It never gets old.
The Lynden boys basketball team won the Class 2A District 1 championship for the third time in a row on Friday, Feb. 18, with a convincing 76-49 victory over Sehome.
“This doesn’t get old,” confirmed Jordan Medcalf, who along with fellow seniors Dawson Adams and Kaleo Jandoc cut down the nets after the last district title game in 2020. “I had to teach the young’ens how to do it.”
Coach Brian Roper, whose Lynden teams have cut down the Class 2A state championship nets four times, said the post-game celebration in front of family, friends, and fans wasn’t for him but for the players.
“Watching them cut down the nets … that doesn’t get old,” said Roper.
The Lions, who raised their record to 19-2, will get a shot at winning another state championship starting either next Friday or Saturday, Feb. 25 or 26, when the state regional games are played.
Depending on their state RPI ranking and the outcome of the regional games, they hope to make it to the Yakima SunDome for the state tournament, which runs March 2-5.
“We’re not finished,” said Lynden sophomore Anthony Canales, who admitted to being nervous cutting down the nets for the first time. “Our goal has always been to bring back the gold ball (the state championship trophy).”
And while Friday’s game was disappointing for the Mariners — who fell to 15-6 and were looking to win their first district title since the magical state championship team of 1996 — by finishing second in the district, they also have qualified for the state regionals next weekend and earned a shot at going to Yakima in March.
“We were really confident (coming into the game),” said Mathew Storms, who led Sehome with 16 points. “But they’re so physical and execute well. They’re really tough. But Coach (Skyler Gillispie) told us to keep our heads high. We’re going back focused.”
On Friday night before a rowdy crowd at Mount Vernon High School, it was Lynden that was focused from the beginning, especially on defense. The Lions held Sehome to only seven first-quarter points, and the Mariners’ 49 points were their second lowest total of the season. Their lowest? Forty-four in a regular-season loss to Lynden.
Any hopes Sehome had of rallying from a 13-point halftime deficit were dashed as Medcalf and Canales scored six points each in a 21-point third period. When Adams hit the fourth of his five 3-pointers at the buzzer, the Lions had stretched their lead to 22 points heading into the final period.
The lead ballooned to 30 before the reserves took over and the Lynden faithful began celebrating.
Medcalf led the Lions with 21 points, including three 3-pointers, and 9 rebounds; Adams, Canales and Parcher had 15 points each; Jandoc had 4 assists and Parcher, Medcalf, and junior Kobe Baar had 3 each.
Storms was the only Mariner in double figures. Juniors Grant Kepley and Isaac Lawrence had 9 points each, with Lawrence’s all coming on three 3s, and junior Dane Dominguez had 7 points. Kepley, senior Gavin Ortega, and junior Grey Garrison had 6 rebounds each to lead the Mariners, and Kepley added 3 assists.
“We played our most complete game to date,” said Roper. “Sehome is a very good team, and we really do wish them the best. But tonight they (the Lions) were on their toes from the get-go. I feel like our best is still ahead of us.”
Medcalf agreed: “It was a great team effort. But the job’s not finished.”
Not for the Lions, the Mariners or the Lakewood Cougars, who took the district’s third and final state berth by beating Burlington-Edison in the consolation final.
Lynden 76, Sehome 49
Sehome 7 17 12 13—49
Lynden 16 21 21 18—76
Sehome: Isaac Lawrence 9, Eli Daheim, Grey Garrison 5, Austin McKay, Kai Swanson, Mathew Storms 16, Braddock Duckworth, Gavin Ortega 3, Dane Dominguez 7, Grant Kepley 9.
Lynden: Kaleo Jandoc 3, Coston Parcher 15, Cameron Petersen, Brady Elsner 1, Jordan Medcalf 21, Max Moore, Trey Smiley, Dawson Adams 15, Anthony Canales 15, Brant Heppner 2, Kobe Baar 4, Lane Simonsen.
CLASS 2A DISTRICT 1 TOURNAMENT
Wednesday, Feb. 9
#7 Cedarcrest 49, #10 Sedro-Woolley 46 (loser out)
#8 Squalicum 39, #9 Bellingham 38 (loser out)
Friday, Feb. 11
#2 Sehome 75, Cedarcrest 49
#3 Burlington-Edison 79, #6 Archbishop Murphy 69
#4 Lakewood 61, #5 Anacortes 50
#1 Lynden 64, Squalicum 50
Monday, Feb. 14
Squalicum 70, Anacortes 68 OT (loser out)
Archbishop Murphy 69, Cedarcrest 59 (loser out)
At Mount Vernon
Sehome 72, Burlington-Edison 56
Lynden 57, Lakewood 41
Wednesday, Feb. 16
At Mount Vernon
Lakewood 57, Archbishop Murphy 50 (loser out)
Burlington-Edison 56, Squalicum 41 (loser out)
Friday, Feb. 18
At Mount Vernon
Lakewood 71, Burlington-Edison 58 (winner third, to state regionals, loser out)
Lynden 76, Sehome 49 (winner first, loser second, both to state regionals)
Friday and Saturday, Feb. 25 and 26
At Yakima SunDome
Wednesday-Saturday, March 2-5
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.