   12         8       16       10—46

Annie Wright: Reggie Lester 13, TJ Marshall 7, Amare Breedlove 13, Cale Carter, Jeremiah Harshman 7, Martin Kaupanger 8, Rowan McEvilly.

Lynden Christian: Dawson Hintz 2, Dawson Bouma 12, Gannon Dykstra 13, Luke Van Kooten, Trey Bosman 2, Jeremiah Wright 15, Kayden Stuit 2.


At Yakima SunDome

Wednesday, Feb. 28

Riverside 55, Royal 40 (loser out)

Seton Catholic 72, Meridian 60 (loser out)

Freeman 65, Sultan 31 (loser out)

King’s 45, Tenino 43 (loser out)

Thursday, Feb. 29

Seattle Academy 60, Riverside 51 (OT)

Zillah 56, Seton Catholic 54

Annie Wright 65, Freeman 44

Lynden Christian 61, King’s 32

Friday, March 1

Seton Catholic 49, Riverside 40 (loser out)

Freeman 70, King’s 56 (loser out)

Zillah 65, Seattle Academy 41

Annie Wright 48, Lynden Christian 46

Saturday, March 4

#7 Seton Catholic (19-7) vs. #4 Freeman (22-4), 8 a.m. (winner fourth, loser sixth)

#5 Seattle Academy (17-7) vs. #2 Lynden Christian (23-3), 11:15 a.m. (winner third, loser fifth)

#1 Zillah (26-0) vs. #3 Annie Wright (24-1), 7 p.m. (winner first, loser second)

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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