Lynden Girls Cruise To 2A District Championship

First the Lynden girls basketball team cut down Burlington-Edison. Then the Lions cut down the nets.

No.1-ranked Lynden put together a total team effort to dominate their closest Class 2A rival, 67-44, and win the District 1/2 championship on Friday night, Feb. 21, at Mount Vernon High School.

Next up for Lynden is the regional round of the state playoffs. The Lions will host the No.8-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.

But on Friday, the team was enjoying the moment.

“Everybody contributed,” said Lynden coach Rob Adams. “I can’t be more proud of the effort. It was fantastic from top to bottom.”

And from beginning to end.

The Lions, who raised their record to 22-1, scored the first 13 points of the game. When the Tigers cut the margin to five by the end of the first quarter, Lynden used 20-10 second quarter to take command, and a 16-5 third quarter to turn the game into a rout.

Check out the Whatcom Hoops Facebook page tomorrow for lots of photos from Friday night’s game.

The Lynden girls: Your Class 2A District 1/2 champions.

It was an unexpected blowout considering Burlington was the sixth-ranked 2A team in the state and had lost only three times coming into Friday. Even in the two teams’ first meeting during the regular season, Lynden only managed a 10-point win.

But this one wasn’t close. The Tigers even rallied for 21 points in the fourth quarter, and still never got closer than 20 points.

Senior guard Keylie Hershey led the Lions with 20 points and her three-point play and 3-pointer in back-to-back possessions in the second quarter turned a close game into a double-digit lead. She also had a team-high five steals.

Senior guard Ruby VanderHaak had 14 points and four 3-pointers, junior post Faith Baar had 12 points and 10 rebounds, senior guard Liv Tjoelker had 11 points and 7 assists, and junior forward Anna VanderYacht had 9 rebounds.

Lynden also got significant playing time from key reserves Madison Canales, Keyna Holleman, Riley Anderson, and Alexis Holman.

And they all got to cut down the nets, starting with freshman Adia Newcomb doing it for the first time and ending with the most popular player, senior Ashtyn Van Dalen, showing off her big smile.

“It feels so good to have everybody be a part of it,” said VanderHaak. “I’m proud of our team. They’ve worked so hard to get us here.”

But the seniors weren’t satisfied with just cutting down the nets at the district tournament. They were looking forward to getting back to the state tournament in Yakima, where they finished fourth a year ago.

“This was a good stepping stone,” said Tjoelker. “But we’ve one more (net) to cut down.”

“We’re not done yet,” said Hershey.

Lynden 67, Burlington-Edison
Burlington-Edison              8    10      5    21—44
Lynden                                13    20    16    18—67

Burlington-Edison: Hannah Sayer 7, Miranda Maskell 4, Katie King 2, Jordyn Smith 3, Emma Smith 7, Sydney Reisner 8, Gabrielle MacKenzie, Brylee Axelson-Ney 2, Amey Rainaud-Hinds 9, Grace Dalton 2.

Lynden: Alexis Holman, Liv Tjoelker 11, Anna VanderYacht 2, Adia Newcomb 2, Faith Baar 12, Madison Canales 4, Keylie Hershey 20, Keyna Holleman 2, Ashtyn VanDalen, Ruby VanderHaak 14, Ashlyn Alexander, Riley Anderson.


Wednesday, Feb. 12
Cedarcrest 66, Blaine 24 (loser out)
Sehome 42, Sedro-Woolley 35 (loser out)
Anacortes 55, Bellingham 36 (loser out)
Sammamish 65, Mountlake Terrace 44 (loser out)

Friday, Feb. 14
Sammamish 49, Liberty 44
Burlington-Edison 55, Cedarcrest 37
Archbishop Murphy 56, Sehome 42
Lynden 59, Anacortes 33

Monday, Feb. 17
Burlington-Edison 66, Sammamish 44
Lynden 53, Archbishop Murphy 31
Liberty 62, Cedarcrest 41 (loser out)
Anacortes 50, Sehome 38 (loser out)

Wednesday, Feb. 19
Liberty 43, Archbishop Murphy 37 (loser out)
Anacortes 54, Sammamish 50 (loser out)

Friday, Feb. 21
Liberty 54, Anacortes 42 (winner third, to regionals; loser out)
Lynden 67, Burlington-Edison 44 (winner first, loser second; both to regionals)

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.

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