1B Boy State: No.1 Lummi Nation Stunned In Quarterfinals

It wasn’t what they wanted, but the top-ranked Lummi Nation Blackhawks will regroup after a stunning 59-43 loss in the Class 1B boys basketball state quarterfinals on Wednesday, Feb. 29, and will be shooting for a trophy on Thursday in the Spokane Arena.

“It was not the outcome we wanted,” said Lummi Nation coach Jerome Toby Sr. “We had big goals, but we get another chance tomorrow to lace up our shoes. It’s been a group that’s proven themselves. I expect them to come back and play hard for Lummi Nation.”

Thursday’s loss, which snapped Lummi Nation’s 22-game winning streak, puts the Blackhawks in a loser-out consolation game against sixth seed Cusick on Friday at 9 a.m. The winner of that game is guaranteed a trophy and will play for fourth place on Saturday.

The Blackhawks came to state with league, district, and tri-district championships to their credit. But Thursday was different. The Mossyrock Vikings, who improved to 18-7, led almost the entire way and were up by 21 points at one point. 

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

It definitely was a case of Lummi Nation having its worst game at the worst time.

The Blackhawks hadn’t scored below 53 points all year and, after a four-point loss to 2B LaConner in their season opener, only once had they won by less than 10 points. Among Lummi’s victories — a 20-point win over the same Mossyrock squad.

“We’ve had so much success that we never had that learning moment,” Toby said. “That learning moment came today.”

As they have been in almost every game, the Blackhawks were the smaller team with no starter taller than 6-foot-1. But Lummi Nation outrebounded the taller Vikings, who had 6-4 and 6-5 posts.

What Lummi couldn’t do was stop 6-2 guard Zach Munoz — or, more accurately, couldn’t stop fouling Munoz. The senior made 13 of 17 free throws and finished with 31 points. The rest of the Mossyrock team only shot three free throws, missing them all.

The Blackhawks, on the other hand, were uncharacteristically cold. They missed seven of 12 free throws and were only one of seven from the 3-point line in the first half as Mossyrock built a 34-19 lead by halftime.

Despite being the target of Mossyrock’s special defenses, sophomore point guard Jerome Toby Jr. still had a team-high 11 points and no turnovers for the Blackhawks. Junior Tony Abrams had 10 points and a game-high 6 rebounds, and senior Tobias Francis had 7 points.

If there was one stat, however, that defined the game it was turnovers. The Blackhawks had 25 turnovers to Mossyrock’s eight, which has been almost the opposite of every other game Lummi Nation has played this season.

“Credit their defense and team play,” said Toby, who, as always was as gracious in defeat as he was in victory. “We didn’t take care of the basketball today and never got our offense going.”

Because of the extra 17 possessions, Mossyrock had 11 more shots from the field and would shoot eight more free throws. And when the Blackhawks finally got the deficit to nine points entering the final period, all they could muster was six points in the fourth quarter to end their dreams of a state title.

Mossyrock will now go on to play fourth-seeded DeSales in the semifinals on Friday.

EDITOR’S NOTE: A big thank you from Whatcom Hoops to Heather Leighton for taking all the photos.

Mossyrock 59, Lummi Nation 43

Mossyrock          15       19       12       13—59

Lummi Nation      9       10       18         6—43

Mossyrock: Luke Cooper 2, Ethan Johnson, Easton Kolb 14, Tyce Vigre 4, Mason Atter, Zack Munoz 31, Shaun Fry 4, Osmar Rodriguez, Xavier Gomez, Freddy Solis, Lenz Bigbee, Hunter Isom.

Lummi Nation: Jerome Toby 11, Landon LaFontaine 3, Tobias Francis 7, Mathias Johnson, Dyson Edwards, Raymond Perkins, Landon Day 3, Tony Abrams 10, Trevon Lee, Karson Revey, Desmond Bailey 5, Deandre James 4. 


At Spokane Arena

Wednesday, Feb. 28

Cusick 64, Muckleshoot Tribal 54 (loser out)

Mossyrock 69, Summit Classical Christian 68 (loser out)

Neah Bay 58, Oakesdale 45 (loser out)

Columbia Adventist 54, Naselle 51 (loser out)

Thursday, Feb. 29

DeSales 56, Cusick 48

Mossyrock 59, Lummi Nation 43

#5 Neah Bay (18-5)  vs. #3 Moses Lake Christian-Covenant Christian (21-1), 12:15 p.m.

#16 Columbia Adventist (18-8) vs. #2 Wellpinit (21-2), 2 p.m.

Friday, March 1

#6 Cusick (20-5) vs. #1 Lummi Nation (22-2), 9 a.m. (loser out)

#3 Moses Lake Christian-Covenant Christian (21-2) vs. #16 Columbia Adventist (18-9), 10:30 a.m. (loser out)

#4 DeSales (22-4) vs. #7 Mossyrock (18-7), 3:45 p.m.

#5 Neah Bay (19-5) vs. #2 Wellpinit (22-2), 5:30 p.m.

Saturday, March 2

Consolation game, 8 a.m. (winner fourth, loser sixth)

Consolation final, 11:15 a.m. (winner third, loser fifth)

Championship game, 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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