With two all-state scorers and an offensive juggernaut that routinely scores in the high 70s, the Lynden boys basketball team is earning a reputation … as a great defensive team.
For the second night in a row, the Lions put the clamps on a Northwest Conference rival as they grounded the Anacortes Seahawks, 67-35, in the Class 2A District 1/2 championship game Saturday night at Mount Vernon High School.
While winning the district crown Saturday was satisfying — it’s always nice to cut down the nets — Lynden had already clinched a berth in the state tournament with its 63-38 victory over Burlington-Edison in Friday’s semifinal.
For updates on how our Whatcom County teams are doing in the 1B, 1A, 2A, and 3A tournaments, keep checking www.whatcomhoops.com.
That means the defending state champion and No.1-ranked Lions will be hosting a state regional game on either next Friday or next Saturday, Feb. 22 or 23, against an opponent and at a site to be determined early this week.
Joining Lynden (22-1) in the state regionals will be Anacortes (15-8), Liberty (Issaquah) (15-8) and Burlington-Edison (18-6). Liberty and Burlington-Edison are scheduled to wrap up the district tournament by playing for third and fourth place Monday.
As usual, Clayton Whitman and Christian Zamora led the Lynden attack Saturday, scoring 21 and 14 points, respectively. But what was unusual was that their 35 points equaled the entire total for Anacortes.
In fact, Lynden’s pressure defense has now limited the Seahawks to two of their three lowest point totals this season. Lynden beat Anacortes, 74-36, in mid-December.
In addition to his scoring, Whitman finished with a team-high seven rebounds, three blocks and five assists. But it was far from a one-man show.
Blake Silves joined Whitman and Zamora in double figures with 12 points, all on 3-pointers; James Marsh added eight points, five rebounds and four assists; Kobe Elsner also had a team-high five assists; and Carson Bode and Dakota Baar each pulled down six rebounds.
Lynden 67, Anacortes 35
Anacortes 6 12 9 8 — 35
Lynden 13 20 22 12 — 67
Anacortes: Treyvohn Jedlinski, Kaeden Flynn 5, Duane Jedlinski 7, Nick Cortright, Gavi Moore 7, Nathan Johnson, Alek Miller, Gaige Berow, Cort Sneff, Jordie Mehler 2, Grayson Eaton 8, Chase Cornett 2.
Lynden: Kobe Elsner 2, Blake Silves 12, James Marsh 8, Clayton Whitman 21, Brock Heppner 5, Carson Bode, Eli VanderHaak, Dakota Baar, Carter Parcher 3, Christian Zamora 14, Liam Hanenburg 2.
CLASS 2A DISTRICT 1/2 BOYS TOURNAMENT
First round (Thursday, Feb. 7)
Sehome 71, Sedro-Woolley 55
Lakewood 63, Archbishop Murphy 59 (loser out)
Burlington-Edison 79, Blaine 41(loser out)
Bellingham 74, Cedarcrest 57 (loser out)
Second round (Thursday)
Sehome 57, Mountlake Terrace 52
Anacortes 63, Lakewood 47
Burlington-Edison 58, Liberty (Issaquah) 55
Lynden 68, Bellingham 27
Consolation round (Friday)
Mountlake Terrace 70, Lakewood 58 (loser out)
Liberty (Issaquah) 70, Bellingham 51 (loser out)
Anacortes 63, Sehome 48
Lynden 63, Burlington-Edison 38
Consolation semifinals (Saturday)
Burlington-Edison 59, Mountlake Terrace 43 (winner to state, loser out)
Liberty (Issaquah) 80, Sehome 73 (winner to state, loser out)
Championship final (Saturday)
Lynden 67, Anacortes 35 (winner first, loser second, both to state)
Consolation final (Monday)
Burlington (18-6) vs. Liberty (Issaquah) (15-8) at Mount Vernon High School, 1:30 p.m. (winner third, loser fourth, both to state)
(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