The Lynden girls basketball team came up short in the Yakima SunDome on Wednesday night, March 1.
The Lions came up short of their expectations, they came up short in their comeback, and their final shot of the season came up short of a miracle as they lost to Othello, 33-31, in the “round of 12” at the Class 2A state tournament.
“We told them we were so proud of the work they put in and how much they wanted it,” said Lynden coach Vic Wolffis. “We just didn’t put the ball in the hole.”
The loss eliminated the second-seeded Lions from the tournament and ended their season with a 20-6 record.
Check Whatcom Hoops for the latest stories and photos from the state tournaments in Yakima and Spokane.
The final desperation shot at the buzzer by senior Adia Newcomb with half the Othello team all but mugging her summed up the rough defensive struggle.
After a back-and-forth and very physical first half, Lynden found itself down by eight when Othello star Annalee Coronado hit two 3-pointers from somewhere around the SunDome parking lot to start the third quarter.
Behind freshman Payton Mills, who had all 10 of her points in the second half, the Lions battled back. Mills’s last bucket with 7.6 seconds left cut the margin to one and when Coronado missed the second of her two free throws, the Lions had one last chance.
But there was barely enough time to get it to Newcomb and the shot was short, the comeback was short, and the season ended up short of the trophy round the Lions were hoping to make.
“I thought we did the job defensively,” said Wolffis, “But we had too many turnovers to say we did enough to win. Coronado buried those really long 3s … we couldn’t bury them.”
The defense that had been the Lions’ pride and joy was on display as they held the Huskies (19-6) to one of their lowest point totals of the season and limited them to 11 points in the second half and only four points in the fourth quarter.
But the outside shooting that deserted the Lions in last Saturday’s 51-45 regional upset loss to seventh-seeded White River was missing in action again Wednesday against the 10th-seeded Huskies. Lynden only shot 32 percent from the field and only made three of 13 3-point attempts.
And then there were the 18 turnovers, a dozen more than they forced Othello to make.
Mills finally warmed up in the second half but she was the only Lion in double figures. Junior Kalanie Newcomb and junior Mallary Villars had 7 points each, and junior Haylee Koetje had 6 points and was a rebounding machine with 13 boards.
Surprisingly, in a game where bodies were bruised and left battered on the floor, Othello was only called for nine fouls and the Lions only had five free throws. Of course, the Lions were only called for 12 fouls, a third of them coming when the Lions had to hack in the last minute to get the ball back and the Huskies only made 5 of 13 from the line.
In the end, as the coach said, Lynden’s inability to put the ball in the hole — the Lions only scored 11 points themselves in the second half — was the difference.
And while it was the second year in a row the Lions came up one game short of reaching the quarterfinals, at least one player was trying to put it in perspective.
“It was really good to have the opportunity to come to state,” said Adia Newcomb, one of only three seniors along with Chloe Wittenberg and Gabriella Selcho. “Being with Chloe, who I’ve played with for so long. I’ll always remember the great teammates I’ve had.”
And doing it with her younger sister?
“It was a really cool experience to do it with my sister (Kalanie),” said Adia, the last remaining member of the Lions’ 2020 state championship team. “And it was a really good experience for them to have for next year.”
Othello 33, Lynden 31
Othello 8 14 7 4—33
Lynden 7 13 5 6—31
Othello: Rubi Mondragon 4, Briana Andrade 2, Annalee Coronado 15, Riley Farman 5, Emi Pruneda 7, Persaylis Garza.
Lynden: Kalanie Newcomb 7, Mya VanderYacht, Gabriella Selcho, Mallary Villars 7, Adia Newcomb 1, Haylee Koetje 6, Kiki York, Chloe Wittenberg, Payton Mills 10, Rian Stephan.
CLASS 2A STATE TOURNAMENT
At Yakima Valley SunDome
Wednesday, March 1
#6 WF West 57, #11 Renton 48 (loser out)
#10 Othello 33 #2 Lynden 31 (loser out)
#5 Tumwater 36, #12 Enumclaw 29 (loser out)
#8 Sequim 57, #16 Sammamish 37 (loser out)
Thursday, March 2
#4 Prosser (18-7) vs. WF West (20-5), 3:45 p.m.
#1 Ellensburg (22-0) vs. Othello (19-6) 5:30 p.m.
#3 Burlington-Edison (18-6) vs. Tumwater (20-5), 7:15 p.m.
#7 White River (19-6) vs. Sequim (21-3), 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)