In the first day of the Lynden Holiday Invite, it helped to have heart … or in the case of the Sehome girls basketball team — Hart.
The Mariners rode the seven 3-pointers of Emmy Hart to take a 54-53 victory over WF West in the tournament’s first game Tuesday night, Dec. 27. In the second game, the host Lynden Lions showed their heart by shutting down Port Angeles, 47-35.
The teams will switch opponents on Wednesday when Sehome takes on Port Angeles at 4:15 p.m., and Lynden plays WF West at 6 p.m.
Sehome 54, WF West 53
While Hart made the most 3-pointers Tuesday, it was Madi Cooper’s 3 that made the difference. With the Mariners down by two, the junior hit a long jumper with five seconds remaining to give Sehome a one-point lead.
“I was supposed to go to the hoop and if not, then kick it out (to another shooter),” said the point guard. “I just happened to be open. So I just shot, and it happened to go in.”
The Mariners had to hold their breath as WF West’s 6-foot-3 post Julia Dalan couldn’t put in a short shot at the buzzer, one of the few times the sophomore star missed in amassing a game-high 24 points.
The victory, Sehome’s sixth in seven games, was its biggest of the season coming against the previously undefeated Bearcats, who were ranked No.3 in the latest Associated Press Class 2A poll.
“In holiday tournaments you’re up against good teams and you want to prove yourself,” said Sehome coach Kim Stensgar, whose Mariners were tied for 10th in the poll. “Our (Northwest) conference is so tough it’s hard to tell where you stand against other teams.”
Thanks to Hart’s team-high 23 points, the Mariners proved they belong among the Class 2A contenders after beating a school that since 2011 has won two state titles, eight state trophies, and qualified for 10 of the past 11 state tournaments.
“It was definitely a good test,” said Hart. “We want to go to state. And this will boost our confidence.”
As for her seven 3-pointers, which tied her career high, the junior guard said, “Sometimes I have those days. Today was one of those days.”
The Mariners also benefitted from Cooper’s 13 points and 11 points from junior Natalie Brewer, who along with senior Madison Hogan helped hold Dalan to eight points in the second half despite each giving up eight inches to the WF West post.
“We needed to play in a game where we’re undersized,” said Stensgar, whose tallest starter was 5-foot-7. “It’s great when we can shoot the ball well. But we keep telling them about being hungry and having a killer instinct. Today our defense was rabid to get after it.”
Sehome 54, WF West 53
WF West 12 13 14 14—53
Sehome 17 13 13 11—54
WF West: Fragner 10, Rogerson 11, Deskins 3, Simpson 2, Dotson, Bennett 3, Dalan 24.
Sehome: Mad. Cooper 13, Aven, Hart 23, Watson, Brewer 11, Gaston, Sargent, Mac Cooper 5, Hogan 2.
Lynden 47, Port Angeles 35
The Lions, who are ranked second in the Class 2A poll, used their defense to pull away in the second half after leading by only two at the break. It was Lynden’s seventh victory in as many games.
“Our defense is the key,” said Haylee Koetje, who led the Lions with 14 points. “You have to have a heart for it. It comes from heart and determination.”
After giving up 14 points in the first quarter, the Lions’ defense was determined the rest of the way holding the Roughriders to eight or fewer points in each of the final three periods.
“We had a tough night putting it in the hole,” said Lynden coach Vic Wolffis of the team’s cold shooting. “We got good shots, but we weren’t able to finish. Fortunately, we’ve been pretty solid defensively.”
Joining Koetje in double figures was junior Kalanie Newcomb, who had 13 points.
Lynden 47, Port Angeles 35
Port Angeles 14 7 6 8—35
Lynden 15 8 13 11—47
Port Angeles: Clark 4, Li. Smith 10, Stevens, Moses, Mason 4, Rognlien, Williams, Petty 15, Le. Smith 2.
Lynden: K. Newcomb 13, VanderYacht 5, Villars, A. Newcomb 7, Koetje 14, Wittenberg, Mills 6, Stephan 2.
GP Top of the Peak
The Nooksack Valley girls suffered their first loss of the season, but it took the No.6-ranked Class 4A school in the state to do it. The Pioneers (7-1), who were ranked No.1 among 1A schools, fell to Tahoma, 64-62.
Junior Devin Coppinger had a game-high 33 points, including four 3-pointers, and senior Hallie Kamphouse hit six 3s and scored 25 points as the Pioneers used a 20-point second quarter to rally from a 13-point deficit and battle the Bears evenly until the end.
Nooksack Valley was originally scheduled to play Piedmont (Calif.), which dropped out of the tournament in Snohomish and was replaced by Tahoma, a school roughly six times bigger than Nooksack.
The Pioneers will now play Class 3A Mount Spokane (3-3) in the consolation bracket on Wednesday. The Wildcats lost to Emerald Ridge, the No.3-ranked Class 4A team, on Tuesday, 51-40.
Mountlake Terrace Holiday Tournament
The Ferndale boys fell into an early hole and couldn’t quite climb out in a 62-54 loss to Kentlake on Tuesday, while the Lynden Christian boys remained undefeated with a 59-48 victory over the host Hawks in the first round.
Seniors Damien Toney and Mathias Johnson led the Golden Eagles (1-6) with 16 points each and had Ferndale within four points with less than a minute to go. Tony sank 8 of 10 free throws and Johnson hit three 3-pointers against the Class 3A Falcons (2-2). Ferndale will take on Class 4A Lake Stevens on Wednesday at 3 p.m
The Lyncs (8-0) beat Class 3A Mountlake Terrace (4-5) thanks to 23 points from senior Griffin Dykstra and 10 points from junior Jeremiah Wright. LC will play Class 4A Glacier Peak (4-2) on Wednesday at 6 p.m.