The Lynden Christmas Classic girls basketball tournament hosted by Lynden Christian is known for its hospitality with teams getting overnight accommodations, cool t-shirts, meals after every game, and group activities.
Of course, the hospitality stops once the Lyncs hit the court. Lynden Christian dominated from the opening tip to beat Washougal, 72-30, in the nightcap of the opening round of the eight-team tournament Wednesday, Dec. 28.
Ferndale came out on the short end against tall and talented Eastlake, 56-38, to drop in the consolation bracket. In the other first-round games, Arlington rallied in the second half to beat Prosser, 71-66, and White River showed little love to our Canadian neighbors by clobbering Langley Christian, 75-34.
In Thursday’s consolation games, Ferndale will take on Prosser at 3 p.m., and Washougal will play Langley Christian at 4:45 p.m. In the tournament semifinals, Arlington faces off with Eastlake at 6:30 p.m., and Lynden Christian tangles with White River at 8:15 p.m.
Eastlake 56, Ferndale 38
Beating the Wolves (5-2) is a tall order — literally — especially when half their team is taller than your tallest starter. That’s what the Golden Eagles (5-2) faced Wednesday against the No.9-ranked Class 4A team in the state.
“We’re smaller in size, but we battle hard and we don’t play small,” said senior Madison Butenschoen, who at 5-foot-9 was giving up nearly half a foot to Eastlake’s 6-1 and 6-2 posts. “I’ve played with these (Ferndale) seniors for 10 years, and we’re a team that doesn’t roll over.”
The Golden Eagles could have rolled over after a 10-0 Eastlake run helped give the Wolves a 14-point first-half lead. But Ferndale held its own in the second half, leaving their coach pleased.
“They are good,” Ferndale coach Terri Yost said of the Wolves. “But we battled with them. It’s good competition for us and will prepare us for the playoffs.”
Butenschoen led the Golden Eagles with 13 points and three 3-pointers. Sister Mallory Butenschoen and fellow junior Maleah Singson had 5 points each. The Wolves were led by 6-2 senior Ava Schmidt with 20 and 6-1 junior Krista Kostoff with 14.
Despite the loss, Madison Butenschoen said she and her teammates were enjoying the holiday tournament.
“It’s fun,” she said. “You have nothing to lose.”
Eastlake 56, Ferndale 38
Eastlake 17 14 15 10—56
Ferndale 11 6 11 10—38
Eastlake: Aluas 10, McCoy, Kostoff 14, Boulanger, Carroll, Baumgartner 2, Gainer, Jackson 6, Schmidt 20, Sefair-Lopez 4.
Ferndale: Kessen 4, Fox, Ochoa 4, Mad. Butenschoen 13, Mal. Butenschoen 5, Washington 2, Singson 5, White, Stanley 5.
Lynden Christian 72, Washougal 30
If there was a theme for the Lyncs after Wednesday’s pounding of the Panthers, it was simply “fun.”
“It is so fun,” said senior Daisy Poag of the holiday tournament. “Every day with all the teams, there are lots of memories.”
“It was fun,” said senior Reganne Arnold of the starters sitting most of the second half to allow the young reserves to play. “We get to see what the team will be like in the future.”
On Wednesday, it was fun from the beginning as the Lyncs’ tenacious defense helped them jump to an 13-0 lead. The lead was 32 at halftime, which allowed all 13 of the Lyncs to play extended minutes in the second half.
Sophomore scoring machine Grace Hintz sparked the onslaught with 18 of her 22 points in the first half, including a stretch with three 3-pointers in a row.
Freshman Ella Fritts came off the bench to score 13, all in the first half, Poag hit three 3s for 9 points, and seniors Demi Dykstra and Taryn Herwerden had 7 and 6 points, respectively.
As for going back to state and defending their Class 1A crown, Poag said it would be — what else? — fun. “But it’s going to be our last time,” she said of LC’s six seniors, “and we want to leave it all on the court.”
Lynden Christian 72, Washougal 30
Washougal 9 7 6 8—30
Lynden Christian 23 25 11 13—72
Washougal: Johnson 7, Stinchfield, Gibbons, Chase 4, Is. Albaugh 10, Jones 6, L. Albaugh, Terry, Ir. Albaugh 3, Alldrin, Vaughan, Wilson.
Lynden Christian: Hagen, De. Dykstra 7, Herwerden 6, Anderson 2, Fritts 13, Hintz 22, Vos 2, Fay, DeJong 2, Poag 9, Arnold, Shumate 4, Da. Dykstra 5.
Lynden Holiday Invite
The Lynden and Sehome girls made it a clean sweep of the two-day Lynden Holiday Invite on Wednesday with the host Lions knocking off WF West, 52-42, and Sehome beating Port Angeles, 47-35.
Juniors Haylee Koetje and Kalanie Newcomb had 17 and 16 points, respectively, to lead the No.2-ranked Lions (8-0) over No.3 WF West (7-2).
Newcomb had four 3-pointers in the first half and Koetje took over after halftime with 13 of her 17 in the final two quarters as Lynden kept the Bearcats at bay. Freshman Payton Mills added 9 points for Lynden.
No.10-ranked Sehome (7-1) continued its sterling defensive play by shutting out the Roughriders in the first quarter and riding its defense to another impressive victory.
Junior Kylie Watson got the Mariners going with six of her 8 points in a 15-point first period and junior Natalie Brewer helped nail down the win with 10 of her game-high 15 points and two of her three 3-pointers after halftime.
Senior Mac Cooper returned from an injury to collect 9 points, hitting 5 of 6 free throws; junior Madi Cooper had 8 points, including two 3-pointers; and junior Emmy Hart added 7 points.
Top of the Peak Holiday Tournament
The Nooksack Valley girls (8-1) bounced back from Tuesday’s first loss of the season by shutting down Class 3A Mount Spokane, 55-38, on Wednesday at the Top of the Peak Holiday Tournament at Glacier Peak High in Snohomish.
Junior Devin Coppinger again led the way with 23 points, senior Hallie Kamphouse had 13 points, and junior Lainey Kimball had 12. The Pioneers were clutch at the line, going 16 for 16, and their defense held the Wildcats to single digits in three of the four quarters.
Nooksack Valley will wrap up the tournament on Thursday at 11:45 a.m. when it faces host Glacier Peak (6-1), which beat Burlington-Edison on Wednesday, 62-55. The winner will claim fourth place.
Mountlake Terrace Holiday Tournament
The Lynden Christian and Ferndale boys split their games on the final day of the Mountlake Terrace Holiday Tournament on Wednesday with the Lyncs beating Class 4A Glacier Peak, 71-62, and the Golden Eagles losing another close one, this time to Class 4A Lake Stevens, 56-52.
The Golden Eagles (1-6) battled back from a 15-point halftime deficit but couldn’t quite make up the deficit. Juniors Bishop Ootsey and Bhavnoor Grewal had 11 points each, and seniors Damien Toney and Lucas Mills had 9 points each.
The Lyncs raised their record to 9-0 with the win.
Mount Vernon Christian Holiday Tournament
The Lummi Nation boys and girls had a rough Wednesday against Mossyrock at the Mount Vernon Christian Holiday Tournament. The Blackhawks boys lost, 63-51, and the Lady Blackhawks suffered their first defeat of the season, 53-24.
Lummi Nation wraps up the tournament on Thursday with the girls (5-1) taking on Crosspoint at 9 a.m. and the boys (5-3) facing Muckleshoot Tribal School at 12:15 p.m.
Tournament of Champions Holiday Classic
The Squalicum boys crushed Thunder Mountain of Juneau, Alaska, 77-41, on Wednesday in the Tournament of Champions Holiday Classic at Franklin High in Seattle.
Senior Xander Sledge was an incredible 7 of 9 on 3-point attempts to lead the Storm with 24 points. Senior Ashton Englehart had 18 points and 5 steals, and senior Jake Donnelly had 13 points and 4 assists.
The victory evened the Storm’s record at 4-4. Squalicum takes on the host Quakers at 5:45 p.m. Thursday.
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.