Holiday Tourneys: Nooksack Girls Roll In Opener

The Nooksack Valley girls basketball team started the holiday tournament season the same way they’ve finished every game they’ve played so far this year: with a 51-29 victory over Seattle Prep in the Top of the Peak Holiday Tournament in Snohomish late Wednesday afternoon, Dec. 27.

With their ninth win in as many games, the Pioneers move into the semifinals of the eight-team, three-day tournament and will face Mead of Spokane on Thursday evening in a battle of No.1s. Nooksack Valley, of course, is the defending Class 1A state champion, and the undefeated Panthers are the top-ranked 3A team in the state.

For a preview of all the holiday tournaments our Whatcom boys and girls teams are participating in, check out Holiday Tournaments Preview.

On Wednesday, senior guard Devin Coppinger led the Nooksack Valley offense with a game-high 25 points. The University of Washington signee also had 9 rebounds and 4 steals. Senior forward Lainey Kimball added 6 points, 6 rebounds, and 3 steals, and senior post Tana Hoekema added 5 rebounds.

But it was the Pioneers’ defense that set the tone, holding Seattle Prep to its lowest point total of the season. And we’re talking a school that plays in arguably the state’s toughest 3A girls basketball conference (Seattle’s Metro League) and which came into the game with a 7-3 record.

“We played well defensively and were able to get out into transition,” said Nooksack Valley coach Shane Wichers. “It was a good win after the Christmas break.”

Another seven Whatcom girls squads will begin holiday tournament play Thursday. Lynden and Lynden Christian are in the Lynden Christmas Classic at LC; Blaine, Squalicum and host Meridian are in the Trojan Storm Winter Classic; Lummi Nation is in the Mount Vernon Christian Holiday Tournament; and Sehome is in the Holiday Classic in Portland, Ore.

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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