District roundup: Ferndale Girls, Squalicum Boys Advance

The Ferndale girls basketball team had little trouble advancing, but the Squalicum boys had to go down to the wire to overcome city rival Bellingham in exciting District 1 tournament action on Wednesday night, Feb. 9.

The Golden Eagles bounced back from a first-round loss — by forfeit in what may be a first for a Whatcom County team — by jumping all over Marysville-Getchell, 54-39, to advance to the Class 3A quarterfinals.

The Storm defeated Bellingham in the Class 2A tournament’s play-in round, 39-38, and advanced to the double-elimination portion of the playoffs. Unfortunately, it came at the expense of the Bayhawks, whose season ended with the defeat.

Here’s a look at Wednesday’s playoff action involving county teams.

3A Girls: Fired-up Ferndale Blasts Marysville-Getchell

A lot of things had gone wrong for the Ferndale girls coming into their Class 3A district contest against Marysville-Getchell, including season-ending injuries to two top players, COVID and other illnesses, even losing its previous game by forfeit because so many players were out.

But on Wednesday night, everything seemed to go right as the Golden Eagles came out flying and shocked the visiting Chargers, 54-39, in consolation play.

“It worked out exactly as we planned,” said Ferndale coach Terri Yost, whose team raised its record to 10-9. “We were ready to play. We attacked the rim. I was really proud of them.” 

Leading the way was the team’s lone remaining senior, Hannah Barlean, who had a game-high 15 points. Her two 3-pointers in the first two minutes staked the Golden Eagles to an 8-0 lead, and before the first quarter was over, Ferndale led by 14 and never let the Chargers (8-10) get closer than 10 points after that.

“We wanted to come out strong,” said Barlean, who finished with three of the Golden Eagles’ eight 3-pointers. “We wanted to win so this wouldn’t be our last game.” 

“Hannah hits two 3s and we’re going,” said Yost. “That’s what seniors do. She really wants to go to state.”

Juniors Ashley Lang and Madisyn Butenschoen added 10 and 9 points, respectively, with Lang also hitting a pair of 3s in the first period, and sophomore Mallory Butenschoen adding two more 3s for her 6 points.

The Golden Eagles’ offense slowed down after an 18-point first period, but their defense never slowed, holding the Chargers to 26 points over the first three periods. They also shut down Marysville-Getchell’s primary weapon — the 3-point shot — allowing only four made 3-pointers in the game and just one after halftime.

Leading the way for Ferndale were guards Lang, Maleah Singson, and Ellie Ochoa, whose pressure man-to-man never let the Chargers make a serious run.

“We were given specific assignments and told we’ve got to shut them down,” said point guard Ochoa, who had 6 points in addition to her assists. “We have to go out strong every game. We have to leave it all out on the court.”

With the win, seventh-seed Ferndale gets the imposing challenge of going on the road to play top-seed and third-ranked Arlington (15-2) on Friday in a quarterfinal contest.

A win Friday would put the Golden Eagles in the semifinals and one victory away from advancing to the state tournament for only the fifth time and the first time since 2014.

A loss to Arlington would not end Ferndale’s dreams of going to state. The Golden Eagles would have to win two consolation games, the first on Feb. 15 against the Mountlake Terrace-Everett loser and the second on Feb. 19.

Ferndale 54, Marysville-Getchell 39

Marysville-Getchell          7        11          8        13—39 

Ferndale                           18        14        12        10—54

Marysville-Getchell: Erica Martin 1, Ellie Jackson 9, Hayden Robinson 6, Taylor Miller, Choloe Downing 10, Beni Luboya 6, Jay Pittman 1, Fran Shay Wright 3, Gracie Barnett, Kalea Mailangi 3.

Ferndale: Tatum Fox, Ellie Ochoa 6, Madisyn Butenschoen 9, Ashley Lang 10, Mallory Butenschoen 6, Maleah Singson 4, Tia Gilday 4, Hannah Barlean 15.


Monday, Feb. 7

First round

#9 Mount Vernon 47, #16 Cascade (Everett) 40 (loser out)

#15 Marysville-Getchell 34, #10 Shorewood 28 (loser out)

#11 Edmonds-Woodway 2, #14 Monroe 0 (forfeit) (loser out)

#12 Shorecrest 49, #13 Oak Harbor 43 (loser out)

#1 Arlington 76, #8 Meadowdale 37

#2 Snohomish 2, #7 Ferndale 0 (forfeit)

#3 Stanwood 66, #6 Mountlake Terrace 29

#4 Everett 51, #5 Lynnwood 32

Wednesday, Feb. 9

Second round

Mountlake Terrace 59, Edmonds-Woodway 40 (loser out)

Ferndale 54, Marysville-Getchell 39 (loser out)

Lynnwood 58, Shorecrest 38 (loser out)

Meadowdale 63, Mount Vernon 52 (loser out)

Friday, Feb. 11


Mountlake Terrace at Everett, 7 p.m.

Ferndale at Arlington, 7 p.m.

Lynnwood at Stanwood, 7 p.m.

Meadowdale at Snohomish, 7 p.m.

Tuesday, Feb. 15

Quarterfinal losers (loser out)

Quarterfinal losers (loser out)


Quarterfinal winners

Quarterfinal winners

Saturday, Feb. 19

Consolation games (winners third, to state regionals, losers out)

Championship game (winner first, loser second, both to state regionals)

2A Boys: Squalicum Holds On, Ousts Bellingham

In a defensive struggle that saw the lead swing back and forth all game long, the Squalicum boys came out on top against city rival Bellingham, 39-38, in a play-in, loser-out game.

Squalicum went up by one with 1:35 left on a Reed Richardson free throw. After turnovers by both teams, Bellingham had two chances in the final 10 seconds but couldn’t hit the winning shot.

Senior Leyton Smithson had 11 points to lead the Storm, junior Nick Watt had 8 points, and senior Kaleb Hawkinson had 6 points. Wednesday’s Squalicum win reversed a 57-50 loss to Bellingham on Jan. 20.

Sophomore Wyatt Stephan led the Bayhawks with 13 points, including a pair of 3s; junior Henry Sheldrup had 11 points; and sophomore Ian O’Roarty had 9 points and two 3-pointers. 

The eighth-seeded Storm (7-11) advances to the first round of the double-elimination portion of the tournament and will face top-seed Lynden (16-2) on the road on Friday, Feb. 11. For the ninth-seeded Bayhawks (5-10), Wednesday’s loss ends their season.

Squalicum 39, Bellingham 38

Bellingham              10        13        9        6—38 

Squalicum                 9        14        8        8—39

Bellingham: Alex Breeding, Ian O’Roarty 9, Kaeden Potts, Thomas Mathews 3, Wyatt Stephan 13, Oliver Pagels, Grayson Stone 2, Kincade Vanhouten, Henry Sheldrup 11.

Squalicum: Leyton Smithson 11, Kaleb Hawkinson 6, Dylan Jacobs 4, Nick Watt 8, Trevor Keeley 4, Kai Posey, Reed Richardson 3, Ashton Engelhart 3, Kyle Heaton, Peter Albert.


Wednesday, Feb. 9

Play-in games

#7 Cedarcrest 49, #10 Sedro-Woolley  46 (loser out)

#8 Squalicum 39, #9 Bellingham 38 (loser out)

Friday, Feb. 11

First round

Cedarcrest at #2 Sehome, 7 p.m.

#6 Archbishop Murphy at #3 Burlington-Edison, 7 p.m. 

#5 Anacortes at #4 Lakewood, 7 p.m.

Squalicum at #1 Lynden, 7 p.m.

Monday, Feb. 14

Consolation games

First-round losers at higher seed, 5:30 p.m. (loser out)

First-round losers at higher seed, 7 p.m. (loser out)

Monday, Feb. 14

At Mount Vernon


First-round winners, 5:30 p.m.

First-round winners, 7:15 p.m.

Wednesday, Feb. 16

At Mount Vernon

Consolation games

Consolation winner vs. semifinal loser, 5:30 p.m. (loser out)

Consolation winner vs. semifinal loser, 7:15 p.m. (loser out)

Friday, Feb. 18

At Mount Vernon

Consolation final

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

Championship game

Semifinal winners, 7:15 p.m. (both to state regionals)

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.

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