Ho hum. Another Lynden-Lynden Christian boys basketball game in front of a packed crowd that storms the court after a last-shot-wins-it thriller between two of the best teams in the state.
This time it was the Lions’ turn to celebrate as senior Dawson Adams hit a 3-pointer with 18 seconds left to finally give Lynden the lead and — after two missed two opportunities by Lynden Christian to tie it — give the Lions the emotional 63-60 victory Friday night at Jake Maberry Gymnasium.
“Our guys just kept battling,” said Lynden coach Brian Roper, whose team never led in the second half until Adams’s shot. “I’m super happy for them. They’re a team that plays for each other. I hope that can take them on a deep run (in the playoffs).”
The victory, which raised Lynden’s overall record to 13-2 and its Northwest Conference mark to 9-2, came two days after Lynden suffered a loss to Ferndale, a game Adams missed because of a foot injury. But there was no keeping him off the court on Friday.
After Lynden junior Coston Parcher hit a huge 3-pointer to tie it at 60 with 2:35 left, neither team could score over the next two minutes. But after a timeout with 34 seconds left, the Lions moved the ball around the perimeter until they found Adams open for a brief second in the corner.
“The play was for three guys who can shoot and it happened I was open,” said Adams, who hit four 3-pointers and had 16 points all in the second half. “The first half we didn’t shoot very well. But we played defense. And when the shots started falling, we came back.”
“Dawson is a kid who has been in the gym since he was 2 years old,” said Roper, noting that Dawson was the son of long-time Lynden girls basketball coach Rob Adams. “He’s certainly confident from putting the sweat in the bucket. He had to have moxie to hit those shots.”
The Lyncs still had two opportunities to tie it, but senior Andrew Hommes missed a 3-pointer with three seconds left. After the ball bounced out of bounds, LC tried to set up a final play with 2.7 seconds left but couldn’t get off a shot.
“It was a tough one,” said LC senior Crew Bosman, who led the Lyncs with 19 points. “The ball didn’t bounce our way. But we need to keep focused on our end goal: to be playing the last day at state.”
The loss was LC’s first of the season and dropped them to 15-1 overall and 11-1 in league. With wins in their last two games, the Lyncs would still win the NWC title for the third time in four years.
“It’ll probably be good for us in the long run,” said Lyncs coach Tim Zylstra, who suffered his first league loss since taking over the LC program last season. “It gets that goose egg off the (loss) side. These heightened moments (in big games) are good for the kids. You can’t simulate those in practice.”
Joining Bosman in double figures for Lynden Christian were Hommes with 17 points and junior Tyler Sipma with 13. Hommes also had 7 rebounds, two more than Sipma, and seniors Jamison Hintz and William Colwell.
Sharing the hero’s role for Lynden was Parcher, who hit seven of eight shots including a pair of 3-pointers and who finished with a team-high 17 points. Sophomore Anthony Canales added 12 points, junior Trey Smiley was a spark off the bench with 6 points, and junior Kobe Baar led the Lions with 7 rebounds, one more than Adams.
Jordan Medcalf, the team’s leading scorer, was plagued by foul trouble and only had 8 points. But the senior came up with the biggest defensive play of the game when he blocked Hommes’s layup attempt with 40 seconds left that would have given Lynden Christian the lead.
Both teams wrap up their regular seasons next week. Lynden is at home against Lakewood on Wednesday and visits Burlington-Edison on Saturday. Lynden Christian hosts Mount Baker on Monday and travels to Meridian on Thursday.
After that come district tournaments and, if history is any indication, state tournaments for both teams. Lynden or Lynden Christian or both have been in their Class 2A or 1A state title games in 2018, 2019 and 2020. (There were no state playoffs last year.)
That’s why Roper said, “This is the best game in the state of Washington year in and year out.”
The exciting victory was just part of the special night for the Lions and their fans.
As part of the Coaches versus Cancer program, the school honored the late Terry DeValois, a long-time Lynden High School coach and athletic director. His daughters were honorary coaches — Kelli Visser for Lynden and Kim Grycel for Lynden Christian.
In addition, the late Elbert Isom and Rich Waldemar were inducteed into the Lynden High School Athletic Hall of Fame and also honored with standing ovations.
Isom, whose daughter accepted the honor Friday night, was a successful basketball coach during the 1930s and ‘40s and later was the high school principal and district superintendent. Waldemar is a popular Lynden supporter who has been active in many youth sports leagues and community parks and recreation programs.