1A Regional: Nooksack Valley Girls Fall To No.1 Cashmere

The Nooksack Valley girls basketball team knew it would be an uphill climb against No.1-ranked Cashmere and superstar Hailey Van Lith, especially playing in Cashmere’s “home court” in Wenatchee.

But the eighth-seeded Pioneers found out quickly how big the hill was when the Bulldogs jumped to a 17-point first-quarter lead and went on to beat Nooksack Valley, 61-26, in the regional round of the Class 1A state tournament on Friday, Feb. 29.

The good news for Nooksack Valley (20-7) is that the Pioneers are still going to the state tournament in the Yakima SunDome.

They will play in a loser-out contest against Zillah on Wednesday, March 4, at 9 p.m. Zillah beat Cascade Christian, 59-37, in another regional game Saturday.

Keep checking WhatcomHoops.com for stories on all our teams’ games, and follow the Whatcom Hoops Facebook page for lots more photos.

“We played hard, but struggled to make shots,” said Nooksack Valley coach Shane Wichers. “And Hailey shot the ball well.”

Sophomore forward McKenna Wichers led Nooksack Valley with 8 points and senior guard Kora Larsen had 6 points. But the Pioneers never scored more than eight points in a quarter.

While the offensive struggles were unusual — it was the Pioneers’ lowest point total of the season and only the third time being held under 50 points — Van Lith’s hot shooting was from unusual.

The 5-star recruit headed for the University of Louisville is the state’s all-time leading scorer in girls basketball, and she added another 32 points to her career total on Saturday.

Cashmere (22-0) advances to the quarterfinals to play the winner of Wednesday’s loser-out game between Meridian and Annie Wright.

Cashmere 61, Nooksack Valley 26
Nooksack Valley                      7      7     4       8—26
Cashmere                               24    14    13    10—61

Nooksack Valley: Kora Larsen 6, Tehya Moore, Maya Galley, McKenna Wichers 8, Hallie Kamphouse 4, Ellie Van Berkum 3, Renae Hoekema 2, Jenna Compton 2, Taylor Lentz 1.

Cashmere: Hailley Larson 3, Hailey Van Lith 32, Grace Hammon 2, Ali Ball 2, Gabby Terrell-Lewis, Peyton Brown 3, Cameron Phillips 2, Riley Johnson 6, Jalynn Darnell 6, Grace Erdmann 3, Millie Brunner 2, Maddie Hammond.


Regional round
Friday, Feb. 21
Lynden Christian 76, Annie Wright 49
La Salle 55, Freeman 32

Saturday, Feb. 22
Warden 61, King’s 45
Montesano 65, Seattle Academy 40 (loser out)
Elma 39, Deer Park 38 (loser out)

Meridian 37, Okanogan 35 (loser out)
Zillah 59, Cascade Christian 37 (loser out)

Cashmere 61, Nooksack Valley 26

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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