Playoffs: Lummi Boys Win Tri-District; Lummi, Sehome Girls Fall Short

The Lummi Nation boys basketball team collected more hardware the hard way with a 53-47 victory over Neah Bay in the Class 1B District 1/2/3 tournament on Saturday night, Feb. 17, at Mount Vernon Christian.

The No.1-ranked Blackhawks have now won 22 games in a row after a season-opening loss and have added a league title, District 1 title, and now a tri-district title to their trophy case. 

The Lummi Nation and Sehome girls were not as fortunate Saturday. The Lady Blackhawks hung tough for most of the first half before falling to third-ranked Crosspoint in the tri-district consolation final, 78-61, to finish in fourth place.

The Mariners’ loss hurt even more as they couldn’t pull off another upset and were beaten by Archbishop Murphy in the 2A consolation final, 57-42, at Mount Vernon High. Because only two teams advance to state this year, the defeat ended Sehome’s season.

SUNDAY SEEDING: The seeding for the eight Whatcom teams that qualified for state as well as the opponents, locations, and dates of the regional games will be done by a committee and announced Sunday. Check Whatcom Hoops on Sunday afternoon for all the Class 2A, 1A, and 1B state regional games.

Here are the results from Saturday’s playoff action:

1B Tri-District: Lummi Nation Boys Cut Down Neah Bay, Then Nets, 53-47

Moments after helping cut down the net after beating Neah Bay and claiming the tri-district title, 53-47, sophomore Jerome Toby was looking forward to the next challenge: the 1B state tournament.

“This was one more step toward our goal,” Toby said after scoring a game-high 22 points. “We want one more net.”

The Blackhawks will get their chance at cutting down the state nets starting next weekend. They’ll find out Sunday who they’ll be playing in the state regional round before heading over to Spokane for the 1B state tournament Feb. 28-March 2. But let them first enjoy the hard-fought victory over the Red Devils on Saturday.

“It was fun … everything you’d expect from a Lummi-Neah Bay game,” said Lummi Nation coach Jerome Toby Sr. “We knew it wouldn’t be easy. But our boys fought. We knew they’d bring out the best in us.”

Neah Bay, which is ranked fourth and came into the game with a 17-3 record and a 15-game winning streak of its own, certainly made the Blackhawks work until the end.

Lummi’s quick and feisty defense held the bruising Red Devils to six first-quarter points and led by what seemed a comfortable 29-18 margin at the half. But Neah Bay kept battling and when the Blackhawks’ outside shooting went cold in the fourth quarter the lead was suddenly down to five with 3:15 left.

But the 5-foot-7 Toby snuck inside for a bucket, hit a left-handed layup, and a free throw, and junior Karson Revey hit four clutch free throws — all to offset a pair of long 3-pointers by Neah Bay’s Makyah Chambers. When Lummi freshman Dyson Edwards hit one of two free throws with 4.6 seconds left it was over.

Toby Jr.’s 22 points and two 3-pointers were most of Lummi Nation’s offense on a day when their defense carried them — and held Neah Bay to its second-lowest point total of the season.

Senior Desmond Bailey battled inside and gave the Blackhawks 10 points, Revey had another outstanding game off the bench with 7 points, and senior Tobias Francis made a pair of 3s for 6 points.

“It was a classic game played at a high level,” said coach Toby, whose teams have now won or shared four of the past five tri-district titles. “There were two ball clubs trying to peak at the right time They made some of our other guys step up.”

Lummi Nation 53, Neah Bay 47

Neah Bay.              6       12       15       14—47

Lummi Nation     15       14       12       12—53

Neah Bay: Wimberly 2, Chambers 18, Woodruff 11, Jimmicum, Greene 2, Swan 11, Cumming 3.

Lummi Nation: Toby 22, Francis 6, Johnson, Edwards 3, Perkins 3, Day, Abrams 2, Lee, Revey 7, Bailey 10.


Saturday, Feb. 17

Consolation games

Mount Vernon Christian 52, Crescent 42 (winner seventh, to state regionals, loser out)

Sound Christian Academy 71, Summit Classical Christian 52 (winner fifth, loser sixth, both to state regionals)

Tulalip Heritage 65, Muckleshoot Tribal School 59 (winner third, loser fourth, both to state regionals)

Championship game

Lummi Nation 53, Neah Bay 47 (winner first, loser second, both to state regionals)

1B Tri-District: Lummi Nation Girls Take Fourth Despite 78-61 Loss

It wasn’t the No.3 ranking but the number of 3s that helped Crosspoint beat the Lummi Nation girls, 78-61, in the tri-district consolation final Saturday giving Crosspoint third place in the tournament and Lummi Nation fourth place.

The Warriors from Bremerton unleashed a barrage from long-distance as four different players ended up hitting 10 3-pointers. It was the most points scored against the 12th-ranked Lady Blackhawks this season and dropped them to 18-8 on the year.

Like the night before, when Lummi Nation only trailed by five at the half to No.1-ranked Neah Bay before falling in the semifinals, the Blackhawks held their own through most of the first half Saturday.

Although down 18-10 at the end of the first quarter, the Blackhawks were sparked by freshman Jemma James’s first 3-pointer and tied the game at 23. After a couple of Crosspoint buckets, sophomore Ailina Rabang hit a 3-pointer to bring Lummi to within 29-28 with two minutes left before halftime.

But 11 straight Crosspoint points including Anna Kuske’s fourth 3-pointer of the half at the buzzer, put the Blackhawks in a double-digit hole that would be extended to 17 in the second half.

Lummi would cut the deficit to 11 in the final two minutes but a late Warriors’ flurry ended the comeback and gave Crosspoint its 22nd victory in 25 games. Fortunately for the Blackhawks, their fourth-place finish was good enough to get them into state since the top five tri-district teams move on.

Rabang led Lummi Nation with 21 points and three 3-pointers of her own. Senior Keyonne Morris had 12 points, James had a trio of 3s and 11 points, senior Serena Jo Pantalia had 7 points, and sophomore Brianna Metteba added 6 points.

“We know we can definitely compete,” said Justin Mahle, who along with fellow assistant coach David James took over to allow head coach Krista Mahle to attend a memorial service Saturday. “It’ll take every one of us, not just our starting five. I really believe we can go far (in the playoffs).”

For Rabang, who transferred from Sehome in mid-season, the loss paled in importance to reconnecting with her tribal friends.

“This will be my first time,” she said of experiencing a state tournament. “It will be especially fun going with my best friends.”

Crosspoint 78, Lummi Nation 61

Lummi Nation     10       18       19      14—61

Crosspoint           18       22       22      16—78

Lummi Nation: J. James 11, Metteba 6, Rabang 21, Dennis, Pantalia 7, K. Morris 12, Landsem 4.

Crosspoint: Fraser, A. Kuske 22, Ellis, Iwata 19, Parker 6, Ajanovic 15, Wasson, Tobosa 14, Crollard 2, K. Kuske.


Saturday, Feb. 17

Consolation games

Evergreen Lutheran 38, Sound Christian Academy 32 (winner fifth, to state regionals, loser out), 11:30 a.m.

Crosspoint 78, Lummi Nation 61 (winner third, loser fourth, both to state regionals), 3 p.m.

Championship game

Neah Bay 61, Mount Vernon Christian (30 winner first, loser second, both to state regionals), 6 p.m.

2A District: Bittersweet Defeat Ends Sehome’s Season, 57-42 

After Thursday’s upset of ninth-ranked Burlington-Edison, the Mariners had to play their third loser-out game in five days, while Archbishop Murphy had one less game and one extra day of rest. And it showed in the Mariners’ 57-42 loss in the district consolation final.

“It was evident that we’d played more basketball,” said Sehome coach Kim Stensgar, whose squad finished its season with a 14-11 record. “(Thursday’s upset of Burlington) was emotional and draining. We just didn’t have enough in the tank.”

It showed as Sehome was outrebounded by the bigger Wildcats, the Mariners’ shots were constantly short, and their usually quick defense was a step slow especially in the second period when they gave up 23 points.

But the Mariners never give up or give in. Despite falling behind 31-21 after a 10-0 Archbishop Murphy run in the second quarter, they had several chances to cut the lead down to five in the second half but couldn’t come up with the big shot.

As they have all season, the seniors led Sehome. Madi Cooper had 13 points, a pair of 3-pointers and 4 assists; Natalie Brewer had 10 points and 9 rebounds; Kylie Watson had three 3s and 9 points, and Hazel Gaston had 6 points and 6 rebounds; and Emmy Hart had 3 assists and 2 steals.

While ending the season was disappointing especially for the seven seniors, ending their high school careers together made it worthwhile.

“It’s definitely bittersweet,” said Watson. “We didn’t want to lose, but I wouldn’t want to end it with anyone else. You can’t be upset when you overcome so much adversity (this season). Doing it with these girls made it special.”

The Class of ’24, which led Sehome back to state last year as juniors, will always be special to Stensgar.

“I love them and am really grateful to spend the last two years with them,” the coach said of Cooper, Brewer, Watson, Gaston, Hart, Macie Aven, and Elyse Krout. “They were gritty, fierce competitors, willing to take on anyone. And they would always try to build each other up. They are really, really good kids.”

As the district runner-up, Archbishop Murphy (19-5) will advance to the regional portion of the state tournament along with district champion Lynden.

Archbishop Murphy 57, Sehome 42

Sehome                        14       10         9         9—42

Archbishop Murphy    11       23       11       12—57

Sehome: Cooper 13, Aven 3, Hart, Watson 9, Barge 1, Brewer 10, Gaston 6, Schroeder.

Archbishop Murphy: Blachly 15, Hookfin 6, Cushing 4, Burris 8, Fletcher 4, Reed, Marr 18, Wright 2.


Saturday, Feb. 17

At Mount Vernon

Consolation final

Archbishop Murphy 57, Sehome 42 (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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