Win or lose, the Bellingham and Sehome girls and boys basketball teams and their fans enjoyed another spirit-filled BellingHome doubleheader Thursday night, Dec. 16.
Of course, someone had to win and lose, and it was the host Mariners who did the winning, with the Sehome girls taking home a 60-36 victory and the Sehome boys making it a sweep in the nightcap, 64-46.
For a story and lots of photos from the extra-curricular fun at BellingHome, check out Whatcom Hoops.
Sehome 60, Bellingham 36
The Mariners scored the last eight points of the first quarter and never looked back as they held the Bayhawks to single digits in each of the first three quarters and put the game away with an 18-8 third period.
“We played hard,” said Sehome coach Anye Turner, whose team raised its record to 1-3 overall and 1-2 in Northwest Conference play. “It’s nice to see some kids get their confidence and to do it in this kind of atmosphere.”
The littlest Mariner, 5-foot-4 Emmy Hart, had the biggest game sinking four 3-pointers to help the Mariners pull out to a 14-point halftime lead. She finished with a team-high 15 points on five 3-pointers.
“Tonight we played more as a team,” said the sophomore guard. “We have to remember how this feels when we are playing (the next games).”
Hart was joined in double figures by steady senior guard Maddie Schumacher, who ran the offense and scored 14 points, and sophomore Natalie Brewer, who also had 14 points and a pair of 3-pointers.
Senior guard Mazy Wright did her best to keep the Bayhawks in the game scoring 11 of the team’s 17 first-half points and finishing with a game-high 16 points and a pair of 3-pointers. Senior Kaycee French came off the bench to add 6 points, but the Bellingham offense again failed to reach 40 points.
“Our youth showed and their depth showed,” said Bellingham coach James Wolverton, whose squad fell to 2-5 overall and 1-3 in league. “Most of our kids haven’t picked up a basketball in two years. Some haven’t played (high school) basketball at all. We want them to play for the joy of playing.”
Perhaps the player most overjoyed to play Thursday was senior Ava Lunny, Sehome’s all-league wing who missed the first three games because of a concussion suffered during soccer. She wasn’t expected to play, but with 35 seconds left in the game she entered to the chants of “We want Ava!” from the Sehome crowd.
“We’ll be glad to get her back,” said Turner.
The Mariners are in action again on Tuesday when they travel to Mount Vernon. Bellingham’s next game is at home against Anacortes on Monday.
Sehome 64, Bellingham 46
The undefeated Mariners jumped to a 10-0 lead and held a 30-point lead before a late Bellingham rally cut the margin nearly in half at the end.
Unlike it’s previous games, when the Mariners got double-digit scoring from five or six players, Thursday night’s offense was centered on juniors Mathew Storms (21 points, three 3-pointers) and Grant Kepley (18 points, two 3-pointers).
The two had 19 of Sehome’s third-quarter points when the Mariners pulled away to a 53-23 lead. Another junior, Grey Garrison, added 9 points for Sehome.
“We’ve got lots of guys who can score,” said Storms. “The next game we play it’ll be someone else. We’ve got a lot of guys invested and our end goal is to bring home a (state) trophy.”
“It was fun, but it wasn’t pretty,” said Sehome coach Skyler Gillispie, whose squad is now 6-0 overall and 4-0 in NWC play. “We played good defense in the first half and we rebounded well.”
For the Bayhawks, who fell to 2-4 overall and 0-4 in league, it was a difficult challenge facing a good Sehome team on the road the night after losing a close game with Blaine.
“We’re not used to back-to-back games and you could tell we were tired,” said Bellingham coach Brad McKay. “But our guys kept fighting. It’s a rivalry game, and they never quit.”
Junior post Henry Sheldrup and sophomore forward Ian O’Roarty led Bellingham with 13 points each, and O’Roarty tossed in three 3-pointers. Junior Grayson Stone and senior Thomas Mathew added 6 points each.
The Bayhawks did score 23 points in the final period, 11 points coming on free throws, but it wasn’t enough. Bellingham is now off until Monday when the Bayhawks travel to Anacortes. Sehome’s next contest is on Wednesday at home against Mount Vernon.
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.