Lummi Nation Girls, Boys Open Playoffs With Big Wins

“Win and advance” is the mantra this time of year, and the Lummi Nation girls and boys basketball teams did both in impressive fashion in their Class 1B District 1 openers Thursday, Jan. 6.

Before their home crowd, the Lady Blackhawks crushed Cedar Park Christian (Mountlake Terrace), 64-29, and the Lummi Nation boys followed by cruising past Grace Academy, 68-36.

With the victories, both Lummi Nation teams advanced not only in the district tournament but earned automatic berths in next week’s tri-district tournament.

The third-seed Lummi girls (14-7) now will play in the district semifinals against second-seed and favorite Mount Vernon Christian (16-4) on Saturday at 5:15 p.m. at Marysville-Getchell.

With their semifinal victory, the top-seed Lummi boys (20-3) will square off against second-seed Cedar Park Christian (14-7) in the district championship game at 5 p.m. on Saturday at Marysville-Getchell. The Blackhawks have beaten the Lions by 29 and 31 points already this season.

Keep watching for playoff coverage from the Class 1A, 2A and 3A district tournaments, which start next week.
Rian Greene goes up for a shot as the Solomon sisters watch.

Lady Blackhawks Bounce Back After Tuesday’s Loss

The Lummi Nation girls had to settle for a Northwest 1B League co-championship and a third seed after losing their regular-season finale to Grace Academy on Tuesday. The loss motivated them in Thursday’s district contest.

The Lady Blackhawks scored the first 15 points of the game thanks to a pair of 3-pointers by Raven Solomon and held the Lions to 10 points in the first half. 

“After the loss, we came ready to play,” said junior Alayla Solomon, who had 12 points. “We want to play one game at a time, but our goal is to get to state.”

First-year Lummi Nation coach Michael Wade said the team’s hot start and a new 1-2-2 halfcourt trapping defense were big reasons why the Lady Blackhawks turned it around after Tuesday’s difficult defeat.

“I was proud of the way they came out,” said Wade, who is trying to guide the team back to state for the first time since 2012. “The girls were really positive and locked in.”

No one was more locked in than freshman Raven Solomon, who led the Blackhawks’ quick-handed defense and continued her recent offensive fireworks by scoring a game-high 20 points. 

“Last year, I wasn’t as aggressive,” said Raven, Alayla’s little sister. “I’ve been practicing and trying to be more aggressive. It feels good.”

Wade was quick to praise the whole team, all 10 of whom scored. Shaylynn Jojola led a strong bench performance with 12 points.

“They were having fun,” said Wade. “After the rough one on Tuesday, we needed this one.”

 Lummi Nation 64, Cedar Park Christian (MLT) 29
Cedar Park Christian (MLT)         5    5  12    7—29
Lummi Nation                               22  15  15  12—64

Cedar Park Christian (MLT): Beatrice Simon 12, Parker Reymore 12, Margaret Noguera 1, Soliana Yosef 4.
Lummi Nation: Aliesha Solomon 4, Raven Solomon 20, Rian Greene 2, Shaylynn Jojola 12, Aiyona Morris 2, Ashtin McElderry 3, Shandeara Julius 2, Serena Pantalia 4, Vanessa Bearpaw 2, Alayla Solomon 12.

Thursday, Feb. 6
#4 Tulalip Heritage 46, #5 Lopez 30
#3 Lummi Nation 64, #6 Cedar Park Christian (MLT) 29

Saturday, Feb. 8
At Marysville-Getchell
Tulalip Heritage vs. #1 Grace Academy, 10:15 a.m.
Lummi Nation vs. #2 Mount Vernon Christian, 5:15 p.m.
Lopez vs. Cedar Park Christian (MLT) (winner fifth, loser out), 1:45 p.m.

Tuesday, Feb. 11
At Mount Vernon Christian
Consolation final (winner third, loser fourth)
Championship final (winner first, loser second)
(Top five advance to Tri-District)

Tyran Lane goes up for two of his 11 points.

Blackhawk Boys Make Quick Work Of Grace Academy

Using a similar script to the girls game they just watched, the Lummi Nation boys used a trapping defense to score 11 straight points minutes into the game and take a 23-6 lead by the end of the first period. After that, it was just a matter of how much action the substitutes would get.

“The energy was there, the enthusiasm was there, and they came out and set the tone right from the tipoff,” said Lummi Nation coach Jerome Toby, whose team is ranked third in the state. “That’s the way we play. And when everybody brings it, we’re pretty good.”

They all brought it Thursday night with 10 of 11 Blackhawks scoring and everyone playing great defense from beginning to end. 

“We wanted to come out strong,” said senior Caleb Revey, who had a ho-hum night (for him) with “only” 10 points, but added 6 rebounds, 6 assists and 3 steals.

“We’re just trying to be the best we can be,” said junior Jaie Leighton, who had 13 points and 7 rebounds. “We’ve got to keep playing hard and have that mind-set every game.”

Tyran Lane helped Lummi Nation dominate the boards with 15 rebounds along with 11 points, 4 steals and 4 blocks. Duncan Toby added 12 points for the Blackhawks.

Lummi Nation 68, Grace Academy 36
Grace Academy        6  12  11    6—36
Lummi Nation        23  16  14  15—68

Grace Academy: Logan Anderson 13, Dallas Mathew 1, Zach Brown 2, Luke Struiksma 5, Nicholas Lenhardt 4, Isaac Impola 9, John Fehme 2.

Lummi Nation: Franklin Whiteman 3, Tobias Francis, Caleb Revey 10, William Hetland 6, Duncan Toby 12, Richard Wilson 6, William Kinley 3, Jaie Leighton 13, Tyran Lane 11, Moses Seymour 3, Patrick Sturgeon 1.

Thursday, Feb. 6
#2 Cedar Park Christian (MLT) 65, #3 Tulalip Heritage 57
#1 Lummi Nation 68, #4 Grace Academy 36

Loser-out games
#6 Lopez 44, #7 Orcas Christian 41
#5 Mount Vernon Christian 71, #8 Providence Christian 26

Saturday, Feb. 8
At Marysville-Getchell
Lummi Nation vs. Cedar Park Christian (MLT), 7 p.m. (winner first, loser second)

Consolation semifinals
Tulalip Heritage vs. Lopez
Grace Academy vs. Mount Vernon Christian

Tuesday, Feb. 11
At Mount Vernon Christian
Consolation semifinal winners (winner third, loser fourth)
Consolation semifinal losers (winner fifth, loser out)
(Top five advance to Tri-District)

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.

You can support our student-athletes, teams, and schools
by using the businesses that support Whatcom Hoops.

Want to advertise your business? Click here for advertising options.