Emily Mellema’s Defense Fuels LC’s Win Over Mount Baker

Lynden Christian’s Emily Mellema took the phrase “hungry for the ball” to a whole new level against Mount Baker, leading the Lyncs to a 76-32 victory on Saturday, Jan. 4. The 5-foot-10 junior guard scored 10 of her game-high 20 points in the first quarter off fastbreak steals as the Lyncs jumped to a 23-6 lead and never looked back.

“We spend a lot of time on defense,” Mellema said of her team’s practice regime. “(You’ve) got to bring your defense to have an offense. Defense always carries over.”

And carry over it did. 

The Lyncs, who are 8-1 overall and 3-0 in the Northwest Conference, held the Mounties to 12 points in the second half. It was Mount Baker’s second-lowest point total of the season.

Check out the Week 5 recap for all of last week’s action, a look ahead at Week 6, and a midseason report on all 11 Whatcom County girls teams.

Nine Lyncs scored with Libby Stump and Riley Dykstra joining Mellema in the double-digit club with 14 and 13 points, respectively. 

Abby Yost had 12 points to pace the Mounties (0-3 in conference, 5-5 overall), but the Mounties’ leading scorer was held to one point after halftime. 

Mount Baker coach Kim Stensgar said it was a great teaching experience for her girls and a demonstration of what Mount Baker wants its program to be in the future. 

“That’s the toughest team we’ll see all year,” she said. “If we can learn anything from (the game) and from them, that’s what we need to do moving forward.”

Lyncs coach Brady Bomber said he hoped to see the energy from this game transfer into the rest of the season. 
“We’ve got to continue defensively,” he said. “I’m excited for our team. Our group’s having fun. It’s a long season. They’re committed to each other.”

The Lyncs take on the Golden Eagles at Ferndale on Wednesday, Jan. 8. The teams are tied with Lynden at 3-0 in the NWC. Mount Baker heads to Squalicum on Tuesday, Jan. 7.

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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