The Lynden boys basketball team showed how badly it wanted to defend its Class 2A state crown by unleashing its defense on Archbishop Murphy and securing a 65-25 victory in a District 1 consolation game Thursday night, Feb. 16, at Mount Vernon High School.
The win propels the Lions into the consolation final Saturday night against Lakewood, which defeated Squalicum, 55-50, in the other consolation contest Thursday. Unfortunately, the loss ended the Storm’s season.
Saturday’s Lynden-Lakewood game is a loser-out contest with the winner taking third place and the district’s third and final state berth. It will be played at 5:30 p.m., right before the district championship game between Sehome and Anacortes, both of whom already have qualified for state.
NEXT UP: The Class 2A girls return Friday to Mount Vernon High School with Sehome facing Archbishop Murphy at 5:30 p.m. in the District 1 consolation final with a state berth at stake and Lynden meeting Burlington-Edison at 7:15 p.m. with the winner earning the district championship. In 1B tri-district action in Tacoma, the Lummi Nation girls try to keep their state hopes alive in a consolation game against Crescent and the boys play Summit Classical in a semifinal. Check out the stories and photos at Whatcom Hoops.
Lynden Defense Shuts Down Archbishop Murphy
Thursday’s game was all about defense, and the Lions’ D didn’t let up until the running clock was going and the game was decided at the end of three quarters with Lynden up by 42 points.
It was a bounce-back game for the Lions, who lost a heart-breaker in Tuesday’s semifinal to Sehome and will have to battle back through the losers’ bracket to return to Yakima for their 11th state tournament in a row. Lynden, which improved to 19-4 on the year, will earn a state berth with a win on Saturday.
Junior Anthony Canales led the offense with 17 points, 6 rebounds, and 4 assists. Senior Coston Parcher added 12 points, 4 rebounds, and 3 steals, and senior Eli Hannenburg came off the bench to toss in 9 points. Senior Trey Smiley and junior Brady Elsner had 6 rebounds each, and sophomore Brant Heppner had 6 points and 5 rebounds.
The Lions jumped out to leads of 19-5 after one quarter and 36-7 after two periods. For the game, Lynden only allowed the Wildcats to shoot 16 percent from the field and make only 1 of 17 3-point attempts.
Lynden and Lakewood met three weeks ago with the Lions winning, 69-50. The Cougars, who improved to 13-11, lost to Anacortes in the semifinals before beating Squalicum on Thursday.
The Lions have made the last 10 state tournaments, placing in the top three nine times, and winning four state titles, including three of the past four.
Lynden 65, Archbishop Murphy 25
Archbishop Murphy 5 2 4 14—25
Lynden 19 17 17 12—65
Archbishop Murphy: Galbraith 1, Ennis 2, Adams, S. Balen 1, C. Balen, Usui 1, Blachly 9, Lewis, Cham 2, Shin 2, Sievers 5, Sumpter 2.
Lynden: Elsner 5, Parcher 12, Petersen 4, Matthews, Hanenburg 9, Van Dalen 3, Smiley 2, Ayres 2, Canales 17, Heppner 6, Baar, Bowler 5.
Squalicum Loses To Lakewood In Final Quarter
In a game with lots of big shots, Lakewood had more down the stretch and outscored the Storm, 16-11, in the fourth quarter to eliminate Squalicum and move on to the consolation final.
Senior Xander Sledge had a team-high 15 points for Squalicum and hit five 3-pointers as the Storm and the Cougars both sank nine 3-pointers in the game.
Squalicum senior Ashton Engelhart had 12 points and two 3-pointers, junior Peter Albert had 10 points, and senior Jake Donnelly had 6 points on a pair of 3s.
The Storm ended the season at 11-14. It was the last game for seniors Donnelly, Sledge, Engelhart, Dylan Jacobs, Nick Watt, Kyle Heaton, and Leo Pavia.
Lakewood 55, Squalicum 50
Squalicum 17 9 13 11—50
Lakewood 20 6 13 16—55
Squalicum: Donnelly 6, Jacobs 2, Watt 2, Nixon, Engelhart 12, Sledge 15, Heaton 3, Albert 10.
Lakewood: Sonko, Rucker 19, Weller 2, Smith, 7, Stacey, Lydon, Stoddard 10, Greenland 17.
DISTRICT 1 TOURNAMENT
Thursday, Feb. 9
#7 Squalicum 56, #10 Sedro-Woolley 44 (loser out)
#8 Archbishop Murphy 56, #9 Bellingham 41 (loser out)
Saturday, Feb. 11
#2 Lynden 64, Squalicum 35
#3 Sehome 60, #6 Burlington-Edison 47
#4 Lakewood 68, #5 Cedarcrest 64
#1 Anacortes 79, Archbishop Murphy 48
Tuesday, Feb. 14
Squalicum 60, Burlington-Edison 56 (loser out)
Archbishop Murphy 63, Cedarcrest 61 (loser out)
At Mount Vernon
Sehome 46, Lynden 44
Anacortes 52, Lakewood 49
Thursday, Feb. 16
At Mount Vernon
Lakewood 55, Squalicum 50 (loser out)
Lynden 65, Archbishop Murphy 25 (loser out)
Saturday, Feb. 18
At Mount Vernon
Lynden (19-4) vs. Lakewood (13-11), 5:30 p.m. (winner third, to state regionals, loser out)
Sehome (18-3) vs. Anacortes (20-2), 7:15 p.m. (winner first, loser second, both to state regionals)
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.