Lummi Nation boys basketball coach Jerome Toby didn’t want to make a big deal about it, but the players remembered. Oh, the players remembered.
And the Blackhawks came out ready to avenge last year’s crushing defeat by crushing Riverside Christian, 64-45, in the quarterfinals of the Class 1B state tournament Thursday afternoon, March 5, in the Spokane Arena.
Not only did the third-seeded Blackhawks get some payback after being eliminated by Riverside Christian on the first day of state last year, but they earned themselves a trip to the semifinals and guaranteed themselves a top-six trophy.
In the semis, Lummi Nation will meet up with another old nemesis — Yakama Nation Tribal — on Friday at 5:30 p.m. Yakama Nation Tribal beat Lummi Nation in the regionals last year.
Check out the great photos from Thursday’s game courtesy of Heather Leighton.
But one revenge game at a time. First, Riverside Christian.
“We didn’t talk a lot about it,” said Toby, whose squad raised its record to 24-3 and has yet to lose to a Class 1B school this year. “But I know some of those guys who were on the team last year remembered.”
Follow all the tournament action on WhatcomHoops.com and on the Whatcom Hoops Facebook page.
Whatever their motivation, the Blackhawks came out fired up against the fourth-seeded Crusaders (23-3) from Yakima. Lummi Nation took a five-point lead in the first period, stretched it to 14 at halftime and put Riverside Christian away with a 20-point fourth period.
“Tonight the boys were really ready to play,” said Toby. “Right from the jump, they came out with a lot of determination.”
The driver of the Lummi Nation steamroller was the Blackhawks’ senior captain Caleb Revey. The 6-foot guard had a game-high 22 points on 9-of-12 shooting, 6 rebounds and 5 steals. Best of all, he got everybody else going.
“Caleb stepped up tonight,” said Toby. “Once he got dialed in, everybody got dialed in.”
Junior center Tyran Lane continued his outstanding play in the paint with 13 points and a game-high 14 rebounds and 4 blocks.
Junior guard William Hetland had the hot hand from outside, hitting three 3-pointers and scoring 14 points. Junior forward Jaie Leighton had 8 points and 6 rebounds, and sophomore point guard Duncan Toby had 8 assists.
And now it’s back in the semifinals for Lummi Nation, which played for the state championship twice in the past six years.
“Everybody got in tonight, and that’s every coach’s dream,” said coach Toby. “It was a good game for the Blackhawk family. And tomorrow … what a fun game it’s going to be.”
Tournament tidbits: Lane was awarded the game’s sportsmanship medal for Lummi Nation.
Lummi Nation 64, Riverside Christian 45
Riverside Christian 11 9 10 15—45
Lummi Nation 16 18 10 20—64
Riverside Christian: Noah McKee, Alec Bazaldua 14, Joel Belaire 9, Levi Rivera 17, Diallo Nolan-Thompson 1, Isaac Pommer, Austin Belknap, Dan Allen 2, Noah Bradford, Ryan Myers 2, Justin Vickers.
Lummi Nation: Franklin Whiteman, Caleb 22, William Hetland 14, Duncan Toby 3, Richard Wilson 4, Jaie Leighton 8, Tyran Lane 13, Moses Seymour, Patrick Sturgeon.
Class 1B Boys State Tournament
WEDNESDAY, MARCH 4
Muckleshoot Tribal School 64, Garfield-Palouse 58 (loser out)
Almira-Coulee-Hartline 62, Rainier Christian 30 (loser out)
Riverside Christian 69, Selkirk 67 (loser out)
Oakesdale65, Taholah 58 (loser out)
THURSDAY, MARCH 5
Naselle 57, Muckleshoot Tribal School 50
Odessa 42, Almira-Coulee-Hartline 39
Lummi Nation 64, Riverside Christian 45
Yakama Nation Tribal 45, Oakesdale 35
FRIDAY, MARCH 6
#6 Muckleshoot Tribal School vs. #10 Almira-Coulee-Hartline, 9 a.m. (loser out)
#4 Riverside Christian vs. #8 Oakesdale, 10:30 p.m. (loser out)
#5 Naselle vs. #1 Odessa, 3:45 p.m.
#3 Lummi Nation vs. #2 Yakama Nation Tribal, 5:30 p.m.
SATURDAY, MARCH 7
Consolation game, 8 a.m. (winner fourth, loser sixth)
Consolation game, 11:15 a.m. (winner third, loser fifth)
Championship game, 7 p.m. (winner first, loser second)