Girls Playoffs: Nooksack Valley Tops Meridian, Sehome Wins

The top-ranked Nooksack Valley girls basketball team bounced back from a disappointing loss to defeat Meridian, 59-36, in their Class 1A District 1 consolation final on Tuesday, Feb. 15, and leave the Trojans disappointed with the sudden end to their season.

With the win, the Pioneers claimed second in the tournament and moved on with district champion Lynden Christian to the District 1/2 crossover round this Saturday. The winners of those two games qualify for the state tournament.

The Sehome girls also moved one step closer to state by beating city rival Bellingham, 63-30, in a Class 2A loser-out district contest on Tuesday. But four other Whatcom County girls teams didn’t fare as well.

Lynden lost to Archbishop Murphy in the Class 2A district semifinals, 43-38, and will face Sehome in another consolation game on Thursday. Also on Tuesday, Squalicum lost to Cedarcrest, 47-41, in 2A consolation play, which ended the Storm’s season.

The Ferndale girls had their season also come to an end on Tuesday with a 38-34 loss to Mountlake Terrace in the Class 3A District 1 tournament.

And in the Class 1B tri-district quarterfinals, the Lummi Nation girls lost to Evergreen Lutheran, 47-43. To reach the state tournament, the Lady Blackhawks must win consolation games on Thursday and Saturday.

Here’s what happened Tuesday night:

1A: Big Second Half Propels Nooksack Over Meridian

For a half, Meridian’s defense and the letdown of losing the district title game to Lynden Christian last Friday may have slowed top-seed Nooksack Valley. But in the second half, nothing could stop the Pioneers.

Nooksack Valley broke away from a 17-17 halftime tie with a 26-point third quarter to run away with the 59-36 victory in the consolation final.

“We knew we weren’t playing Nooksack basketball,” said sophomore Lainey Kimball, who sparked the Pioneers with all eight of her points in the third period. “We needed some energy to get our confidence going.”

Junior Hallie Kamphouse hit a 3-pointer to start the run, sophomore Devin Coppinger battled inside and got a three-point play for her efforts, senior Tehya Moore hit another 3 and the Pioneer express was rolling. 

Kamphouse would hit another 3, Coppinger had eight points for the quarter, and when the smoke had cleared, Nooksack led by 18 going into the final period.

“Hallie hitting that 3 got us going and Lainey brought our energy up,” said Nooksack Valley coach Shane Wichers, whose 17-3 team will now face the District 2 fourth-place finisher on Saturday with a state berth at stake. “We all needed to step up, which opens it up for Devin to do what only Devin can do.”

Coppinger’s shot wasn’t on, but she still had a game-high 24 points and contributed 10 rebounds to the Pioneers’ big edge on the boards. Kamphouse added 13 points, Kimball had her 8, and senior McKenna Wichers added 7.

Seniors Ellie DeWaard and Skyleigh James led Meridian with 12 points each.

Unfortunately, despite being 15-6 for the season, ranked in the top 10 in the Associated Press state poll, and No.13 in the WIAA’s RPI rankings, the Trojans won’t be returning to the state tournament because the district was only given two opportunities to qualify for state.

“We played as hard as we could, but they went on a big run,” said DeWaard, who sported a black eye from Meridian’s earlier district game. “But I’m not regretting anything. I am so happy we had a good year.”

Meridian coach Bree Park also was gracious in defeat despite the disappointment of not going to state.

“That’s life and it’s not always fair,” said the first-year coach. “We knew it would be a battle. But not every team gives their all to the end, and they did. These young women will be nothing but successful in the future.” 

NOTES: The Meridian girls showed they’ve certainly been successful in the classroom where they have a cumulative team GPA of 3.97. As Trojans coach Bree Park said, “You’re a student before an athlete, and they exemplify that.” Let’s hope that incredible accomplishment is honored at the state tournament with an academic state championship. 

Nooksack Valley 59, Meridian 36

Meridian.                        8         9         8       11—36

Nooksack Valley          10        7        26       16—59

Meridian: Brooklyn Fuller, Emilee Swanson 6, Kadance Blankers, Allie Richter, Avery Neal 6, Ellie DeWaard 12, Skyleigh James 12.

Nooksack Valley: Lainey Kimball 8, Tehya Moore 5, Devin Coppinger 24, Hallie Kamphouse 13, McKenna Wichers 7, Ellie Van Berkum 2, Kaylee Anderson, Taylor Lentz.


Tuesday, Feb. 8

#4 Blaine 34, #5 Mount Baker 33 (loser out)

Thursday, Feb. 10

#3 Meridian 60, Blaine 30 (loser out)

Friday, Feb. 11

Championship game

#2 Lynden Christian 54,  #1 Nooksack Valley 51 (winner first, to bi-district playoff)

Tuesday, Feb. 15

Consolation final

Nooksack Valley 59, Meridian 36 (winner second, to bi-district playoff, loser out)


Saturday, Feb. 19

At King’s High School

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

District 1 #2 at District 2 #4 (winner to state regionals, loser out)


Friday and Saturday, Feb. 25 and 26


At Yakima SunDome

Wednesday-Saturday, March 2-5

2A: Slow Start Dooms Lynden In Semifinal

Archbishop Murphy scored the first 11 points and held off Lynden’s fourth-quarter rally to beat the Lions, 43-38, and send them into the consolation bracket of the Class 2A district tournament.

Third-seed Lynden, which fell to 13-6, will now play Sehome on Thursday at 7:15 p.m. at Mount Vernon High School. The winner of that game must beat the winner of Thursday’s Cedarcrest-Anacortes game on Saturday to earn the district’s third and final state berth.

The Lions  were led by sophomore Haylee Koetje’s 14 points and the 10 points of junior Adia Newcomb, who also had a pair of 3-pointers. The team’s lone senior, Claire DeVries, had 7 points, including four in the final period when Lynden made its comeback bid.

“We got down 11-0 almost immediately and competed pretty well after that,” said Lynden coach Vic Wolffis. “It was a real defensive battle with both teams executing defensive game plans really well.”

Second-seed Archbishop Murphy (11-6) will play top-seed Burlington-Edison on Saturday for the district championship. Both teams have earned spots in the state regionals.

Archbishop Murphy 43, Lynden 38

Lynden                               5       10       12       11—38

Archbishop Murphy      16         5       15         7—43

Lynden: Mya VanderYacht, Ella Selcho, Mallary Villars 4, Claire DeVries 7, Adia Newcomb 10, Haylee Koetje 14, Kiki York 2, Chloe Wittenberg 1.

Archbishop Murphy: Taylor Campbell 8, Sydney Kuhnle, Jojo Ciangpradit 4, Caroline Burns 2, Hannah Humphrey 7, Reed 16, Claire Esping, Ava Maar 4, Tamiah Joseph 2.

2A: Sehome Comes Out Smoking, Eliminates Bellingham

The Mariners hit 11 3-pointers — five by sophomore Madi Cooper — and jumped out to a 33-11 halftime lead to win their consolation contest and end Bellingham’s season. Four of Cooper’s 3s came in the big second quarter.

“Our defense got our offense going tonight with our press forcing turnovers,” said Sehome coach Kim Kirk, whose team raised its record to 8-10. “The kids did a great job finding the hot hand of Cooper in the second quarter.” 

Cooper finished with 17 points, senior Maddie Schumacher had 15 points and ran the Mariners’ efficient offense, and senior Ava Lunny, junior Mac Cooper and sophomores Emmy Hart and Macie Aven had 6 points each.

Sehome will now play Lynden on Thursday at 7:15 p.m. at Mount Vernon High School in another loser-out contest. The winner of that game will play Saturday for a state berth.

The Bayhawks, who finished the year at 6-14, were led by junior Ellie Wolverton’s 14 points and Mazy Wright’s 10 points.

“Ending a season with a wonderful group of young people is not easy,” said first-year Bellingham coach James Wolverton. “Mazy Wright left everything on the floor in her last high school game. She and her fellow seniors (Kaycee French and Jocelyn Linares-Soto) were a joy to coach.”

Sehome 63, Bellingham 30

Bellingham               5        6         9       10—30

Sehome                  17       16       16       14—63

Bellingham: Sloan Mahn, Mazy Wright 10, Ellie Wolverton 14, Kaycee French 3, Genevieve Blum 2, Jocelyn Linares-Soto, Ella Morrow, Kira  Carlson 1, Katie Knies, Harmony Smith, Malia Hanks, Lynch.

Sehome: Emmy Hart 6, Madi Cooper 17, Macie Aven 6, Kylie Watson, Maddie Schumacher 15, Madison Hogan 4, Natalie Brewer 3, Graham, Maya Sargent, Ava Lunny 6, Mac Cooper 6.

2A: Squalicum Loses To Cedarcrest

The Storm couldn’t bounce back from its first-round loss last Saturday and were knocked out Cedarcrest, 47-41, in the consolation round of the Class 2A district tournament. The loss ended Squalicum’s season at 6-11.

The Storm was led by its sophomore brigade. Guard Mari Binning had 13 points and 8 rebounds, post Caitlyn Richardson had 11 points, and Makayla Heaton added 8 points and 7 rebounds.

“It was not the outcome we wanted, but the Storm will turn stronger and better,” said Squalicum coach Ray Ootsey.

Seventh-seed Cedarcrest improved to 8-11 and will face Anacortes on Saturday in the next round of the tournament. The winner of that game would play Saturday against the winner of the Lynden-Sehome contest with a state berth going to the survivor.

Cedarcrest 47, Squalicum 41

Cedarcrest                   8       15       10       14—47

Squalicum                 15       10         7         9—41


Play-in games

Thursday, Feb. 10

#7 Cedarcrest 51, #10 Sedro-Woolley 24 (loser out)

#8 Bellingham 51, #9 Lakewood 48 OT (loser out)

First round

Saturday, Feb. 12

#2 Archbishop Murphy 65, Cedarcrest 28

#3 Lynden 51, #6 Squalicum 37

#5 Anacortes 37, #4 Sehome 35

#1 Burlington-Edison 2, Bellingham 0 (forfeit)

Tuesday, Feb. 15

Consolation games

Cedarcrest 47, Squalicum 41 (loser out)

Sehome 63, Bellingham 30 (loser out)


At Mount Vernon

Archbishop Murphy 43, Lynden 38

Burlington-Edison 61, Anacortes 29

Consolation games

Thursday, Feb. 17

At Mount Vernon

Cedarcrest vs. Anacortes, 5:30 p.m. (loser out)

Sehome vs. Lynden, 7:15 p.m. (loser out)

Saturday, Feb. 19

At Mount Vernon

Consolation final

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

Championship game

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


Friday and Saturday, Feb. 25 and 26


At Yakima SunDome

Wednesday-Saturday, March 2-5

1B: Lummi Nation Falls To Evergreen Lutheran

The Lummi Nation girls battled foul trouble all night and eventually fell to Evergreen Lutheran in the Class 1B District 1/2/3 quarterfinals, 47-43.

Junior Raven Solomon led Lummi Nation with 19 points and sophomore Serena Pantelia added 13 points. The game was tied going into the fourth quarter, but the Eagles outscored the Blackhawks, 14-10, in the fourth period.

The third-seeded Lady Blackhawks, whose record fell to 10-5, now must win two loser-out games to return to state. The first is Thursday against seventh-seed Orcas Island at Mount Vernon Christian High School.

A win on Thursday would put them in Saturday’s winner-to-state game against the winner of Thursday’s Muckleshoot Tribal and Sound Christian Academy game.

Sixth-seed Evergreen Lutheran of Tacoma earned a state berth with Tuesday’s win and raised its record to 10-5.

Evergreen Lutheran 47, Lummi Nation 43

Evergreen Lutheran              11       14       8       14—47

Lummi Nation                      11       13       9       10—43

Evergreen Lutheran: Elena Brauer 11, Natalie Schwartz 13, Marion Carino, Hope Werkhoven 5, Natalie Raymond 7, Elsa Brauer 6, Hannah Rodmyre 5.

Lummi Nation: Aleisha Solomon 2, Graciela Lopez, Raven Solomon 19, Serena Pantelia 13, Keyonee Morris 5, Jacynta Miles 4, Lena Williams, Louella Toby.


Saturday, Feb. 12

Play-in games

#6 Evergreen Lutheran 47, #11 Crescent 35 (loser out)

#7 Orcas Island 53, #10 Crosspoint 20 (loser out)

#5 Grace Academy 49, #12 Northwest Yeshiva 22 (loser out)

#8 Sound Christian Academy 67, #9 Shoreline Christian 43 (loser out)

Tuesday, Feb. 15

First round

Evergreen Lutheran 47, #3 Lummi Nation 43

#2 Neah Bay 83, Orcas Island 35

Grace Academy 52, #4 Muckleshoot Tribal 37

#1 Mount Vernon Christian 75, Sound Christian Academy 37

Thursday, Feb. 17

Consolation round

Lummi Nation vs. Orcas Island  (loser out)

Muckleshoot Tribal vs. Sound Christian Academy (loser out)


Evergreen Lutheran vs. Neah Bay

Grace Academy vs. Mount Vernon Christian

Saturday, Feb. 19

Consolation winners (winner fifth, to state regionals, loser out)

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

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


Friday and Saturday, Feb. 25 and 26


At Spokane Arena

Wednesday-Saturday, March 2-5

3A: Ferndale Falls To Mountlake Terrace

The Golden Eagles came up short in their bid to make it to state when they lost to host Mountlake Terrace, 38-34, in Class 3A District 1 consolation play.

Seventh-seed Ferndale ends its season with a 10-11 record. Sixth-seed Mountlake Terrace (12-7) moves on to play Snohomish on Saturday for co-third place and spot in the state regionals.


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


Everett 66, Mountlake Terrace 37

Arlington 65, Ferndale 16

Stanwood 57, Lynnwood 39

Snohomish 69, Meadowdale 55

Tuesday, Feb. 15

Mountlake Terrace 38, Ferndale 34 (loser out)

Meadowdale 60, Lynnwood 42 (loser out)


Arlington 59, Everett 51

Stanwood 54, Snohomish 46

Saturday, Feb. 19

Mountlake Terrace vs. Snohomish (winner third, to state regionals, loser out)

Meadowdale vs. Everett (winner third, to state regionals, loser out)

Stanwood vs. Arlington (winner first, loser second, both to state regionals)


Friday and Saturday, Feb. 25 and 26


At Tacoma Dome

Wednesday-Saturday, March 2-5

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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