And this is what happens when the Lynden girls basketball team plays someone its own size.
The top-ranked Lions bounced back from a disappointing loss the night before to bounce out Port Angeles, 48-33, Friday afternoon in consolation play at the Class 2A state tournament in the Yakima SunDome.
The victory assured Lynden (22-4) of its eighth top-six finish in the past nine years. The Lions will play Black Hills on Saturday at 9:30 a.m. with the winner earning fourth and the loser sixth.
For updated stories and pictures from the 1A and 2A state tournaments, visit www.whatcomhoops.com. And for more pictures, be sure to check out the Whatcom Hoops Facebook page.
“We found out what we were made of,” said Lynden coach Rob Adams of the team’s determination after losing to second-ranked East Valley (Spokane) in Thursday’s quarterfinals. “We were bummed with the outcome (Thursday), but our mission was to get to Saturday.
“And our mindset right from the start (Friday) was to get after them.”
Boy, did they ever. The Lions came out aggressive on both offense and defense and ended the first period ahead, 13-0. They built the lead to 20-0 before Port Angeles scored with 4:54 remaining in the second quarter.
“We knew we had a shutout … we wanted it,” said junior guard Keylie Hershey, who led the Lions with 12 points. “We wanted to play fast, and hopefully hit our shots.”
The Lions hit their usual quota of 3-pointers — seven total, three by senior guard Blakely Doerge — and got balanced scoring Thursday. Anna VanderYacht added 11 points, Doerge finished with nine and Ruby VanderHaak had eight.
But it was their defense that set the tone.
With Liv Tjoelker, VanderHaak, Doerge and mighty mite Samantha Villars making it rough on the Roughriders guards, and VanderYacht, Hershey, Kyla Bonsen and subs Alexis Holman and Keyna Holleman doing the dirty work inside, the Lions only allowed 14 points through the first three quarters.
“This feels good,” said Hershey of rebounding from Thursday’s difficult loss to win at state. “We wanted to do it for our seniors.”
One of those seniors, Doerge, was enjoying the moment, especially after missing the Lions’ state championship season as a JV player her sophomore year and last year’s fourth-place finish because she had pneumonia.
“This is the best team I’ve ever been a part of,” said Doerge, who joins Bonsen as the only seniors on the squad. “It’s going to be hard to leave all these girls. But once you’re a Lion, you’re a Lion forever.”
Adams marveled at how well his team has pulled together, especially when the season started with his two tallest players suffering season-ending injuries.
“It’s been unbelievable when you think of the two catastrophic injuries,” said Adams. “I am abundantly proud of them.”
Lynden 48, Port Angeles 33
Port Angeles 0 8 6 19 — 33
Lynden 13 15 7 13 — 48
Port Angeles: Emilia Long 4, Myra Walkere 2, Eve Burke 4, Summer Olsen, Kia Noel, Jaida Wood 4, Mikkiah Brady 3, Catie Brown, Bailee Larson 7, Jenna McGoff, Madison Cooke 9, Jayde Gedelman.
Lynden: Alexis Holman, Liv Tjoelker 5, Anna VanderYacht 11, Blakely Doerge 9, Samantha Villars 3, Keylie Hershey 12, Keyna Holleman, Kyla Bonsen, Ruby VanderHaak 8.
Shooting: FG—PA 11-51 21.6, Lyn 14-42 33.3; FT— PA 6-15 40.0, Lyn 13-20 65.0; 3 PT—PA 5-29 17.2 (Wood 1, Larson 2, Cooke 1, Brady 1), Lyn 7-22 31.8 (Hershey 1, L. Tjoelker 1, VanderYacht 1, VanderHaak 1, Doerge 3).
Rebounds: PA 42 (Cooke 9), Lyn 34 (VanderHaak 5). Fouls: PA 16 (Wood), Lyn 14. Assists: PA 4 (Long 1, Walker 1, Burke 1, Brady 1), Lyn 8 (VanderHaak 3). Turnovers: PA 16, Lyn 10. Blocks: PA 1 (Wood 1), Lyn 0. Steals: PA 3 (Wood 1, Brady 1, Cooke 1), Lyn 4 (Hershey 2).
CLASS 2A GIRLS STATE TOURNAMENT
(With RPI seedings)
#14 Sequim 54, #11 Foster 44 (loser out)
#7 Washougal 52, #2 East Valley (Spokane) 45
#3 Clarkston 61, #6 Port Angeles 35
#4 White River 49, #5 Archbishop Murphy 41
#9 Burlington-Edison (19-4) 53, #16 Renton 42 (loser out)
#13 Black Hills 52, #12 Grandview 37 (loser out)
#10 Anacortes 65, #15 North Kitsap 49 (loser out)
#1 Lynden 66, #8 W.F. West 45
At Yakima SunDome
State play-in games (Wednesday)
Port Angeles 57, Sequim 47 (loser out)
East Valley (Spokane) 61, Anacortes 23 (loser out)
Black Hills 60, Archbishop Murphy 47 (loser out)
W.F. West 57, Burlington-Edison 43 (loser out)
White River 60, Port Angeles 55
East Valley (Spokane) 52, Lynden 42
Clarkston 42, Black Hills 28
Washougal 49, W.F. West 39
Consolation semifinals (Friday)
Lynden 48, Port Angeles 33 (loser out)
Black Hills (18-9) vs. W.F. West (18-8), 2 p.m. (loser out)
White River (25-3) vs. East Valley (Spokane) (21-4), 7:15 p.m.
Clarkston (24-2) vs. Washougal (21-4), 9 p.m.
Fourth-sixth place game (Saturday)
Lynden (22-4) , 9:30 a.m. (winner fourth, loser sixth)
Consolation final (Saturday)
1 p.m. (winner third, loser fifth)
Championship game (Saturday)
7 p.m. (winner first, loser second)
(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.