The streak may be over, but the dream isn’t.
The Lummi Nation boys basketball team couldn’t stop Yakama Nation Tribal School, losing, 57-48, Saturday in a Class 1B state regional contest at Mount Vernon High School.
The loss snapped Lummi Nation’s 20-game winning streak and dropped the third-seeded Blackhawks to 22-2 on the season.
But the Blackhawks still have a chance for the big trophy … they’ll just have to do it the hard way. They will be in Spokane for the state tournament on Wednesday and will face 11th-seeded Riverside Christian (16-5) at 3:45 p.m. in a loser-out game.
“We’ve only experienced this twice this year,” Lummi Nation coach Jerome Toby said of the loss. “But we’re going to be one of 12 teams over there (Spokane). And we get to play another game.”
For stories and pictures from the 1B, 1A and 2A regionals, be sure to keep checking www.whatcomhoops.com.
The first half was all defense as both teams were on pace for record low scores with the Eagles leading, 19-16, at intermission. But when the Blackhawks heated up in the second half, so did Yakama Nation, and Lummi never could take control.
“Every time we got on a run, they had an answer,” said Toby.
But the Blackhawks fought back. With the offense struggling, senior guard Jermaine Toby tossed in three 3-pointers in the third quarter to cut the margin to five going into the fourth.
And in the final quarter, the Blackhawks’ go-to guy, junior guard Caleb Revey, drove for 10 of his game-high 20 points helping cut the gap to three before Yakama Nation pulled away in the final minutes.
“We wanted this one,” said Jermaine Toby, who finished with 10 points. “We just didn’t come out to play right from the start. But we’re OK. We’ll fight through it.”
For most of the Blackhawks — who start two freshmen and a sophomore and who only have two seniors on the team — this was their first state tournament experience.
“We’re young so it was nerve-wracking,” said Revey, the only Blackhawk who saw a lot of playing time when Lummi Nation took second at state two years ago. “The good thing is we’re still moving on.”
Coach Toby wasn’t too upset with the loss, praising the team’s effort against the veteran Eagles who have placed the past three years at state.
“I told them I was proud of them,” said the coach. “We’ve had to throw them (the young players) to the wolves this year. And we can’t wait to get to Spokane.”
The sixth-seeded Eagles of Toppenish raised their record to 17-8 and advance directly to the state quarterfinals in the Spokane Arena on Thursday against Wednesday’s Tulalip Heritage-Oakesdale winner.
Yakama Nation Tribal School 57, Lummi Nation 48
Yakama Nation Tribal School 12 7 17 21 — 57
Lummi Nation 11 5 15 17 — 48
Yakama Tribal School: Bryce Strom 13, Bryan Strom 12, Steve Bueno 2, Milos Jones 6, Deshawn John 15, Justin Hart 5, Terrell Yallup 4, Kyal Sampson.
Lummi Nation: Caleb Revey 20, William Hetland 3, Duncan Toby 8, Justin Mahle, Jermaine Toby 10, Ja’ie Leighton 2, Tristian Revey 3, Tyran Lane 2.
CLASS 1B BOYS STATE TOURNAMENT
(With RPI seedings)
#11 Riverside Christian 54, #14 Taholah 52
#7 Almira-Coulee-Hartline 60, #2 Odessa-Harrington 52
#6 Yakama Nation Tribal School 57, #3 Lummi Nation 48
#9 Garfield-Palouse 69, #16 Lopez 38 (loser out)
#1 Sunnyside Christian 57, #8 Naselle 39
#5 Muckleshoot Tribal 76, #4 Tulalip Heritage 65
#10 Neah Bay 80, #15 Pateros 58 (loser out)
#12 Oakesdale 51, #13 Concordia Christian Academy 41 (loser out)
(Full schedule and bracket at nwcathletics.com)
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.