It isn’t often the Lynden boys basketball team is an “underdog,” but it didn’t matter much on Friday, Feb. 24, as the sixth-seeded Lions went on the road to knock off third seed Renton, 70-52, in a Class 2A state regional contest.
Lynden (21-4) used a 19-0 run to start the second half to run away from the Redhawks (23-2), who were being heralded as a tournament favorite. Instead, the defending state champion Lions will be the ones advancing to the state quarterfinals in the Yakima SunDome on Thursday, March 2, at 12:15 p.m.
They will play the winner of a Wednesday game between Saturday’s Sehome-Mark Morris loser and Sammamish-North Kitsap winner. (It’s confusing but it will clear up after Saturday’s games).
One thing is perfectly clear: The Lions are ready to defend the state title they’ve won three of the past four tournaments.
Friday’s game in Auburn started as expected with the two teams tied after one period. But the Lions used their defense to hold Renton to six second-period points and take a 10-point lead at the half.
Then came the storm. Nineteen straight points turned a good game into another Lynden blowout allowing the Lions reserves to enjoy some playing time and the starters to rest up for Thursday.
As usual, it was a team effort led by junior Anthony Canales, who had 23 points, 6 rebounds, 4 steals, and 3 assists.
Senior Coston Parcher tossed in 15 points to go along with 8 rebounds and 3 assists, sophomore Brant Heppner had 11 points and three 3-pointers, senior Kobe Baar had 7 points, and senior Trey Smiley had 12 rebounds.
Defensively, the Lions held the Redhawks to their lowest point total of the season. This was a Renton team that scored 80 or more points 10 times during the season, including a 101-point game, and came into Friday’s game with only one loss.
Despite the loss, Renton also moves on to the SunDome but must play a loser-out game on Wednesday, March 1. They will face the winner of Saturday’s Foss-Tumwater game.
Lynden 70, Renton 52
Lynden 14 16 23 17—70
Renton 14 6 9 23—52
Lynden: Coston Parcher 15, Anthony Canales 23, Trey Smiley 4, Brant Heppner 11, Kobe Baar 7, Cameron Peterson 2, Brady Elsner 2, Alexander Matthews 2, Elijah Hanenburg 4, Weston Van Dalen, Charlie Ayres, Daniel Bowler.
Renton: Donald Vinson 6, Dennis Johnson 6, De’Rai Taylor 2, Marc Pasag 5, Landon Saephan, Jordan Agosto 11, Lake Guild 4, Carlos Clark 2, Elijah Spear 2, Ajayi Simmons 6, Marques Ili-Meneese 5, Isaiah Spear 3.
CLASS 2A BOYS STATE REGIONALS
Friday, Feb. 24
#6 Lynden 70, #3 Renton 52 (both to state tournament)
Saturday, Feb. 25
#1 Pullman (23-0) vs. #8 RA Long (20-4) at West Valley High (Spokane), 2 p.m. (both to state tournament)
#2 Anacortes (21-2) vs. #7 Prosser (18-4) at Arlington High, 2 p.m. (both to state tournament)
#4 Mark Morris (22-2) vs. #5 Sehome (18-4) at WF West High, 4 p.m. (both to state tournament)
#10 Enumclaw (20-3) vs. #15 Ridgefield (13-10) at Auburn High, 4 p.m. (winner to state tournament, loser out)
#12 Sammamish (16-8) vs. #13 North Kitsap (17-7) at Bellevue CC, 4 p.m. (winner to state tournament, loser out)
#16 Clover Park (13-8) at #9 West Valley (Spokane) (19-4), 8 p.m. (winner to state tournament, loser out)
#14 Foss (19-6) at #11 Tumwater (18-5), 6 p.m. (winner to state tournaments, loser out)
At Yakima SunDome
Wednesday, March 1
Tumwater-Foss winner vs. Renton (23-2), 9 a.m. (loser out)
Enumclaw-Ridgefield winner vs. Anacortes-Prosser loser, 10:25 a.m. (loser out)
Sammamish-North Kitsap winner vs. Mark Morris-Sehome loser, 12:15 p.m. (loser out)
Clover Park-West Valley (Spokane) winner vs. Pullman-RA Long loser, 2 p.m. (loser out)
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.