1A District: LC Girls Win Title, Boys Fall In Final

The Lynden Christian girls basketball team became the first Whatcom County team to punch their ticket to state with a hard-fought 41-26 victory over King’s in the Class 1A District 1 championship game Friday night, Feb. 14, at Mount Vernon High School.

The Lynden Christian boys couldn’t duplicate the feat later that night, when they fell to their King’s counterparts, 69-57, in their district championship game.

With the victory, the LC girls not only claimed the district title but will play for the Bi-District 1/2 championship next Friday against the District 2 champion, who has yet to be determined. More importantly, the Lyncs automatically advance to the regional round of the Class 1A state tournament.

The LC boys also advanced to the bi-district tournament, and will play on Thursday a team yet to be determined. The Lyncs will need to win that game or a consolation-round game to qualify for the regional round of state. 

The district tournaments continue Saturday at Mount Vernon. The Mount Baker girls play Cedar Park Christian (Bothell) at 2 p.m. and the Nooksack Valley boys play South Whidbey at 3:45 p.m. Both county teams need to win to continue their seasons and advance to the bi-district tournament.

Then in the consolation finals, the Meridian and Nooksack Valley girls square off at 5:30 p.m. and the Meridian boys take on Cedar Park Christian (Bothell) at 7:15 p.m. The winners will take third, and the losers fourth, and all four teams automatically advance into their bi-district tournaments.

You can find more photos from Friday’s games on the Whatcom Hoops Facebook page. And follow all the action each day for all our teams on www.whatcomhoops.com.

Girls: Lyncs’ Defense Too Much For King’s

It’s hard enough to believe that Lynden Christian, the second-ranked 1A team in the state, was held to four points in the first quarter. But get this: The Lyncs were ahead.

Unleashing their famous in-your-face defense, Lynden Christian (22-1) held the fifth-ranked Knights (17-6) to their second-lowest point total of the season, including a three-point first quarter and a four-point fourth quarter.

“There are going to be games like this,” said Lynden Christian coach Brady Bomber, whose team also was held to its second-lowest point total of the season. “But being able to defend is a constant. We’d like to think we can win ugly.”

It was not a pretty game offensively for the Lyncs, who were only 1-of-17 from the 3-point line. But thanks to senior guard Riley Dykstra, Lynden Christian had enough scoring to take control in the second quarter and hold the Knights at bay.

Dykstra had 8 points in the crucial second period and finished with 19 points, including the team’s only 3-pointer. Junior post Lexi Hernandez and junior guard Emily Mellema added 7 points each for the Lyncs.

“It never gets old,” said Dykstra of playing in the state tournament, which she will now do all four of her years on varsity. “I’m proud of the new girls stepping up each year.”

One of those who stepped up was junior guard Kiley Roetcisoender, who was one of the Lyncs assigned to stop King’s star Claire Gallagher. Roetcisoender gave up four inches to the 5-foot-11 junior guard, but that was about all the Lync gave up, holding Gallagher to 5 points.

“I just tried to keep her in front of me, not let her shoot,” said Roetcisoender. “That’s where we usually win our games (on defense).”

She wasn’t the only defensive star. Mellema and sophomore guard Libby Stump hounded the other Knights’ guards, and Hernandez and sophomore forward Alli VanKooten held King’s 6-foot-3 junior post Samantha Skaggs to 5 points.

And now, with their berth in the state tournament secure, Lynden Christian will get to enjoy the fruits of their very physical labor and set their sights on returning to the state championship game, which they have played in four of the past six years.

“The girls put in a lot of time in,” said Bomber. “This is the reward for all their hard work.”

Lynden Christian 41, King’s 26
King’s                                         3      9   10      4—26 
Lynden Christian                        4    16   10    11—41

King’s: Brenna Hart 2, Mia Flor 2, Ashley Gray 6, Daylee Peterson 5, Ava Francisco 1, Claire Gallagher 5, Samantha Skaggs 5.

Lynden Christian: Libby Stump 4, Paige TeVelde, Kiley Roetcisoender 4, Riley Dykstra 19, Liv Mellema, Emily Mellema 7, Lexi Kaptein, Lexi Hernandez 7, Kenadi Fay, Alli VanKooten.


Saturday, Feb. 8
Meridian 65, Sultan 34 (loser out)

Monday, Feb. 10
Nooksack Valley 61, Coupeville 15
King’s 42, Meridian 36
Cedar Park Christian (Bothell) 54, Mount Baker 42
Lynden Christian 81, South Whidbey 41

Tuesday, Feb. 11
Meridian 52 Coupeville 24 (loser out)
Mount Baker 53, South Whidbey 17 (loser out)
Lynden Christian 82, Cedar Park Christian (Bothell) 14
King’s 43, Nooksack Valley 36

Thursday, Feb. 13
Meridian 44, Cedar Park Christian (Bothell) 28
Nooksack Valley 48, Mount Baker at Nooksack Valley 24

Friday, Feb. 14
Lynden Christian 41, King’s 26 (winner first, loser second)

Saturday, Feb. 15
Cedar Park Christian (Bothell) vs. Mount Baker at Mount Vernon, 2 p.m. (winner fifth, loser out)
Meridian vs. Nooksack Valley at Mount Vernon, 5:30 p.m. (winner third, loser fourth)
(Top five advance to Bi-District)

LC guard Bryce Bouwman goes up against the giant Knights.

Boys: Lyncs Battle, But Can’t Knock Off King’s

So let’s get this out of the way right now: King’s is the best 14-9 team in the state, and is only ranked 16th in the Class 1A RPI rankings because its losses have been to powerhouse teams both in state and out of state.

The Knights proved they are a state favorite by withstanding a 23-point Lynden Christian onslaught in the first quarter, and then building up a double-digit lead to hold off the sixth-ranked Lyncs (18-5).

“Our guys gave great effort, and I’m proud of them,” said Lynden Christian coach Roger DeBoer. “They (the Knights) just made a few more plays than we did, hit some shots that we didn’t.”

In the first period, it didn’t look like the Lyncs would ever miss a shot. They hit seven 3-pointers, but not by the usual suspects — sharpshooting guards Andrew DeVries or Jaden DeBoer.

Nope. It was senior forward Zach Sipma hitting four of them, and Zach’s freshman brother Tyler, junior forward Logan Dykstra and senior guard Bryce Bouwman each hitting one as the Lyncs led by nine.

Unfortunately, LC’s shooting cooled off and the Knights’ height advantage — with six players as tall or taller than the tallest Lync —gave King’s second and third shot attempts. The rebounding edge and holding LC to 16 points in the second and third quarters turned the game around.

Zach Sipma finished with a game-high 16 points, but only two came after the first quarter. DeBoer had 13 points, 11 of them in the fourth quarter as the Lyncs cut the margin down to seven before King’s made 7 of 8 free throws to ice the game.

One bright spot was the play of LC’s bench — little “energizers” Brevin Zylstra, Shale Whittern, Cole Moorlag and Tyler Sipma — who pressed and battled the giant Knights as LC tried to rally.

“Our size is sometimes a factor,” said coach DeBoer. “But the size of our hearts is really, really big. We looked at this as a great learning situation. We’ll keep building for the next weeks.”

King’s 69, Lynden Christian 57
King’s                                         12    17   16    24—69 
Lynden Christian                        23    10     6    18—57

King’s: Shane McGoughey-Fick 11, Jake O’Hearn 5, Davis Campbell, Jordan Hansen 6, Will Pohland 14, Tyler Linhardt 16, Tyler Durbin 5, Jarod Hansen 12.

Lynden Christian: Tyler Sipma 3, Jaden DeBoer 13, Brevin Zylstra 5, Shale Whittern, Cole Moorlag 5, Zach Sipma 16, Bryce Bouwman 5, Andrew DeVries 3, Logan Dykstra 3, Andrew Hommes 4.


Saturday, Feb. 8
Mount Baker 69, Coupeville 48 (loser out)

Monday, Feb. 10
Meridian 77, Cedar Park Christian (Bothell) 49
King’s 83, Mount Baker 42
South Whidbey 47, Nooksack Valley 46
Lynden Christian 87, Sultan 53

Wednesday, Feb. 12
Cedar Park Christian (Bothell) 76, Mount Baker 59 (loser out)
Nooksack Valley 68, Sultan 53 (loser out)
King’s 77, Meridian 42
Lynden Christian 72, South Whidbey 37

Thursday, Feb. 13
Nooksack Valley at Meridian, 7 p.m.
Cedar Park Christian (Bothell) 64, South Whidbey 23

Friday, Feb. 14
King’s 69, Lynden Christian 57 (winner first, loser second)

Saturday, Feb. 15
Nooksack Valley vs. South Whidbey at Mount Vernon, 3:45 p.m. (winner fifth, loser out)
Meridian vs. Cedar Park Christian (Bothell) at Mount Vernon, 7:15 p.m. (winner third, loser fourth)
(Top five advance to Bi-District)

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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