Playoffs: Lummi Teams Off To State; Sehome Girls Stay Alive

Overcoming a community tragedy that affected many of their families, the Lummi Nation boys and girls basketball teams won their biggest games of the season Tuesday night, Feb. 13, to qualify for the Class 1B state regionals.

The No.1-ranked Lummi boys powered through a slow start at home to eclipse Crescent, 55-27, in the District 1/2/3 quarterfinals.

The victory, the Blackhawks’ 19th in a row after a season-opening loss, puts them in the tri-district semifinals against Tulalip Heritage on Friday at 4:30 p.m. at Mount Vernon Christian. 

The fifth-seeded Lady Blackhawks pulled off a minor upset, beating fourth seed Evergreen Lutheran, 40-28, in their tri-district quarterfinal. The Lummi Nation girls also move into the semifinals to play No.1-ranked Neah Bay on Friday at 6:30 p.m. also at Mount Vernon Christian.

NEXT UP WEDNESDAY: The Lynden girls and boys will play for the Class 2A district championships and state berths. The Lions will take on Archbishop Murphy in the girls final at 5:30 p.m. and the Lions will meet Cedarcrest for the boys title at 7:15 p.m., both at Mount Vernon High. For all the action, check out Whatcom Hoops.

Meanwhile, in the Class 2A girls district tournament at Mount Vernon, Sehome kept its state hopes alive by beating Anacortes, 45-38, in one consolation game, but Squalicum saw its season come to an end with a 61-31 loss to Burlington-Edison.

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

Class 1B Tri-district

Slow Start, Crescent Can’t Stop Lummi Boys, 55-27

The Lummi Nation offense, which has averaged more than 70 points a game, never was unleashed as the Blackhawks had their lowest point total of the season in the 55-27 victory over Crescent.

“It wasn’t pretty, but I’ll take a win this time of year,” said Lummi Nation coach Jerome Toby. “We had to gut this one out.”

The Blackhawks’ guts were shown on defense. All 12 Blackhawks who got in the game played the quick-handed, pressing defense Lummi is known for. And even though their shots weren’t dropping as usual, the Blackhawks held the Loggers to just 17 points through three quarters.

Give Crescent credit. The Loggers won a playoff game on Monday and then had to travel all the way from Joyce on the Olympic Peninsula for the Tuesday night game. And they actually led Lummi Nation after one quarter, 7-6, and only trailed 20-15 at the half.

But then the Blackhawks showed why they are No.1. They held Crescent to only two points in the third quarter and finally got rolling with 16 points in the period. Three straight 3-pointers by senior Tobias Francis sparked the surge.

“We came out sluggish,” said the 5-foot-8 guard. “I just wanted to get us going. We had a good second half.”

With the reserves getting some valuable playoff experience and getting in the scoring column, the Blackhawks sent the eighth-seeded Loggers (18-4) into the consolation bracket with a 35-12 second-half blitz.

Nine different Blackhawks scored in the game with sophomore Jerome Toby Jr.’s 16 points leading the way. Francis finished with 9 points, and senior Mathias Johnson added 8 points.

And while there’s still the matter of Friday’s semifinal against Tulalip Heritage — which Lummi Nation has already beaten three times this season — and a possible spot in the tri-district championship game on Saturday, coach Toby didn’t lose sight of the ultimate goal.

“We knew what was at stake,” Toby said of the state berth. “We responded and all 12 guys had a hand in it.”

And as for Lummi Nation making it to state for the 14th time since 2006 and the fifth state tournament in a row, one Blackhawk certainly was excited about returning to Spokane.

“I’m ready,” said Francis.

Lummi Nation 55, Crescent 27

Crescent              7         8         2       10—27

Lummi Nation      6       14       16       19—55

Crescent: Bauers, L.  Bourm 3, M. Love 4, D. Sprague 2, L. Love 9, H. Bourm 9, Grooms, Watson.

Lummi Nation: Toby 16, LaFontaine, Francis 9, Johnson 8, Edwards 6, Perkins 3, Day 4, Abrams 3, Lee 4, Revey, Bailey 2, James.


Monday, Feb. 12

Play-in game

Crescent 81, Northwest Yeshiva 56 (loser out)

Tuesday, Feb. 13

First round

Lummi Nation 55, Crescent 27

Neah Bay 74, Summit Classical Christian 48

Muckleshoot Tribal School 57, Mount Vernon Christian 54

Tulalip Heritage 62, Sound Christian Academy 54

Friday, Feb. 16

Consolation round

Mount Vernon Christian vs. Summit Classical Christian, 3 p.m.

Crescent vs. Sound Christian Academy, 7:30 p.m.

At Mount Vernon Christian


Lummi Nation vs. Tulalip Heritage, 4:30 p.m.

Muckleshoot Tribal School vs. Neah Bay, 7:45 p.m.

Saturday, Feb. 17

At Mount Vernon Christian

Consolation games

10 a.m. (winner seventh, to state regionals, loser out)

1:15 p.m. (winner fifth, loser sixth, both to state regionals)

4:45 p.m. (winner third, loser fourth, both to state regionals)

Championship game

8:15 p.m. (winner first, loser second, both to state regionals)

Lummi Girls Shut Down Evergreen Lutheran, 40-28

They say “defense travels” and the Lady Blackhawks’ defense sure traveled all the way to Tacoma as it stymied Evergreen Lutheran, 40-28, and earned Lummi Nation its fifth trip to state and its first since 2020.

How good were the Lady Blackhawks defenders? Good enough to shut out the Eagles in the first quarter and limit them to two points in the third quarter. And this was an Evergreen Lutheran team that had only lost four games all season and was seeded ahead of Lummi Nation.

Not that it was easy. Lummi Nation only led 6-0 after the first quarter and was only ahead by four at halftime. But the Blackhawks held the Eagles to 11 points in the second half while putting up 19.

Sophomore Ailina Rabang was the big scorer for Lummi in the defensive battle with 15 points. Senior Zeta Landsem and freshman Jemma James added 6 points each, and sophomore Brianna Metteba had 5 points.

The victory raised Lummi’s record to 18-6 and avenged a 44-33 loss to Evergreen Lutheran on Dec. 8. Of course, that was before Rabang and Metteba transferred in to help the Blackhawks.

Lummi Nation 40, Evergreen Lutheran 28

Lummi Nation              6       15       10       9—40

Evergreen Lutheran      0       17         2       9—28

Lummi Nation: J. James 6, Jones, Metteba 5, Rabang 15, Pantalia 4, K. Morris 4, Landsem 6.

Evergreen Lutheran: Hintz 2, Hoffmann Werkhoven 7, Brauer 9, Pittenger 6, Rodmyre 4.


Saturday, Feb. 10

Play-in games

Lummi Nation 72, Northwest Yeshiva 15 (loser out)

Sound Christian Academy 46, Orcas Island 27 (loser out)

Darrington 53, Muckleshoot Tribal School 39 (loser out)

Grace Academy 40, Pope John Paul II 27 (loser out)

Tuesday, Feb. 13

First round

Neah Bay 78, Grace Academy 12

Lummi Nation 40, Evergreen Lutheran 28

Crosspoint 67, Darrington 12

Mount Vernon Christian 60, Sound Academy 13

Friday, Feb. 16

Consolation round

Evergreen Lutheran vs. Grace Academy, 4:30 p.m. (loser out)

Sound Christian Academy vs. Darrington, 6 p.m. (loser out)


Mount Vernon Christian vs. Crosspoint, 6 p.m.

Lummi Nation vs. Neah Bay, 6 p.m.

Saturday, Feb. 17

At Mount Vernon Christian

Consolation winners (winner fifth, to state regionals, loser out), 11:30 a.m.

Semifinal losers (winner third, loser fourth, both to state regionals), 3 p.m.

Semifinal winners (winner first, loser second, both to state regionals), 6 p.m.

Class 2A Girls District

Cooper Leads Sehome Over Anacortes, 45-38

With their season on the line, the Mariners rode their leader — Madi Cooper — and came up with a 45-38 victory over Anacortes in the loser-out contest.

With Sehome clinging to a two-point lead going into the fourth quarter, the senior point guard scored eight of her team’s 11 points and four clutch free throws in the final period as the Mariners (13-10) eliminated the Seahawks (11-12). Cooper would finish with a game-high 19 points, 15 of them in the second half, and 7 steals. 

“I was super impressed with Madi again,” said Sehome coach Kim Stensgar. “She took us on her shoulders and willed a win, both offensively and defensively.”

In the tight defensive struggle, Sehome held Anacortes to just six points in the fourth quarter to clinch the victory and keep the Mariners’ season going.

Senior Natalie Brewer added 13 points and 4 rebounds for Sehome, and senior Macie Aven had 5 points and 6 rebounds. Stensgar also praised the play of 5-foot-6 post Hazel Gaston, who returned for her senior season after tearing her ACL.

“Hazel continues to do everything she is physically capable of to keep posts that are 5 or 6 inches taller than her off the boards,” said Stensgar.

The Mariners will continue their quest to return to state when they face Burlington-Edison on Thursday at 5:30 p.m. in another loser-out contest.

Sehome 45, Anacortes 38 

Anacortes      4       16       12        6—38

Sehome         12       11       11       11—45

Anacortes: Schwabe 3, L. Davis, Nigro 5, Hunt 18, Dunham 12, Griggs, Boger. 

Sehome: Cooper 19, Aven, 5 Hart 3, Watson, Krout, Barge 2, Brewer 13, Gaston 3, Schroeder.

Squalicum Ends Historic Year With 61-31 Loss

Despite the 61-31 loss to Burlington-Edison in a loser-out game, the Storm concluded its season with a 15-9 record, which was the second-most wins in school history.

“There was lots to be proud of,” said Squalicum coach Jenalyn Brown said of the team’s season. “They raised the bar.”

The Storm never got its offense going Tuesday against the rugged Tigers, scoring in double digits in only the third quarter. By then Squalicum was down by 20 and giving all their youngsters some playoff experience.

Senior Makayla Heaton led the Storm with 10 points, and freshman Addison Kettman had 6 points and 6 rebounds in her best game of the year, but no one else managed more than four points.

While the Storm have much to look forward to with five freshmen and three sophomores on the roster, Tuesday’s loss also means saying good-bye to three seniors who have helped build the program the past four years — Heaton, Mari Binning, and Caitlyn Richardson.

Burlington-Edison (18-5) was led by junior Claire Bishop, who had 24 points.

Burlington-Edison 61, Squalicum 31 

Squalicum                     8         7       12        4—31

Burlington-Edison      15       18       19        9—61

Squalicum: Murphy-Kangas, Richardson 2, Kiesau 2, Voight, Heaton 10, Robbins 3, Thompson 4, Paz, Binning 4, Goering, Singh-Sanchez, Kettman 6.

Burlington-Edison: Howe, Ray 3, C. Holmes 14, Korthuis 2, Bishop 24, K. Smith 9, Hergesel 7, Weynands 2, M. Holmes, VanderPol, Montel, A. Smith.


Tuesday, Feb. 13

Consolation games

At Mount Vernon

Sehome 45, Anacortes 38 (loser out)

Burlington-Edison 61, Squalicum 31 (loser out)

Wednesday, Feb. 14

At Mount Vernon

Championship game

Lynden vs. Archbishop Murphy, 5:30 p.m. (winner first, to state regionals)

Thursday, Feb. 15

At Mount Vernon

Consolation game

Sehome vs. Burlington-Edison, 5:30 p.m. (loser out)

Saturday, Feb. 17

At Mount Vernon

Consolation final

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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