Basketball is supposed to be fun. Just ask the Lynden Christian girls basketball team after an incredible 72-19 victory over Seattle Academy in the Class 1A Bi-District 1/2 championship game on Friday night, Feb. 21.
“It’s just fun to go out there with all your best friends and just fly around and have fun,” said senior Liv Mellema after the second-ranked Lyncs raised their record to 23-1 and won their fifth straight bi-district title.
Next up for Lynden Christian is the regional round of the state playoffs. The Lyncs are expected to host the No.7-ranked team — probably at Mount Vernon High School — either next Friday or next Saturday, Feb. 29. The final regional schedule will be released sometime Sunday.
Two other Whatcom County teams— Nooksack Valley and Meridian — also have qualified for state and will be awaiting word on their regional opponents.
Check out the Whatcom Hoops Facebook page tomorrow for lots of photos from Friday night’s game.
But on Friday night, the Lyncs weren’t looking ahead. It was time for them to fly around and have fun.
On offense, the Lyncs scored enough points in the first quarter (23) to win the game. On defense, LC limited the Cardinals to one field goal — one field goal — in three of the four quarters and held them to their lowest point total all season.
And this wasn’t a last-place team. Seattle Academy came into the game as the No.12-ranked 1A team, was the winner of the Emerald City League, the District 2 champion, and owner of a sparkling 18-3 record and wins in 15 of their last 16 games.
The Cardinals left Shorewood High School’s gym with an 18-4 record and a 53-point loss.
Lynden Christian coach Brady Bomber was kind in his assessment of the game, focusing on what his team did well, which was … well … pretty much everything.
“We were really proud of how we rebounded and defended early in the game,” said Bomber. “They put a lot of pressure on us by spreading us out and trying to take us one-on-one. And we did a good job at keeping them out of the paint and keeping them to one shot.”
Lynden Christian’s only other senior, guard Riley Dykstra, led the team with 18 points. But it was another team effort.
Junior guard Emily Mellema had 13 points, sophomore guard Libby Stump had 11, junior guard Paige TeVelde had 8, and sophomore forward Alli VanKooten added 6 points … which would have led Seattle Academy in scoring.
For Dykstra, a four-year veteran, Friday’s cutting down of the nets was no less enjoyable than the three previous times.
“We’ve been in this game many times and each year, it just keeps getting sweeter with new teammates,” said Dykstra.
“It’s bittersweet with it being our last year. I’m just super proud of all the underclassman for stepping up and working together. They’ve been working really hard, and I love playing with them.”
In other words: It’s been fun.
Lynden Christian 72, Seattle Academy 19
Seattle Academy 4 7 5 3—19
Lynden Christian 22 23 17 10—72
Seattle Academy: F. Cederstrand 6, L. Van Newkirk, E. Skoglund, M. Leff, K. Roberts, I. Odmark 5, L. Bishop, K. Drais 6, F. Tade 2, M. Perlin
Lynden Christian: Libby Stump 11, Demi Dykstra 2, Paige TeVelde 8, Kiley Roetcisoender 5, Riley Dykstra 18, Liv Mellema, Emily Mellema 13, Lexi Kaptein, Lexi Hernandez 4, Kenadi Fay 5, Alli VanKooten 6, Charley Dykstra.
CLASS 1A BI-DISTRICT 1/2
Monday, Feb. 17
Meridian 57, University Prep 25 (loser out)
Cedar Park Christian (Bothell) 60, Bear Creek 48 (loser out)
Wednesday, Feb. 19
Meridian 65, Bush 27 (loser out)
Nooksack Valley 75, Cedar Park Christian (Bothell) 32 (loser out)
Thursday, Feb. 20
Meridian 35, King’s 32 (winner to regionals)
Nooksack Valley 62, Overlake 33 (winner to regionals)
Friday, Feb. 21
Lynden Christian 72, Seattle Academy 19 (winner first, loser second, both to regionals)
Saturday, Feb. 22
King’s vs. Overlake at Shorewood HS, 5 p.m. (winner fifth, to regionals; loser out)