1B District: Lummi Nation Boys Win Semifinal, Girls Lose

Come playoff time, it takes a whole team effort to win. The Lummi Nation boys found that out in the Class 1B District 1 semifinal doubleheader on Tuesday night, Feb. 7. Unfortunately, so did the Lummi Nation girls.

The host Lummi Nation boys got strong performances throughout their lineup to defeat Orcas Island, 59-52, and move on to the district championship game on Thursday at Mount Vernon Christian.

The Lady Blackhawks, however, were short-handed to start with and lost another key player barely two minutes into the game. The result was a 55-35 loss to Orcas Island dropping Lummi Nation into the consolation final on Thursday.

Fortunately for both Whatcom teams, by reaching the semifinals they were already guaranteed top-five district finishes, which automatically put them both into their District 1/2/3 tournaments, which tip off on Saturday. 

NEXT UP: Wednesday is a busy day with the Class 1A district semifinals (Meridian girls at Lynden Christian and Blaine girls at Nooksack Valley at 5:30 p.m., and the Meridian boys at Blaine and Nooksack boys at LC at 7 p.m.), the Bellingham girls hosting Cedarcrest in a 2A district play-in game at 7 p.m., and the Ferndale girls hosting Shorewood in a 3A district play-in game at 7 p.m. Check out Whatcom Hoops for all the action.


Lummi Nation 59, Orcas Island 52

Having split two regular-season games with the Vikings, Lummi Nation coach Jerome Toby knew the Blackhawks would have their hands full in Tuesday’s nightcap and would need contributions from everyone.

“A lot of times, it’s who steps up,” said Toby, whose team improved to 17-6. “I was proud of our bench. We knew we’d have to play four quarters. It was a great team win against a state-caliber team.”

A 16-3 run to end the first half gave the Blackhawks a 10-point lead at intermission, but Orcas Island, which fell to 16-7, battled back to take a two-point lead with three minutes to go.

That’s when Lummi senior Richard Wilson stepped up. In just over a minute, the wiry wing made two buckets in the key, stole an Orcas pass, and buried a 3-pointer from the corner to give Lummi Nation a 54-49 lead it would never relinquish.

“Richard is a gamer,” said Toby. “He’ll be there come crunch time. Tonight, he played great.”

A steal and fastbreak layup by junior Mathias Johnson and a 3-pointer by junior Tobias Francis with 37 seconds left would finish off the Blackhawks’ scoring and finish off the Vikings.

“A nail-biter,” said Wilson, who scored nine of his game-high 24 points in the crucial fourth period and would finish with three 3-pointers. “It feels nice to win one. We won’t be scared of being in that situation again.”

Francis and Johnson did their part with 8 points each and combined for three 3-pointers. Freshman point guard Jerome Toby Jr. ran the offense and had 7 points, and junior Desmond Bailey had 6 points. Eighth-grader Dyson Edwards even got in the act, hitting a key 3-pointer to end the third quarter and finishing with 5 points.

The Blackhawks, who are the top seed from the Northwest 1B League, will go on the road Thursday at 8 p.m. to face Mount Vernon Christian, the top seed from the Northwest 2B/1B League and a 77-45 winner over Grace Academy in Tuesday’s other semifinal.

From there it’s on to the 12-team tri-district tournament for Lummi Nation with the top six finishers going on to the Class 1B state regionals.

“We know our work’s not done,” said coach Toby.

Lummi Nation 59, Orcas Island 52

Orcas Island                     16         7       15       14—52

Lummi Nation                 13       20       10       16—59

Orcas Island: Sutton, Anderson-Cleveland 9, Eggenberg 8, Garcia, D. Lago 14, Freeman, Cunningham 1, White, R. Lago 6, Murray 8, Stephens 6.

Lummi Nation: Toby 7, Perkins 2, Francis 8, Johnson 8, Edwards 5, Wilson 21, Scott, Bailey 6, Powell,  Solomon.


Thursday, Feb. 2

Play-in games

#6 Fellowship Christian 59, #11 Cedar Park Christian (Lynnwood) 47 (loser out)

#10 Lopez 48, #7 Darrington 47 (loser out)

#5 Tulalip Heritage 46, #12 Providence Classical Christian 40 (loser out)

#8 Shoreline Christian 42, #9 Concrete 37 (loser out)

Saturday, Feb. 4

First round

#3 Orcas Island 82, Fellowship Christian 36

#2 Lummi Nation 65, Lopez 25

#4 Grace Academy 61, Tulalip Heritage 37

#1 Mount Vernon Christian 81, Shoreline Christian 33

Tuesday, Feb. 7

Consolation round

Lopez 52, Fellowship Christian 42 (loser out)

Tulalip Heritage 68, Shoreline Christian 56 (loser out)


Lummi Nation 59, Orcas Island 55

Mount Vernon Christian 77, Grace Academy 45

Thursday, Feb. 9

At Mount Vernon Christian

Consolation finals

Lopez (4-14) vs. Tulalip Heritage (14-7), 3 p.m. (loser out, winner fifth to tri-district)

Orcas Island (16-7) vs. Grace Academy (13-4), 6 p.m. (winner third, loser fourth, both to tri-district)

Championship game

Lummi Nation (17-6) vs. Mount Vernon Christian (17-5), 8 p.m. (winner first, loser second, both to tri-district)

Whatcom Hoops February-8-2023
Aliesha Solomon looks for an opening in the Orcas Island defense.


Orcas Island 55, Lummi Nation 35

All season long, the Lady Blackhawks have had balanced scoring among their starting five. But with junior Keyonee Morris out with a dislocated finger and junior Serena Pantalia injuring her knee Tuesday, Lummi Nation was in trouble.

“I was shocked,” eighth-grader Jemma James said of watching Pantalia carried off the floor two and a half minutes into Tuesday’s game. “It made us realize we have to work our butts off.”

That they did, but while the fire was there, the firepower was not. Senior Aliesha Solomon had 16 points, James had 15 points, and senior Raven Solomon had an off night with only 4 points. But that was it for the Lummi Nation scoring.

If the injury to Pantalia wasn’t bad enough, several players including Raven Solomon were forced to the bench and even taken to the locker room to be looked at after some rough play.

Still, after falling behind by 18 in the third quarter, the Blackhawks had one last comeback attempt. Two Aliesha Solomon 3-pointers to end the third quarter and a bomb from James and a putback by Aliesha to start the fourth period cut the margin to 37-30 with 6:25 to go.

But they couldn’t overcome the fatigue, injuries, and a tall and talented Orcas Island squad, and seven was as close as the Blackhawks would get.

“They played their hearts out,” said Lummi Nation coach Krista Jefferson, whose squad fell to 15-3. “They didn’t give up, and they gave 110 percent.”

Lummi Nation will wrap up the district tournament on Thursday at 4:30 p.m., when it takes on Darrington at Mount Vernon Christian. The winner will place third and the loser fourth, and both teams will advance to the tri-district tournament.

Orcas Island 55, Lummi Nation 35

Orcas Island                     13       12       12       18—55

Lummi Nation                   6         5       13       11—35

Orcas Island: Schneider 6, Carter, 16, Malo 3, Spinner 1, Mahony-Jauregui 19, Ashcroft 9.

Lummi Nation: M. Morris, A. Solomon 16, R. Solomon 4, James 15, Kapuni-Lopez, Jones, Pantalia, Williams, Toby.


Thursday, Feb. 2

Play-in games

NW 1B #4 Darrington 2, NW 1B/2B #3 Lopez 0 (forfeit) (loser out)

NW 1B #3 Concrete 54, NW 1B/2B #4 Tulalip Heritage 39 (loser out)

Saturday, Feb. 4

First round

Darrington 50, NW 1B #2 Grace Academy 19

NW 1B/2B #2 Orcas Island 67, Concrete 13

Tuesday, Feb. 7


Concrete 49, Grace Academy 14 (winner fifth, to tri-district “pigtail” game, loser out)


NW 1B/2B #1 Mount Vernon Christian 58, Darrington 16

Orcas Island 55, NW 1B #1 Lummi Nation 35

Thursday, Feb. 9

At Mount Vernon Christian

Consolation final

Lummi Nation (15-3) vs. Darrington (11-8), 4:30 p.m. (winner third, loser fourth, both to tri-district)

Championship game

Orcas Island (10-9) vs. Mount Vernon Christian (18-3), 7:30 p.m. (winner first, loser second, both to tri-district)

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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