It wasn’t the tournament or the trophy they wanted, but the Lynden Christian boys basketball team wasn’t complaining about taking fifth place at the Class 1A State Invitational.
The Lyncs lost to archrival King’s in the consolation finals, 74-70, on Friday night in the eight-team “unofficial” state tournament at Cedar Park Christian High School in Bothell.
“For a COVID-type year, this was a lot of fun,” said LC coach Tim Zylstra. “You take it for what it is. I loved every single minute of it.”
The Lyncs’ lone senior at the tournament, Logan Dykstra, agreed: “It’s sad (finishing with a loss), but we feel fortunate to get this opportunity.”
Dykstra and the Lyncs finished the year 13-3 after falling to Seattle Academy, 59-57, in Thursday’s semifinals and defeating Freeman, 82-64, in the invitational’s opening round on Wednesday.
ALL-STATE HONORS: Lynden Christian junior post Andrew Hommes was named to the all-tournament second team on Saturday, and LC junior guard Libby Post was named to the girls all-state team. For the complete all-state lists, see Whatcom Hoops.
Playing in a high school gym in July in front of mostly family and the LC girls basketball teams wasn’t the same as playing in the Yakima SunDome in March in front of thousands of screaming Lyndenites, but in this crazy year it was still something special.
“It didn’t feel like the real (state tournament), but it was a fun thing for us to do,” said junior Jamison Hintz, who started the three tournament games after having a reserve role all year long. “And it helps us see what we’re going to look like next year.”
And what did Hintz think? “I think we’ll be very good … state contenders,” he said.
Lynden Christian did get a chance to see what the future would look like because senior starters Cole Moorlag and Shale Whittern weren’t able to make the tournament. Then a third starter, sophomore Tyler Sipma, sprained his ankle 10 seconds into Thursday’s game and didn’t even suit up Friday.
“This gave us a glimpse of what the next couple of years will be like,” said Zylstra. “We had role players who had to step into major minutes. We had great minutes out of underclassmen. I was proud of everybody on that bench.”
But Zylstra and the team weren’t ready to let the spotlight leave their senior leader. Dykstra was a three-sport standout — he will go on to play football at Northwestern College in Iowa — and his hard work and inspirational play guided the young and inexperienced Lyncs in the tournament.
“He was our lone senior at state, and he brought it every single game,” said Zylstra. “For our underclassmen to see that … this is what we need (to play for LC). And he’s a really cool kid.”
“It was great to do it for Logan,” said Hintz of the tournament.
Unfortunately for the Lyncs, they couldn’t send their leader out a winner, not that they didn’t give it a great effort especially considering the circumstances.
Playing the defending Class 1A state champions, who defeated LC in overtime in the 2020 state finals, the Lyncs sent out a lineup that had mostly watched last year’s state title game from the stands.
It was a back-and-forth affair until midway through the final period when a 9-0 King’s run gave the Knights a five-point lead and the momentum. With LC forced to foul, King’s hit 11 of 15 free throws in the fourth quarter to hold off the Lyncs.
“We should have got them,” said junior Crew Bosman, who stepped into one of the starting spots. “We had a good effort, but they had a run, and the ball didn’t bounce our way.”
Junior Andrew Hommes led the Lyncs with 20 points and three 3-pointers. Hintz finished off an outstanding tournament with 15 points and three 3s.
Dykstra had 11 points; younger cousin Griffin Dykstra, a sophomore who took over point guard duties with Sipma out, had 10 points; and Bosman had 6 points.
King’s, which played the tournament without all-state forward Tyler Linhardt, finished its season 17-3. They were led in scoring by juniors Jordan Hansen and Jake O’Hearn, who finished with 27 and 26 points, respectively.
Life Christian Academy (12-0) defeated Seattle Academy (18-2) in the championship game. King’s placed third, Freeman (15-2) was fourth and host Cedar Park Christian (11-8) took sixth. Chelan (8-6) and Toppenish (12-5) were eliminated after the first two days.
Zylstra’s post-game speech was pretty simple: “I told them after the game that I love them and that they battled all tournament long. I was proud of everybody on that bench. They played hard and they never gave up.”
King’s 74, Lynden Christian 70
Lynden Christian 16 19 17 18—70
King’s 15 21 12 26—74
Lynden Christian: Jamison Hintz 15, Griffin Dykstra 10, Crew Bosman 6, Logan Dykstra 11, Andrew Hommes 20, Jeremiah Wright 5, Will Colwell 3, Eli Bootsma.
King’s: Shane McGaughey-Fick 5, Maddox Boyce, Jake O’Hearn 26, Matt Amano, Jordan Hansen 27, Jayden Marra, Cooper Rolfs 4, Carson Clowers 7, Will Pohland 5, Lucas Prendergast, Dylan Myers, Lincoln Going.
Class 1A State Invitational
WEDNESDAY, JUNE 30
Lynden Christian 82, Freeman 64
Seattle Academy 84, Chelan 60
King’s 70, Toppenish 63
Life Christian Academy 72, Cedar Park Christian (Bothell) 60
THURSDAY, JULY 1
Freeman 71, Chelan 66 (loser out)
Cedar Park Christian 70, Toppenish 58 (loser out)
Seattle Academy 59, Lynden Christian 57
Life Christian Academy 98, King’s 75
FRIDAY, JULY 2
Freeman 70, Cedar Park Christian 47 (winner fourth, loser sixth)
King’s 74, Lynden Christian 70 (winner third, loser fifth)
Life Christian Academy 80, Seattle Academy 76 (winner first, loser second)