2A Girls State: Lynden Rolls Past Columbia River Into Semis

The defense might rest in the court room, but the defense never rests on the court when the Lynden girls baskertball team is involved.

The Lions shut down Columbia River, 50-34, in the Class 2A state quarterfinals on Thursday afternoon, Feb. 29, in the Yakima SunDome.

The victory moved the second-seeded Lions (25-1) into the semifinals on Friday at 5:30 p.m. against fifth seed Clarkston (25-1) and also guaranteed Lynden a top-six trophy for the first time since winning the state championship in 2020.

“It’s a credit to the girls,” said Lynden coach Rob Adams. “They’ve trophied. They’ve had three coaches in four years, COVID as freshmen, and now they are a top-six team.”

And a big reason for the Lions’ success is a relentless matchup defense that rarely gives an open shot and almost never gives second shots. On Thursday, Lynden held the Rapids to 32 percent field goal shooting and only six offensive rebounds.

For the latest game stories and photos from all our state teams, keep checking Whatcom Hoops throughout the day.

“Defense wins championships,” said Adams, who knows a little about championships having guided Lynden to three state titles. “Defense always travels. You can put it in your suitcase. Defense and the ability to rebound.”

Even though the Lions’ defense held Columbia River to only six points in the first quarter, Lynden wasn’t exactly on fire to begin with either. The Lions only led by five after the first quarter and three at the half, mainly because the Rapids were able to hit five 3-pointers.

Lynden didn’t help itself by missing all 10 of its 3-pointers in the first half and the normally accurate long-range Lions would finish one of 18 from beyond the arc. Adams wasn’t too bothered by the stat, especially since Lynden made 20 of its 33 field goal attempts inside the arc.

“We don’t care as long as we win,” he said. “It’s survive and advance. We don’t want to score 60 points and lose. Today we grinded one out.”

The Lions adjusted their defense in the second half, only giving up two 3-pointers and 15 points, to win going away.

Leading the way was Lynden’s dominating inside players.

Sophomore Payton Mills towered over the Rapids and had 15 points and 11 rebounds. Freshman Finley Parcher slashed to the bucket for 13 points and 7 rebounds. Junior Kiki York added 8 points and 3 assists for the Lions, and senior Haylee Koetje had 5 rebounds, 3 assists, and Lynden’s lone 3-pointer.

“We were a little too wound up the first half,” said Mills, who helped the Lions outrebound the Rapids, 40-20. “The second half we took our time. It was a good first game and now we’re rolling and ready to go.”

The Rapids from Vancouver fell to 19-8 and will play Archbishop Murphy in a loser-out consolation game Friday at 10:30 a.m.

Lynden 50, Columbia River 34

Columbia River      6       13         9        6—34

Lynden                    11       11       16       12—50

Columbia River: Marley Myers 2, Peton Dukes 16, Camy Drake, Paige Johnson 2, Reese Dunning, Charmayne Castro, Emma Iniguez 9, Annie Morgan, Kaya Mirtich, Teagan Wingginton, Gracie Glavin 5. 

Lynden: Mallary Villars 2, Kalanie Newcomb 3, Degitu Bowler, Mya VanderYacht, Rilanna Newcomb, Jules Slayton, Rian Stephan 4, Lexi Hermanutz 2, Haylee Koetje 3, Kiki York 8, Finley Parcher 13, Payton Mills 15.


At Yakima SunDome

Wednesday, Feb. 28

W.F. West 61, West Valley (Spokane) 40 (loser out)

White River 56, Sammamish 32 (loser out)

Clarkston 62, Enumclaw 32 (loser out)

Columbia River 51, Ridgefield 47 (loser out)

Thursday, Feb. 29

Prosser 57, W.F. West 41

Ellensburg 68, White River 49

Clarkston 52, Archbishop Murphy 42

Lynden 50, Columbia River 34

Friday, March 1

#3 W.F. West (21) vs. #7 White River (21-5), 9 a.m. (loser out)

#6 Archbishop Murphy (20-6) vs. #8 Columbia River (19-8), 10:30 a.m. (loser out)

#4 Prosser (21-5) vs. #1 Ellensburg (23-0), 3:45 p.m.

#5 Clarkston (25-1) vs #2 Lynden (25-1), 5:30 p.m.

Saturday, March 4

Consolation game, 8 a.m. (winner fourth, loser sixth)

Consolation final, 11:15 a.m. (winner third, loser fifth)

Championship game, 5 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.

You can support our student-athletes, teams, and schools
by using the businesses that support Whatcom Hoops.

Want to advertise your business? Click here for advertising options.