More than a month after finishing their high school basketball careers, Clayton Whitman, Cole Bajema and Isabela Hernandez are still being recognized as the best of the best in Washington state.
Lynden’s Whitman, and Lynden Christian’s Bajema and Hernandez were selected to play in the 25th annual Northwest Shootout, the annual all-star doubleheader pitting the top seniors from Washington against the top seniors from Oregon.
The doubleheader will be played Saturday, April 13, at Liberty High School in Hillsboro, Ore., with the girls game starting at 4 p.m. and the boys at 6 p.m.
Girls roster: Isabela Hernandez, Lynden Christian (committed to San Diego State); JaQuaya Miller, Kentridge (Washington), Bryanna Maxwell, Gig Harbor (Utah); Oumou Toure, Kamiakin (Butler); Jacinta Buckley, Lewis and Clark (Nevada-Las Vegas), Brooke Walling, Prairie (Fresno State); Ashlee Maldonado, Sunnyside (Santa Clara); Aspyn Adams, Mount Spokane; Mae Bryant, Eastlake; Mady Simmelink, Central Valley.
Boys roster: Cole Bajema, Lynden Christian (committed to the University of Michigan); Clayton Whitman, Lynden (Seattle Pacific); Jaden McDaniels, Federal Way; Anton Watson, Gonzaga Prep (Gonzaga); RaeQuan Battle, Marysville-Pilchuck (Washington); Zack Paulsen, Curtis (SPU); Shaw Anderson, Kelso (SPU); Micah Pollard, Foss; Hunter Campau, Timberline (Central Washington); Brock Ravet, Kittitas (Gonzaga).
How impressive is it that three players from the little town of Lynden are among the top 20 seniors in the state? That’s more players than are from the cities of Seattle and Tacoma … combined. And no other school in the state has more than one player.
Bajema and Whitman had earlier been named the Associated Press Class 1A and 2A state players of the year, respectively, and Hernandez was named to the 1A all-state first team.
Also earning all-state honors were Keylie Hershey of Lynden (2A first team girls), Grace Sterk of Lynden Christian (1A honorable mention girls) and Christian Zamora (2A honorable mention boys).
This was just the culmination of all the awards that this past season’s talented group of Whatcom County players has collected. Here’s a list (and let us know if we’ve forgotten anyone):
Associated Press All-State Teams: Hernandez (1A first team), Hershey (2A first team); Sterk (1A honorable mention).
Washington State Girls Basketball Coaches Association All-State Game (top seniors): Hernandez (also selected 1A player of the year); Sterk; Danielle Tyler, Mount Baker; Lindsey Moore, Meridian.
State All-Tournament Teams: Hernandez (1A first team); Riley Dykstra, Lynden Christian (1A first team); Hershey (2A first team); Sterk (1A second team).
All-Northwest Conference First Team: Hernandez; Hershey; Sterk, Tyler; Ruby VanderHaak, Lynden; Jolee Sipma, Meridian; Kim Weden, Ferndale.
All-Northwest Conference Second Team: Dykstra; Moore; Liv Tjoelker, Lynden; Brianna Byrnes, Ferndale; Aspen Garrison, Sehome.
All-Northwest Conference Honorable Mention: Anna VanderYacht, Lynden; Adi McKay, Bellingham; Alexa Mee, Bellingham; Nicole Guessford, Ferndale; Jamie Johnson, Ferndale; Natalie Zender, Sehome; Dana Ruffatto, Sehome; Maya Galley, Nooksack Valley; Mckenna Holz, Meridian; Jadyn Hawkinson, Squalicum; Grace Schroder, Squalicum; Emily Mellema, Lynden Christian; Brynn Hallberg, Blaine; Ashley Dickerson, Blaine.
All-Northwest B League First Team: Dezirae Toby, Lummi Nation; Shelby Jacobs, Lummi Nation.
Associated Press All-State Teams: Bajema (1A player of the year, first team); Whitman (2A player of the year, first team); Christian Zamora, Lynden (2A honorable mention)
Washington Interscholastic Basketball Coaches Association All-State Game (top seniors): Bajema (led 1A team with 35 points); Cristian Colwell, Lynden Christian (1A team); Whitman (2A team); Zamora (2A team)
State All-Tournament Teams: Bajema (1A first team); Whitman (2A MVP and first team); Andrew DeVries, Lynden Christian (1A second team); Zamora (2A second team).
Washington Interscholastic Athletic Association Player Of The Week: Whitman (after leading Lynden to second consecutive 2A state title)
All-Northwest Conference First Team: Bajema; Whitman; Zamora; Colwell; Eddy Hochsprung, Sehome; Sequoyah Julius, Ferndale.
All-Northwest Conference Second Team: DeVries; Devante Powell, Squalicum; Jackson Short, Meridian.
All-Northwest B League First Team: Caleb Revey, Lummi Nation (MVP); Duncan Toby, Lummi Nation; Jermaine Toby, Lummi Nation.
Coach Of The Year: Brian Roper, Lynden (2A boys state); Rob Adams, Lynden (Northwest Conference girls).
Sportsmanship: Lummi Nation (Northwest B League boys).
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.