Girls District: Sehome, Lynden Move Into Semis; Ferndale Falls

The Sehome and Lynden girls basketball teams used the same formula to move into the Class 2A District 1 semifinals: impenetrable defense and a balanced offense.

The third-seeded Mariners needed a strong second half to pull away from sixth-seeded Squalicum, 50-38, in one quarterfinal on Friday, Feb. 10, while the top-seeded Lions pulled away from ninth-seeded Cedarcrest from the opening tip, 71-19, in another quarterfinal.

With the victories, Sehome and Lynden moved one victory away from state berths. They’ll get their chance in Monday’s semis when the Mariners face Burlington-Edison at 5:30 p.m. and the Lions take on Archbishop Murphy at 7:15 p.m., both at Mount Vernon High School.

For the Ferndale girls, the playoff road got a lot tougher after the seventh-seeded Golden Eagles lost to second-seeded Stanwood in a Class 3A district quarterfinal, 80-44, on Friday. Ferndale will travel to Everett on Tuesday in a consolation contest needing a victory to stay alive.

NEXT UP: Saturday is a full day of playoffs. At Lynden High School, the Class 1A’s tip off with the Nooksack Valley and Meridian boys at 11 a.m. and the Meridian and Blaine girls at 1 p.m. in loser-out games. Then in district championship games, the Lynden Christian and Nooksack girls play at 5 p.m. and the LC and Blaine boys at 7 p.m. In-between, the Lynden boys host Squalicum in a Class 2A quarterfinal at 3 p.m. In another 2A quarterfinal, the Burlington-Edison boys are at Sehome at 6 p.m. Check out Whatcom Hoops for all the action.

Class 2A

Sehome 50, Squalicum 38

The two city rivals battled back-and-forth for a half, but then Sehome juniors Emmy Hart and Natalie Brewer led a second-half surge that overwhelmed the Storm.

Hart finally escaped Squalicum’s tenacious defense and hit two big 3-pointers to start the third quarter and help the Mariners gain some separation with an eight-point lead.

Then Brewer came up big midway through the fourth quarter, scoring inside for a 3-point play, sinking two free throws, and then finishing a fastbreak with a layup to give the Mariners a double-digit lead with just over three minutes to go.

When Hart hit her third 3-pointer of the night to give Sehome a 14-point cushion with 1:22 left, the Mariners could finally breathe easier.

“Resolve and resiliency of this team are becoming our strength,” said Sehome coach Kim Stensgar, whose team improved to 16-4. “They’re enjoying the moment. We love to get out and run. It turns a close game into an 8 to 10 point difference.”

Hart would finish with 10 points, fellow junior Madi Cooper had 9 points, and Brewer, who was playing in her first-ever playoff game after missing last year’s district tournament due to an injury, had a game-high 16 points. She also was clutch at the line, making all five of her free throws.

“Natalie is a dynamo, a dynamite that when lit can change a game,” said Stensgar. “She stayed poised and stepped up when we needed her to.”

The Sehome defense also stepped up, shutting down a Squalicum offense that had won six of its last eight games. Junior guard Mari Binning had 13 points for the Storm, senior Callie McEachran had 10 points including two big 3-pointers, and junior Corinthian Stewart had 8 points.

 “We knew it would be a challenging game from the beginning, and we knew we had to stop Mari, Makayla (Heaton), and Callie,” said Brewer of the Mariners’ game plan.

Squalicum coach Jenny Brown gave credit to Sehome’s defense but wasn’t disappointed with her team’s effort.

“We didn’t give up,” said Brown. “We’re playing four quarters, and that’s the most a coach can ask for. (Tonight) we couldn’t catch a break. When your shots aren’t falling, it makes for a tough game. The shots will fall in our next game.”

McEachran, the team’s only senior, wasn’t frustrated either.

“It’s a good thing it’s double-elimination,” she said. “We can come right back (on Monday). Games like those (tonight), go out of my head right away.”

The Storm, who fell to 10-11 with the loss, still have an opportunity to reach the state tournament. They will need to win three loser-out games starting Monday, when they host Lakewood, a team they beat by 25 three weeks ago.

Meanwhile, the Mariners can look forward to Monday and playing NWC rival Burlington-Edison, which beat Sehome earlier in the season. This time, a trip to state is on the line.

“When Kim said that (after the game), I got goose bumps,” said Brewer.

Sehome 50, Squalicum 38

Squalicum               6       13       12          7—38

Sehome                   9         9       20       12—50

Squalicum: Murphy-Kangas 3, Richardson 4, Stewart 8, Heaton, Binning 13, McEachran 10, Goering.

Sehome: Mad. Cooper 9, Aven 2, Hart 10, Watson 4, Grahn, Brewer 16, Gaston, Sargent, Mac Cooper 4, Hogan 5.

Lynden 71, Cedarcrest 19

Eleven of 12 Lions scored with freshman post Payton Mills leading the way with 18 points and junior guard Kalanie Newcomb scoring 17. 

The Lions leaped out to a big lead against the Red Wolves with junior Mallary Villars scoring all six of her points in a 15-point first quarter and Newcomb sank four of her five 3-pointers in a 23-point second quarter.

That was all the Lions would need. With the Lynden defense only allowing three points in each of the first two periods that made it 38-6 at halftime and the only suspense was when the running clock would start.

“It was a tremendous defensive effort and balanced team play on the offensive end,” said Lynden coach Vic Wolffis, whose squad improved to 18-4. “It was one of our most complete games from tip to buzzer.”

The Lions can return to state with a victory Monday. It would their ninth straight tournament appearance.

Lynden 71, Cedarcrest 19

Cedarcrest               3         3         6         7—19

Lynden                   15       23       21       12—71

Cedarcrest: Rose, Mills 1, Mattison 3, Gellner, Dice 2, Rogers 6, Mundy, Plecher, Anderson 7.

Lynden: K. Newcomb 17, VanderYacht 6, Villars 6, Selcho 3,  A. Newcomb 5, Koetje 5, York 2, Holman 3, Wittenberg, Mills 18, Stephan 4, Anderson 2. 


Play-in games

Wednesday, Feb. 8

#7 Lakewood 63, #10 Sedro-Woolley 20 (loser out)

#9 Cedarcrest 42, #8 Bellingham 29 (loser out)

First round

Friday, Feb. 10

#2 Burlington-Edison 80, Lakewood 37

#3 Sehome 50, #6 Squalicum 38

#5 Archbishop Murphy 57, #4 Anacortes 47

#1 Lynden 71, Cedarcrest 19

Monday, Feb. 13

Consolation games

Lakewood (9-13) at Squalicum (10-11) (loser out)

Cedarcrest (4-17) at Anacortes (11-9) (loser out)


At Mount Vernon

Sehome (16-4) vs. Burlington-Edison (16-5), 5:30 p.m.

Lynden (18-4) vs. Archbishop Murphy (12-9), 7:15 p.m.

Consolation games

Wednesday, Feb. 15

At Mount Vernon

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

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

Friday, Feb. 17

At Mount Vernon

Consolation final

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

Championship game

Semifinal winners, 7:15 p.m. (winner first, loser second, both to state regionals)

Class 3A

Stanwood 80, Ferndale 44

The Golden Eagles ran into a tall, talented and highly ranked Spartans team and couldn’t match Stanwood’s firepower Friday night as they fell behind by 21 by halftime.

Senior Madisyn Butenschoen led Ferndale with 13 points, freshman Jillea Fox had 12, and Mallory Butenschoen added 10 points, but the rest of the team only managed nine points.

“Madi played amazing,” said Ferndale coach Terri Yost, whose team fell to 12-10. “She hit some big shots for us when we needed them. And Jillea was huge for us coming off the bench, both offensively and defensively.”

Having senior point guard Ellie Ochoa unable to play because of a sprained ankle didn’t help, and the news doesn’t get any better for the Golden Eagles going into Tuesday’s consolation game. They’ll be facing an Everett squad on the road that is seeded third and coming off a 64-59 upset loss to Snohomish.

Stanwood 80, Ferndale 44

Ferndale              16          4         13       11—44

Stanwood            23        18       30         9—80

Ferndale: Kessen 4, Fox 12, Mad. Butenschoen 13, Lang, Mal. Butenschoen 10, Singson 2, Washington, White 1, Stanley 2.

Stanwood: Walker 4, Wortham 8, Depew 7, Brager 15, Santeford 6, Legg 14, Stunz 1, S. Berrett, V. Berrett 25. 


Wednesday, Feb. 8

First round

#6 Snohomish 50, #11 Oak Harbor 27 (loser out)

#7 Ferndale 33, #10 Shorewood 23 (loser out)

#5 Meadowdale 43, #12 Shorecrest 27 (loser out)

#9 Monroe 56, #8 Mountlake Terrace 51 (loser out)

Friday, Feb. 10


Snohomish 64, #3 Everett 59

#2 Stanwood 80, Ferndale 44

#4 Lynnwood 68, Meadowdale 66

#1 Arlington 75, Monroe 51

Tuesday, Feb. 14

Consolation games

Ferndale (12-10) at Everett (14-7), 7 p.m. (loser out)

Monroe (14-8) at Meadowdale (16-6), 7 p.m. (loser out)


At Marysville-Pilchuck

Snohomish (15-7) vs. Stanwood (18-3), 5 p.m.

Arlington (18-2) vs. Lynnwood (15-5), 7 p.m.

Thursday, Feb. 16

Consolation semifinals

At Everett Community College

Semifinal loser vs. consolation game winner, 5 p.m. (winner third, to state regionals)

Semifinal loser vs. consolation game winner, 7 p.m. (winner third, to state regionals)

Saturday, Feb. 18

At Everett Community College

Consolation final

Consolation semifinal losers, 2 p.m. (winner fifth, to state regional, loser out

Championship game

Semifinal winners, 6 p.m. (winner first, loser second, 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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