Playoffs: 8 Teams Heading To State; Sehome Girls One Win Away

With two days left in the district and tri-district playoffs, one thing is for certain: Whatcom County will be sending eight teams to the state playoffs next week. At least.

Because the Sehome girls shocked Burlington-Edison, 59-46, in the Class 2A District 1 tournament for their biggest win of the season Thursday night, Feb. 15.

“All credit goes to these girls,” said Sehome coach Kim Stensgar. “This was a great team win for us. Every kid on our team contributed in a different yet valuable way, and they showed me that they are not ready for the season to end. It was amazing.”

The victory in a loser-out consolation game keeps alive the Mariners’ hopes of returning to the state tournament. All that stands in their way is another heavy favorite, Archbishop Murphy, and the two squads will square off Saturday at 5:30 p.m. with the winner earning a state berth.

NEXT UP FRIDAY: The 1A district consolation finals will feature the Meridian and Nooksack Valley boys followed by the Lynden Christian and Meridian girls, both at Lynden High. In the 1B tri-district tourney, Lummi Nation takes on Tulalip Heritage in the boys semifinal at 4:30 p.m. and Neah Bay in the girls semi at 6 p.m.,  both at Mount Vernon Christian. For all the action, check out Whatcom Hoops.

The last two state spots will be up for grabs Friday, Feb. 16, when Meridian and Nooksack Valley square off in the Class 1A District 1 boys consolation final at 5:30 p.m. and Lynden Christian and Meridian meet in the girls consolation final at 7:15 p.m. Both games will be at Lynden High.

The winners will earn the district’s second state berths and join six other Whatcom squads in their respective state regionals on either Feb. 23 or 24; Friday’s losers, however, will have their season end.

Already earning berths in the regional portion of the state tournaments are:

* The two-time defending 2A state champion Lynden boys, who won their district title

* The two-time defending 1A state champion Lynden Christian boys, who won their district title

* The defending 1A state champion Nooksack Valley girls, who won their district title

* The Lynden girls, who are returning to the 2A state tournament after winning their district championship

* The Lummi Nation boys, who are returning to the 1B state tournament and are playing in Friday’s District 1/2/3 semifinals

* And the Lummi Nation girls, who are returning to 1B state for the first time since 2020 and also are in Friday’s District 1/2/3 semifinals

The seeding for all state teams as well as the opponents, location, and dates of the regional games will be done by a committee and announced Sunday. Check Whatcom Hoops on Sunday for all the Class 2A, 1A, and 1B state regional games.

Here are the results from Thursday’s night’s playoff action:

Sehome Girls Show Heart, Stun Burlington, 59-46

Sehome’s 59-46 victory over ninth-ranked Burlington, which had been in the 2A state championship game the past two years and had beaten the Mariners by 21 points earlier in this season, was no fluke.

The Mariners (14-10) were fired up from the opening tip against the big and bruising Tigers, scoring 18 points in the first quarter and holding Burlington to just 15 points in the first half. The Tigers battled back, closing to within three, but Sehome never gave up the lead, and an 18-point fourth quarter iced the victory.

“We played tenacious defense and sold out for every loose ball,” said Stensgar. “Burlington is tough, and we didn’t let our (lack of) size be our weakness.”

As they have all season, the Sehome seniors led the way.

Point guard Madi Cooper had another great game with 20 points, 4 rebounds, 4 assists, and 3 steals. Emmy Hart proved again she is one of the best outside shooters in the league with three 3-pointers and 15 points plus 4 rebounds and 4 assists. Natalie Brewer fought the taller Tigers inside, scoring 11 points and pulling down 8 rebounds.

Macie Aven added 6 points and 3 steals, Hazel Gaston had 5 rebounds and 3 assists, and Kylie Watson had 5 points and 2 blocks.

“These seniors are all heart,” Stensgar. “All of the seniors were selling out, even if the scorebook (scoring) doesn’t show it.”

One stat that showed the seniors’ heart was free throw shooting. Cooper went 4-for-4 from the line, and Hart, Aven, and Brewer each went 2-for-2. And in the fourth quarter of the biggest game of the season with all the pressure on, the Mariners made all eight free throws.

Next up for 13th-ranked Sehome is sixth-ranked Archbishop Murphy (18-5), which lost to top-ranked Lynden on Wednesday in the district championship game at Mount Vernon High. Thursday’s loss ended the season for Burlington-Edison, which finished the year 18-6.

Sehome 59, Burlington-Edison 46

Sehome                      18       10       13       18—59

Burlington-Edison       7         8       18       13—46

Sehome: Cooper 20, Aven 6, Hart 15, Watson 5, Barge 2, Brewer 11, Gaston, Schroeder.

Burlington-Edison: Ray 3, C. Holmes 21, Korthuis, Bishop 10, K. Smith, Hergesel 11, Weynands, M. Holmes, VanderPol. 


Thursday, Feb. 15

At Mount Vernon

Consolation game

Sehome 59, Burlington-Edison 46 (loser out)

Saturday, Feb. 17

At Mount Vernon

Consolation final

Sehome vs. Archbishop Murphy, 5:30 p.m. (winner second, to state regionals, loser out)

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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