It was a rough night in more ways than one, and the Lynden girls basketball team will now have a rough path at the Class 2A state tournament after losing to White River, 51-45, in the state regionals at Mount Vernon High School on Saturday, Feb. 25.
The physical play of the Hornets combined with a cold shooting night that only saw them score 19 second-half points left the second-seeded Lions out in the cold.
The good news is that Lynden (20-5) is still alive in the state playoffs. The Lions move on to the Yakima SunDome, where they will play a loser-out game against Othello on Wednesday, March 1, at 5:30 p.m.
Check out Whatcom Hoops for stories and photos from all of Friday’s and Saturday’s regional action.
On Saturday, Lynden jumped to a 12-4 lead to start the game and still held a four-point lead at the half. But then came the third quarter.
Using a man-to-man press and double-teaming Lynden’s main inside threat, freshman post Payton Mills, White River went on a 14-2 run to start the second half and outscored the Lions, 22-8, in the third period to go up by 10.
“In the third, we came out and weren’t locked in defensively,” said Lynden coach Vic Wolffis. “One team buried their shots and the other team struggled to make all kinds of shots.”
While the Lions struggled with other shots — they missed 12 free throws for the game and only made three field goals in the third period — it was their usually reliable 3-point shot that went south … or north, depending on which is colder.
After making three from beyond the arc in the first quarter, they only made two more the rest of the game and only one in the second half as they tried desperately to close the gap.
Junior Haylee Koetje was the only bright spot offensively for the Lions with 17 points. Mills managed 10 points despite the constant attention of the White River defense, and junior Kalanie Newcomb had 9 points, but only three came in the second half.
Despite everything going against them, the Lions fought back in the final period and Lynden closed to within 48-45 with 2:15 left. They had two chances to tie the game, but didn’t score again and will now need to win Wednesday just to make the quarterfinals where they would face No.1-ranked and undefeated Ellensburg.
“Now we just need to get a win Wednesday,” said Wolffis. “The path is tougher, but the girls are on it. They’ll give it everything they have.”
Our other Class 2A girls team, the Sehome Mariners, had their season end Friday night with a 45-38 loss to Sammamish.
White River 51, Lynden 45
White River 12 10 22 7—51
Lynden 15 11 8 11—45
White River: MacKenzie Hinson 9, Sophie Ross-Sole, Morgan Greene 10, Lexie Banks 3, Ava Bright 9, Ally Green, Josie Jacobs 6, Ella Klemkow 3, Dakota Sprouse, Vivian Kingston 11.
Lynden: Mallary Villars 2, Adia Newcomb 3, Haylee Koetje 17, Kalanie Newcomb 9, Payton Mills 10, Chloe Wittenberg, Mya VanderYacht 3, Rian Stephan 1.
CLASS 2A GIRLS STATE REGIONALS
Friday, Feb. 24
#4 Prosser 57, #5 Tumwater 31 (both to state tournament)
#10 Othello 45 #15 Mark Morris 39 (winner to state tournament, loser out)
#11 Renton (18-4) 47 #14 Port Angeles 40 (winner to state tournament, loser out)
#16 Sammamish 45, #9 Sehome 38 (winner to regionals, loser out)
#1 Ellensburg (21-0) 59, #8 Sequim 35 (both to state tournament)
Saturday, Feb. 25
#3 Burlington-Edison 55, #6 WF West 48 (both to state tournament)
#12 Enumclaw 58, #13 Columbia River 47 (winner to state tournament, loser out)
#7 White River 51, #2 Lynden 45 (both to state tournament)
At Yakima SunDome
Wednesday, March 1
Renton (19-4) vs. WF West (19-5), 3:45 p.m. (loser out)
Othello (17-9) vs. Lynden (20-5), 5:30 p.m. (loser out)
Enumclaw (18-6) vs. Tumwater (19-5), 7:15 p.m. (loser out)
Sammamish (19-6) vs. Sequim (20-3), 9 p.m. (loser out)
Thursday, March 2
Prosser (18-7) vs. Renton-WF West winner, 3:45 p.m.
Ellensburg (22-0) vs. Othello-Lynden winner, 5:30 p.m.
Burlington-Edison (18-6) vs. Enumclaw-Tumwater winner, 7:15 p.m.
White River (19-6) vs. Sammamish-Sequim winner, 9 p.m.
Friday, March 3
Consolation game, 12:15 p.m. (loser out)
Consolation game, 2 p.m. (loser out)
Semifinal, 7:15 p.m.
Semifinal, 9 p.m.
Saturday, March 4
Consolation game, 9:30 a.m. (winner fourth, loser sixth)
Consolation final, 1 p.m. (winner third, loser fifth)
Championship game, 7 p.m. (winner first, loser second)
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.