The Lummi Nation boys basketball team started off the game with a bang — actually two bangs — and went on to dominate Tulalip Heritage of Marysville, 77-64, and win the Class 1B District 1 championship Saturday night at Marysville-Getchell High School.
Jermaine Toby hit back-to-back 3-pointers to start the game and spark the Blackhawks to a 13-point first-quarter lead they would never relinquish. The victory was the 19th straight for Lummi Nation (21-1), which had already secured a spot in next week’s tri-district tournament.
“I’m proud of them,” said Lummi coach Jerome Toby. “To get this district championship on the road … they beat a good basketball team.”
In the girls tournament, Lummi Nation fell in the semifinals to Mount Vernon Christian, 51-28, on Saturday. The Lady Blackhawks will play Lopez in the consolation final at Lummi on Tuesday at 3 p.m. with the winner taking third and the loser fourth.
The rest of the county’s teams begin their district tournaments this week. Check with www.whatcomhoops.com for previews of the Class 1A boys playoffs (starts Monday), 1A girls (Monday), 2A boys (Wednesday), 2A girls (Thursday), 3A girls (Wednesday) and 3A boys (Thursday).
Lummi Boys’ Balanced Attack, Defense Down Hawks
As they have all season, the Blackhawks used a balanced attack on offense and a stingy defense to beat Tulalip Heritage (18-3) for the second time in the rivals’ three meetings.
Junior point guard Caleb Revey led Lummi with 22 points, including eight in the crucial first quarter. He also finished 6-for-6 from the line as the Blackhawks hit 18 of 29 free throws.
“It all started with Caleb,” said coach Toby. “Being our leader, he got us going.”
Freshman center Tyran Lane battled inside for 17 points, senior guard Jermaine Toby finished with four 3-pointers for 14 points, freshman guard Duncan Toby added 10 points, and sophomore guard William Hetland came off the bench to score eight points, including 6-for-6 from the line in the fourth quarter.
While coach Toby was pleased with the offensive production, it was the Blackhawks’ team play and defense that he said made the difference.
“Defensively, we did an awesome job,” he said of slowing down the Hawks’ fastbreak. “The one thing about this team is that they’ve bought into the team concept. It’s ‘us’ … not trying to do it all by themselves.”
With the victory, the Blackhawks advance as the district’s top seed into the District 1/2/3 tournament. They earned a first-round bye and will host the winner of the District 1 #4 seed and District 2 #3 seed on Feb. 12. The winner of that game will earn a berth in the 1B state tournament in Spokane.
But coach Toby wanted to keep it all in perspective.
“We got to play for some hardware and be the No.1 seed in a tough district,” he said. “We’ll enjoy it tomorrow. But they are still hungry. They want more.”
Lummi Nation 77, Tulalip Heritage 64
Tulalip Heritage 8 17 11 28 — 64
Lummi Nation 21 17 14 25 — 77
Tulalip Heritage: Isaac Hadley-Comenote 6, Rodney Barber 6, Paul Shay Jr. 22, Joshua Iukes 9, Alonzo Jones-Smith 11, Oliver Kahappa, Joshua Miranda 3, Magdaleno Vela 7, Michael Lynch, Isiah Moses, Daron Fryberg.
Lummi Nation: Miguel Ortez, Caleb Revey 22, William Hetland 8, Duncan Toby 10, Justin Mahle 2, Jermaine Toby 14, Ja’ie Leighton, Tristan Revey 1, Tyran Lane 17, Moses Seymour 3.
CLASS 1B DISTRICT 1 BOYS TOURNAMENT
Second round (Saturday)
Cedar Park Christian 50, Lopez 42
Fellowship Christian 62, Orcas Christian 52
Championship game (Saturday)
Lummi Nation 77, Tulalip Heritage 64, winner first, loser second (both to tri-district)
Consolation games (Tuesday)
Cedar Park Christian (17-5) vs. Fellowship Christian (12-7) at Lummi Nation, winner third, loser fourth (both to tri-district)
Lopez (8-12) vs. Orcas Christian (8-10) at Lummi Nation, winner fifth, loser out (winner to tri-district)
Lummi Nation Girls Fall, Still Advance To Tri-District
Mount Vernon Christian (18-2), rated fourth in the latest state RPI rankings, was too much for the Lady Blackhawks, who fell to 10-5 with the semifinal loss.
Lummi Nation will host Lopez (9-7) in the consolation final on Tuesday at 3 p.m. Both teams already qualified for the District 1/2/3 tournament, which starts next Saturday, Feb. 9. Lopez lost to Grace Academy on Saturday.
CLASS 1B DISTRICT 1 GIRLS TOURNAMENT
Grace Academy 43, Lopez 26
Mount Vernon Christian 51, Lummi Nation 28
Consolation final (Tuesday)
Lopez (9-7) at Lummi Nation (10-5), winner third, loser fourth (both to tri-district)
Championship final (Tuesday)
Grace Academy (13-3) vs. Mount Vernon Christian (18-2) at Lummi Nation, winner first, loser second (both to tri-district)
(Full schedule and bracket at nwbathletics.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.