Ferndale Girls Come Up Short Against Burlington

For more than three quarters, the Ferndale girls basketball team traded punches with one of the Northwest Conference heavyweights, but the Golden Eagles couldn’t keep up with Burlington-Edison and fell, 64-52, Wednesday night, Jan. 10.

“I thought it was a really good game,” said Ferndale coach Terri Yost, whose team fell to 7-6 overall and 6-2 in the NWC. “But they went on a run, and we didn’t have an answer.”

Beating the Tigers was a tall task for the Golden Eagles in more than one way.

Burlington is experienced with much of the team returning that had played in the past two Class 2A state championship games. With the win, the ninth-ranked Tigers improved to 11-2 overall and are tied with Nooksack Valley at 8-0 atop the NWC.

But even more challenging, the Tigers are big with two 6-footers and five players 5-foot-10 or taller. Contrast that with Ferndale, which has only one player taller than 5-7 — 5-10 sophomore Jillea Fox, who played despite being sick earlier this week.

Still, the Golden Eagles battled — getting rebounds when they could, scrambling on defense all game long, shooting over the taller Tigers — and for three-plus quarters it worked.

Ferndale lead by three after one quarter, by one at halftime, and even though they trailed by eight midway through the third quarter, the Golden Eagles rallied one last time to within two, 51-49, on senior Naomi Stanley’s 3-pointer that sent the home crowd into a frenzy.

Unfortunately for the Ferndale faithful, that would be the Golden Eagles’ last hurrah. Burlington sank three straight 3-pointers to make it 60-49 with 2:30 left and, as Yost said, Ferndale had no answer.

“They give everything they have,” said Yost of the six who played the whole game.

Senior Mallory Butenschoen finished with 15 points including four 3-pointers and 10 rebounds, and Fox had 12 points and 10 rebounds as the two battled Burlington’s burly frontline the whole night.

“It’s harder being shorter,” said Butenschoen, who held her own inside despite being only 5-7. “But you don’t see individuals on the floor (for Ferndale). We work together, and we pick each other up.”

Credit also 5-5 guards senior Maleah Singson, who had 11 points thanks to three 3-pointers, and sophomore Kayla Washington, who handled Burlington’s pressure and dished out 6 assists, as well as 5-6 guards Stanley and sophomore Abby White, who combined for 11 points and two 3s. 

Despite the loss, neither Butenschoen or her coach were discouraged.

“This is what I want — to play against a really good team,” said the senior. “We’ve been pushing ourselves, pushing each other to be better. We want to step it up.”

Yost agreed and said the team was pointing to the Class 3A district playoffs.

“We want to be playing our best ball in the postseason,” she said.

Next up for the Golden Eagles is a road game against the league’s other leader, Nooksack Valley, on Saturday night. Burlington, which was led by Hannah Hergesell’s 22 points and six 3-pointers and Chesah Holmes’s 20 points, will host Lakewood on Friday night.

NOTE: Thank you to Tyler Anderson of Whatcom Preps for the extra stats.

Burlington-Edison 64, Ferndale 52

Burlington-Edison     14      12       20       18—64

Ferndale                     17      10       15       10—52

Burlington-Edison: Ray 6, C. Holmes 20, Korthuis, Bishop 13, K. Smith, Hergesell 22, Weynands 1, M. Holmes, VanderPol 2, 

Home: Fox 12, Washington 3, Butenschoen 15, Singson, 11, White 5, Stanley 6.

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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