Boys: Sehome, Lummi Off To State; Blaine, Squalicum Win

The points were hard to come by but the excitement wasn’t as the Sehome boys basketball team held off Lynden, 46-44, in a thrilling Class 2A District 1 semifinal Tuesday night at Mount Vernon High School that earned the Mariners a trip to state.

“These guys are our biggest rivals,” Sehome junior Braddock Duckworth said of the Lions. “That’s the way we wanted it — to win to go to state.”

First the Mariners will play for the district championship on Saturday at 7:15 p.m. at Mount Vernon. They will face Northwest Conference champion Anacortes, which squeaked by Lakewood in the other semifinal.

Lynden, meanwhile, still has a chance to defend its state crown. The Lions will take on Archbishop Murphy in a consolation game on Thursday.

The Squalicum boys also remain alive in the tournament Tuesday night after knocking off Burlington-Edison in the last seconds, 60-56, on Tuesday night. The Storm will face Lakewood in the other consolation game Thursday.

In the Class 1B District 1/2/3 tournament, the Lummi Nation boys also secured a state berth with a convincing 81-26 victory over a depleted Crescent team on Tuesday.

In Class 1A action, the Blaine boys wrapped up the District 1 tournament by eliminating Nooksack Valley, 68-48, in the consolation final. The victory puts the Borderites in the District 1/2 crossover series on Saturday where a win would guarantee them a state berth.

Class 2A

Sehome 46, Lynden 44

Two teams known for their explosive offenses instead unleashed their physical defenses and the result was a slugfest that came down to the final seconds … make that the final half-second.

With Lynden down by two in the last 13 seconds, the Lions missed the front end of a one-and-one free throw opportunity, stole an inbounds pass, and had another shot partially blocked that was knocked out of bounds by Sehome with 0.5 seconds left on the clock.

Lynden’s inbounds play worked to perfection as Coston Parcher got open for a 3-pointer at the buzzer. It looked good, but when it bounced off, it was time for the Mariners and their fans to rush the court in celebration.

“It was a knock-down, drag-out game,” said Sehome coach Brad Jackson noting the missed opportunities by both teams. “Neither one of us could string together any points. Both teams wanted that game so badly, and that sometimes happens.”

Just like the last time the two teams played — a 72-50 Sehome victory on Jan. 27 — the Mariners 6-foot-7 post Grey Garrison was a force inside with 15 points, 8 rebounds and 3 blocks. But this time he got a lot of help from 6-6 junior post Braddock Duckworth, a surprise starter because of an injury to Dane Dominguez.

“They tell me to be more of an offensive threat,” said Duckworth, who only had four points in the earlier meeting with Lynden but had 13 points on 6 for 6 shooting from the field on Tuesday. “It was crazy. I didn’t even want to go in. But it was awesome.”

Duckworth certainly impressed his teammate Garrison. “Braddock is a dude,” said Garrison. “We knew it would be a dogfight (with Lynden). This was our most physical game of the year.”

As he has all season, Lynden junior Anthony Canales spearheaded the Lions’ attack.

He had a game-high 21 points and 6 rebounds despite being the center of Sehome’s attention. He, too, got a lot of help from sophomore Brant Heppner, who came through with three big 3-pointers, 11 points and 5 rebounds. Parcher would finish with 5 points, 4 assists, and 3 steals.

“I’m proud of our players,” said Lynden coach Brian Roper. “They battled hard. We missed a lot of open shots and free throws tonight, but our defense and hustle allowed us to be in a position to win. We had a chance.”

Unfortunately for the Lions, they only shot 29 percent from the field for the game, missed eight free throws, and were out rebounded, 39-24, by the taller Mariners.

And in the crucial final period, their offense would only manage six points. Of course, Sehome only managed eight points thanks to Lynden’s hustling defense that created 18 turnovers for the game, but those two points were the difference.

And surprisingly — or maybe not — seven of Sehome’s eight fourth-quarter points were scored by senior Grant Kepley. It wasn’t surprising, since the all-Whatcom Hoops guard had  scored 22 points against Lynden in their earlier game. Yet in Tuesday’s defensive slugfest, he had been kept scoreless the first three quarters.

Seniors Isaac Lawrence added 5 points, 5 rebounds, and 3 assists for Sehome; Mat Storms had 6 rebounds, and despite his injury, Dominguez came in and had 3 assists.

For the Mariners, who improved to 18-3, returning to the state tournament for the second year in a row was a big step — but only the next step.

“We want to win the district championship, and then win the state championship,” said Garrison.

For the Lions, it will take at least two more wins — on Thursday and on Saturday in the consolation final — to go back to Yakima’s SunDome, where Lynden has made the last 10 state tournaments, placing in the top three nine times and winning four state titles.

“There’s no time for us to pout,” said Roper, whose team fell to 18-4. “We wake up tomorrow and get ready for our next game. It’s that simple. We are playing for our season to continue.”

Sehome 46, Lynden 44

Sehome                9       15       14       8—44

Lynden               13       10       15       6—46

Sehome: Lawrence 5, Garrison 15, Duckworth 13, Storms 2, Swanson, Dominguez, Wright 4, Kepley 7.

Lynden: Elsner, Parcher 5, Petersen, Hanenburg, Smiley 4, Canales 21, Heppner 11, Baar 3.

Squalicum 60, Burlington-Edison 56

The Storm rebounded — literally — from their first-round district loss to knock off Burlington-Edison in a consolation battle that went down to the final seconds.

Up by two with 20 seconds left, Squalicum had two chances to ice the game with free throws but missed both. Fortunately, the Storm also got the offensive rebounds and when Ashton Engelhart had the team’s third opportunity to win it at the line, the senior sank both free throws for the four-point margin.

Engelhart would finish with two 3s and 21 points, including eight points in the fourth quarter to lead the seventh-seeded Storm, who improved to 11-13.

Senior Xander Sledge had 13 points and four 3-pointers for Squalicum, senior Jake Donnelly had 9 points, junior Peter Albert had 8 points, and senior Kyle Heaton had 7 points.

The sixth-seeded Tigers were eliminated with the loss. 

Squalicum 60, Burlington-Edison 56

Squalicum                      18       12       17       13—60

Burlington-Edison         17       14       12       13—56

Squalicum: Donnelly 9, Watt 2, Hofer, Engelhart 21, Sledge 13, Heaton 7, Albert 8.

Burlington-Edison: Whitlock 3, Lemos 5, Granberg 27, R. Wilson 9, Howe 8, Powers, Light 4.


Play-in games

Thursday, Feb. 9

#7 Squalicum 56, #10 Sedro-Woolley 44  (loser out)

#8 Archbishop Murphy 56, #9 Bellingham 41 (loser out)

First round

Saturday, Feb. 11

#2 Lynden 64, Squalicum 35

#3 Sehome 60, #6 Burlington-Edison 47

#4 Lakewood 68, #5 Cedarcrest 64

#1 Anacortes 79, Archbishop Murphy 48

Tuesday, Feb. 14

Consolation games

Squalicum 60, Burlington-Edison 56 (loser out)

Archbishop Murphy 63, Cedarcrest 61 (loser out)


At Mount Vernon

Sehome 46, Lynden 44

Anacortes 52, Lakewood 49

Consolation games

Thursday, Feb. 16

At Mount Vernon

Squalicum (11-13) vs. Lakewood (12-11), 5:30 p.m. (loser out)

Lynden (18-4) vs. Archbishop Murphy (9-15), 7:15 p.m. (loser out)

Saturday, Feb. 18

At Mount Vernon

Consolation final

Consolation winners, 5:30 p.m. (winner third, to state regionals, loser out)

Championship game

Sehome (18-3) vs. Anacortes (20-2), 7:15 p.m. (winner first, loser second, both to state regionals)

Class 1B

Lummi Nation 81, Crescent 26

Senior captain Peyton Brockie had 18 points as all 10 Blackhawks scored in a victory that was somewhat tainted by an illness that prevented several key Crescent players from even making the trip.

Lummi Nation, which raised its record to 17-7, jumped to a 30-4 lead in the first quarter thanks to three 3-pointers and eight points from freshman Jerome Toby Jr. After that, the fourth-seeded Blackhawks kindly played their reserves most of the game against the 12th-seeded Loggers.

Junior Mathias Johnson and Toby finished with 13 points each, and junior Desmond Bailey added a dozen points for the Blackhawks.

“The Loggers battled the entire game, never quitting,” said Lummi Nation coach Jerome Toby. “It’s just bad luck that team came down with the flu before the game. But we’re happy with the win and glad to move on in the tri-district tournament.”

While the Blackhawks have clinched a top-four finish and one of the tri-district’s five guaranteed state berths, they aren’t finished yet. They will be facing ninth-seeded Summit Classical, which upset top seed Sound Christian Academy on Tuesday, in a semifinal on Friday in Tacoma. 

Lummi Nation 81, Crescent 26

Crescent                      4       11         6         5—26

Lummi Nation          30       21       13       17—81

Crescent: Emery 2, Chartier, Sprague 4, Willard, L. Bourm 4, H. Bourm 2, White 14, Watson, Owens.

Lummi Nation: Toby 13, Perkins 5, Francis 5, Johnson 13, Day 5, Edwards 2, Wilson, Scott, Bailey 12, Powell 4,  Solomon 4, Brockie 18.


Saturday, Feb. 11

Play-in games

#6 Orcas Island 88, #11 Tulalip Heritage 71 (loser out)

#7 Muckleshoot Tribal 73, #10 Grace Academy 47 (loser out)

#12 Crescent 50, #5 Evergreen Lutheran 48 (loser out)

#9 Summit Classical 60,  #8 Puget Sound Adventist 48 (loser out)

Tuesday, Feb. 14

First round

#3 Neah Bay 81, Orcas Island 67

#2 Mount Vernon Christian 59, Muckleshoot Tribal 50

#4 Lummi Nation 81, Crescent 26

Summit Classical 56, #1 Sound Christian Academy 53

Friday, Feb. 17

Consolation round

Orcas Island (18-8) vs. Muckleshoot Tribal (13-9) at Mount Vernon Christian, 4:30 p.m.

Crescent (14-7) vs. Sound Christian Academy (19-4) at Sound Christian Academy, 5 p.m.


Neah Bay  (13-5) at Mount Vernon Christian (19-5), 7:30 p.m.

Lummi Nation (17-7) vs. Summit Classical (20-2) at Sound Christian Academy, 6:30 p.m.

Saturday, Feb. 18

At Mount Vernon Christian

Consolation games

Consolation-round losers (both out)

Consolation-round winners (winner fifth, loser sixth, both to state regionals)

Semifinal losers (winner third, loser fourth, both to state regionals)

Championship game

Semifinal winners (winner first, loser second, both to state regionals) Class 1A

Class 1A

Blaine 68, Nooksack Valley 48

The Borderites limited the Pioneers to 15 first-half points to go up by 19 and then had a 23-point third quarter to end Nooksack Valley’s comeback attempt.

Senior Matt Russ led the Borderites with 17 points and hit two of his 3-pointers and had 8 points in the third quarter as they pulled away from the Pioneers.

Senior Carson Lehnert added four more 3-pointers and had 16 points for the game, senior Lucas Smith had 13 points, and junior Noah Tavis and senior Lawrence Creasey-Pulphus had 10 points and two 3-pointers each as the Borderites made 12 from beyond the arc.

Blaine, which improved to 15-7, will play the District 2 fourth-place finisher on Saturday at King’s High School in Seattle. The winner of that game will advance to the state regionals on either Feb. 24 or 25.

Senior DeLange did his best to keep Nooksack Valley in the game, hitting four 3-pointers and scoring 19 of his game-high 26 points in the second half.

Cody Heutink added 9 points for the Pioneers, and fellow sophomores Colton Lentz and Brady Ackerman had 5 points each.

The Pioneers, who lost to Blaine by 14 during the regular season, had their season end with a 10-13 record. It was the last game playing for the Valley for DeLange and fellow senior Ayden Roper.

Blaine 68, Nooksack Valley 48

Nooksack Valley          9         6       15       18—48

Blaine                           19       15       23       11—68

Nooksack Valley: Heutink 9, DeLange 26, Vigre, Lentz 5, Roper, Silves 3, Hickey, Kamphouse, Brown, Ackerman 5, Coppinger.

Blaine: Smith 13, Creasey-Pulphus 10, Russ 17, Koreski, Audette, Dalry 2, Bleazard, Deming, Censale, Lehnert 16, Tavis 10, Weeda.


Monday, Feb. 6

Play-in game

#4 Nooksack Valley 61, #5 Mount Baker 43 (loser out)

Wednesday, Feb. 8


#2 Blaine 61, #3 Meridian 56

#1 Lynden Christian 83, Nooksack Valley 38

Saturday, Feb. 11

At Lynden High

Consolation round

Nooksack Valley 52, Meridian 32 (loser out)

Championship game

Lynden Christian 65, Blaine 40 (winner to bi-district playoff)

Tuesday, Feb. 14

Consolation final

At Lynden High

Blaine 68, Nooksack Valley 48 (winner to bi-district playoff, loser out)


Saturday, Feb. 18

At King’s High School

District 1 #1 Lynden Christian vs. District 2 #5, 5 p.m. (winner to state regionals, loser out)

District 1 #2 Blaine vs. District 2 #4, 7 p.m. (winner to state regionals, loser out)

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.