The Northwest Conference girls basketball teams flexed their muscles Thursday by claiming three of the four semifinal spots in the Class 2A District 1/2 tournament, but underdog Bellingham couldn’t make it a clean sweep.
The NWC champion Lynden Lions led the way with a 70-44 demolishing of visiting Cedarcrest to set up a rematch with Burlington-Edison on Friday at 5 p.m. Lynden’s Jake Maberry Gymnasium. The Lions, who improved their record to 18-3 with Thursday’s win, beat the Tigers earlier this season, 39-25.
The winner of the Lynden-Burlington semifinal will advance to the bi-district championship game on Sunday and earn one of the bi-district’s four spots in the state regionals on Feb. 22 and 23.
For updates on how our Whatcom County teams are doing in the 1B, 1A, 2A, and 3A tournaments, be sure to keep checking www.whatcomhoops.com.
The Lynden-Burlington loser will play the winner of the Bellingham-Liberty game on Saturday at 6 p.m. at Mount Vernon High School in a winner-to state, loser-out contest.
Bellingham, the ninth seed, couldn’t pull off the tournament’s biggest upset when the visiting Red Raiders (9-13) fell to top-seeded Archbishop Murphy of Everett, 53-35, in Thursday’s quarterfinal.
The Red Raiders will now have to go through the consolation bracket, starting with a game Friday with Liberty of Issaquah (10-12), a 55-34 loser to Anacortes on Thursday. The location and time of the Bellingham-Liberty game were not available Thursday night.
Joining Lynden and Burlington from the NWC in the semifinals will be Anacortes after its Thursday victory. The Seahawks will travel to Archbishop Murphy on Friday evening.
CLASS 2A DISTRICT 1/2 GIRLS TOURNAMENT
First-round games (Thursday, Feb. 7)
Sammamish 71, Blaine 54 (loser out)
Cedarcrest 58, Mountlake Terrace 32 (loser out)
Liberty 44, Sehome 38 (loser out)
Bellingham 49, Sedro-Woolley 46 (loser out)
Second round (Thursday)
Lynden 70, Cedarcrest 44
Burlington-Edison 73, Sammamish 50
Anacortes 55, Liberty 34
Archbishop Murphy 53, Bellingham 35
Consolation games (Friday)
Cedarcrest (12-9) at Sammamish (12-11) (loser out)
Bellingham (9-13) at Liberty (10-12) (loser out)
Burlington (18-3) at Lynden (18-3), 5 p.m. (winner to state)
Anacortes (14-7) at Archbishop Murphy (18-2), 6 p.m. (winner to state)
Consolation semifinal (Saturday)
Cedarcrest-Sammamish winner vs. Anacortes-Archbishop Murphy loser at Mount Vernon High School, 3 p.m. (winner to state, loser out)
Bellingham-Liberty winner vs. Lynden-Burlington loser at Mount Vernon High School, 6 p.m. (winner to state, loser out)
Consolation final (Sunday)
At Mount Vernon High School, 1:30 p.m. (winner third, loser fourth, both advance to state)
Championship final (Sunday)
At Mount Vernon High School, 4:30 p.m. (winner first, loser second, both advance 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.