In a battle worthy of two top-ranked teams, the Lummi Nation boys basketball team pulled away in the fourth quarter to beat Muckleshoot Tribal School, 74-56, and claim the Class 1B Tri-District 1/2/3 championship on Saturday, Feb. 22, at Mount Vernon Christian High School.
Lummi Nation (23-3), ranked third in the state, won for the 18th time in its last 19 games and continued to be undefeated against 1B competition.
Next up for Lummi Nation is the regional round of the state playoffs. The Blackhawks will host a game either Friday or next Saturday, Feb. 29, possibly at Mount Vernon High School.
And in a weird turn of events, Lummi Nation is expected to play the No.6 team in the state in the regional round, which as of Saturday was … Muckleshoot Tribal School. Nothing will be finalized until sometime Sunday.
But as of Saturday, Lummi Nation coach Jerome Toby said he was just happy to grind out a win against the scrappy Muckleshoot squad.
“Our boys had to battle for 32 minutes,” said Toby, who praised sixth-ranked Muckleshoot and their coaching staff. “It was everything you’d expect for a tri-district championship.”
Check out the Whatcom Hoops Facebook page for more great photos from Saturday’s game and follow WhatcomHoops.com for all the prep basketball action.
The Blackhawks broke away from a 22-22 tie midway through the second quarter with 10 straight points to take the lead for good.
Senior guard Caleb Revey started the rally by scoring on a driving layup despite being grabbed around the arms and sinking the subsequent free throw, and then scoring on a fastbreak off of a steal. He had nine of his 17 points in the second quarter.
In the second half, sophomores Duncan Toby and Tyran Lane went to work combining for 26 points.
Toby, a guard, had his second great game in a row with 21 points, 13 of them after the break. Lane, a forward, came back after sitting out a game to score 18 points, 15 in the second half.
With the Blackhawks’ defense holding the Kings to seven points in the final period, Lummi Nation was able to pull away for the victory and their second straight tri-district title.
Muckleshoot Tribal School (19-7), which qualified for state as the tri-district runnerup, was led by the 21 points of freshman guard Brendon Brown.
Also earning state berths from the tri-district were Rainier Christian, Chief Kitsap Academy, Mount Vernon Christian and Tacoma Baptist.
Lummi Nation 74, Muckleshoot Tribal School 56
Lummi Nation 13 23 20 18—74
Muckleshoot Tribal School 17 14 18 7—56
Lummi Nation: Franklin Whiteman 5, Tobias Francis, Caleb Revey 17, William Hetland 2, Duncan Toby 21, Richard Wilson 7, William Kinley, Dezmond Bailey, Jaie Leighton 4, Tyran Lane 18, Moses Seymour, Patrick Sturgeon.
Muckleshoot Tribal School: Martin Reyes, Brendon Brown 21, John Starr, Tyrell Nichols 11, Josiah Vaomn, Jaden James, Lamont Nichols 6, Jordan Mathias 9, Carlos Bennett 9.
CLASS 1B TRI-DISTRICT 1/2/3
Saturday, Feb. 15
Lopez 54, Neah Bay 53 (loser out)
Mount Vernon Christian 59, Evergreen Lutheran 55 (loser out)
Puget Sound Advent 65, Cedar Park Christian (Mountlake Terrace) 46 (loser out)
Tacoma Baptist 67, Tulalip Heritage 59 (loser out)
Tuesday, Feb. 18
Lummi Nation 72, Mount Vernon Christian 38
Rainier Christian 66, Lopez 35
Chief Kitsap Academy 53, Puget Sound Advent 50
Muckleshoot Tribal School 52, Tacoma Baptist 48
Thursday, Feb. 20
Mount Vernon Christian 72, Lopez 37 (winner to regionals, loser out)
Tacoma Baptist 55, Puget Sound Advent 22 (winner to regionals, loser out)
Lummi Nation 75, Rainier Christian 63
Muckleshoot Tribal School 55, Chief Kitsap Academy 49
Saturday, Feb. 22
Rainier Christian 61, Chief Kitsap Academy 37 (winner third, loser fourth; both to regionals)
Lummi Nation 74, Muckleshoot Tribal School 56 (winner first, loser second; both to regionals)
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.