Counting Down The 12 Greatest Years For Whatcom County Boys Basketball: #10

The Best of the Best #10: 2003

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Whatcom County high schools have produced some amazing basketball seasons, but of those 100-plus years of state championship seasons and all the other great successes at state tournaments, which years were the best for the county as a whole?

Well, we at www.whatcomhoops.com came up with our top 12 greatest years of boys basketball. Why 12? Because a top 10 just wasn’t enough.

Before you start arguing with our picks, remember that any time you pick the “best” or “greatest” you have to be somewhat subjective. That is really true when looking at seasons that span more than a century of changes.

For example, from the first state tournament in 1923 until 1957, our county’s schools, both big and small, almost always competed in the one “big” state tournament that included all the big-city teams. It may be no coincidence that we had to wait until the new Class A tournament for smaller schools was formed in 1958 for our first state title.

Then there’s the fact that we have more schools now — 12 — than we had for most of the past 100 years, and they are competing in four different classifications (3A, 2A, 1A and 1B). So it’s easier for more teams in the 21st century to qualify and place at state than it was in the 20th century.

Finally, this is not meant to rank the greatest teams or even best tournaments, which would be completely subjective (and maybe we’ll do that sometime in the future).

Our goal was to rank the county’s best years by looking at all the county teams’ accomplishments, particularly their state finishes. The only accomplishment we required to be eligible for the top 10 was that at least one county team had to have won a state championship that year.

And now, let’s count down the top 12 years for Whatcom County boys basketball:

The Best of the Best #10: 2003
The 2003 state champion Nooksack Valley Pioneers (Photo courtesy of Nooksack Valley High School)

#10

2003

The 2003 season was one of those in the early 2000s when most of the county teams played up to Class 2A, but that didn’t stop our teams from being the best. Nooksack Valley’s great 25-1 squad was the 2A state champion behind Kyle Vermuelen and all-stater Jason Heutink, who hit the game-winner in the final seconds of the title contest against Pullman. Lynden Christian placed fifth in 2A with A.J Hoekema leading the way at state. Meridian did not place, but still gave the county its third 2A state qualifier. Bellingham’s league champion squad was the county’s top 3A state finisher, taking fourth with Toby Seim leading the Red Raiders’ balanced attack.

???? Check out all the years in our count down! 
#1 #2
(tie)
#2
(tie)
#4 #5 #6
(tie)
#6
(tie)
#8 #9 #10 #11 #12
1974 2010 2007 1996 2015 2012 1999 2018 2006 2003 1991 1931
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