2A Boys State: Lynden Knocks Off North Kitsap, Heads Into Semis

Been there, done that.

The Lynden boys basketball team ignored the bright lights — or maybe was energized by them — in walloping North Kitsap, 68-34, in the Class 2A state quarterfinals on Thursday, March 2.

The sixth-seeded Lions (22-4)  now move into the state semifinals where they will play seventh-seeded Prosser (20-4), a team Lynden beat by five in a holiday tournament in December.

“You can’t carry over any points,” said Lynden coach Brian Roper. “We’ll have to do it all again tomorrow.”

Check Whatcom Hoops for the latest stories and photos from the state tournaments in Yakima. 

Thursday was a return to the friendly court of the Yakima SunDome where seven of this year’s Lions won last year’s state championship — and where Lynden has won three of the past four state championships.

And it was another victory over North Kitsap, a team Lynden beat by two points in a non-league game earlier this season, not to mention it was the same Vikings who the Lions beat for the Class 2A football state championship last November.

Except Thursday’s victory was not by two points or a touchdown but by four touchdowns and a couple of field goals.

The Lions hit their first four shots as they jumped out to a 10-point lead and never looked back.

An Anthony Canales dunk off a rebound and the subsequent free throw made it a 19-point margin in the first half. And a Brant Heppner 3-pointer from the corner made it a 31-point lead with five minutes left as both teams emptied their benches.

When asked if the game went as the coaching staff planned, Roper joked, “We always encourage our guys to get off to a 10-0 start. It’s on my wish list.”

The starters spread the scoring wealth around. Canales, last year’s state tourney MVP as a sophomore, had 19 points, a pair of 3-pointers, and two thunderous dunks.

Senior Coston Parcher had 14 points, Heppner had 12, and senior Kobe Baar had 11. Canales and senior Trey Smiley had 6 rebounds and 3 assists each, Heppner added 5 rebounds, and Baar had 4 as the Lions outrebounded the Vikings, 40-21.

And the Lions got contributions from the non-starters. Senior Cameron Petersen had 6 points and a game-high 9 rebounds, junior Brady Elsner provided turnover-less play at the point and strong defense, and senior Elijah Hanenburg added 4 points.

“Our guys off the bench all contributed in big ways,” said Roper. “Our depth has improved. Our guys have become a real team.”

One way every Lion has contributed is on defense. Lynden held a North Kitsap team that had scored more than 80 points nine times and 90 or more points four times to its lowest total of the season.

“Defense is our main thing,” said Smiley, one of several Lions who have won two football state titles and one basketball. “We enjoy playing it. Our goal is not letting teams get to their average. We get excited about that.”

And will their goals change at all as they head into another state semifinal? Not according to Smiley.

“We just want to keep playing how we’ve been playing … and keep winning,” he said.

Lynden 68, North Kitsap 34

North Kitsap            7       13       10         4—34

Lynden                   20       19       15       14—68

North Kitsap: Jalen East 4, Mason Chmielewski 3, Ethan Gillespie 6, Cade Orness 6, Harry Davies 14, Jonas Funston, Jay Ashford-Downing, Ben Eisenhart, Aleo Toves 1, Nico Marrero, Jaxon Korsak.

Lynden: Brady Elsner, Coston Parcher 14, Cameron Petersen 6, Alexander Matthews,  Elijah Hanenburg 4, Weston VanDalen, Trey Smiley 2, Charlie Ayres, Anthony Canales 19, Brant Heppner 12, Kobe Baar 11, Daniel Bowler.


At Yakima Valley SunDome

Wednesday, March 1

Round of 12

#11 Tumwater 56, #3 Renton 53 (loser out)

#10 Enumclaw 63, #2 Anacortes 41 (loser out)

#13 North Kitsap 58, #5 Sehome 55 (loser out)

#8 RA Long 56, #9 West Valley (Spokane) 39 (loser out)

Thursday,  March 2


#4 Mark Morris 60, Tumwater 51

#1 Pullman 54,  Enumclaw 40

#6 Lynden 68, North Kitsap 34

#7 Prosser 47, RA Long 44

Friday, March 3

Consolation games

Tumwater (20-6) vs. Enumclaw (22-4), 9 a.m. (loser out)

North Kitsap (19-8) vs. RA Long (21-6), 10:30 a.m. (loser out)


Mark Morris (24-2) vs. Pullman (25-0), 3:45 p.m.

Lynden (22-4) vs. Prosser (20-4), 5:30 p.m.

Saturday, March 4

Consolation game

Tumwater-Enumclaw winner vs. North Kitsap-RA Long winner, 8 a.m. (winner fourth, loser sixth)

Consolation final

Mark Morris-Pullman loser vs. Lynden-Prosser loser, 11:15 a.m. (winner third, loser fifth)

Championship game

Mark Morris-Pullman winner vs. Lynden-Prosser winner, 9 p.m. (winner first, loser second)

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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