They’ve won state championships, hit game-winning shots, gotten college scholarships.
But it’s doubtful the seniors who played their final high school basketball game on Friday, March 11, had more fun any time this season than they did at the Whatcom County Senior Classic at Jake Maberry Gymnasium in Lynden.
“Our coach said all he wanted was for us to have fun and see us smile,” said Mount Baker’s Taite Reardon. So, was it fun? “Ten out of 10,” said Reardon with a big smile.
For the record, the County Girls defeated the City Girls in a low-scoring affair, 50-31, and the County Boys rallied to beat the City Boys in a shootout, 109-97.
“It was a lot of fun,” said Nooksack Valley’s lone senior, Dawson Kimball. But the score … did it matter? “It’s more fun to win,” said Kimball, who helped the County notch the victory.
There were also extracurricular competitions. Lynden Christian’s Libby Stump won the girls 3-point contest, edging teammate Charley Dykstra and Blaine’s Hailey Pike in the finals. On the boys side, Lynden’s Dawson Adams used the homecourt advantage to nip Squalicum’s Kai Posey in the 3-point finals.
In the dunk contest, LC’s Andrew Hommes, Squalicum’s Leyton Smithson and Lummi Nation’s Tyran Lane put on quite the show jumping over spectators, getting alley-oops off the backboard, and doing reverse slams. In the end, Hommes got 10’s from all five judges to win the final round.
Both games followed the usual all-star script, which meant everybody had the “green light” to shoot 3-pointers, extra passes were encouraged (the fancier the better), and there were probably more dunks than fouls called, at least in the boys game.
“Everyone just wants to have fun,” said Nooksack Valley’s Ellie Van Berkum, who had a game-high 13 points for the County. “It’s really fun to play with other County girls. It’s our last hoorah.”
No one else in the girls game scored in double figures. Bellingham’s Mazy Wright led the City with 6 points, and Blaine’s Krystin Kamrath and Meridian’s Ellie DeWaard adding 5 points each.
Lynden’s Claire DeVries and Nooksack Valley’s Tehya Moore had 9 points each for the County, and Stump and Dykstra had 7 points each.
On the boys side, Hommes and Lane each had 22 points to lead their teams.
Lynden Senior Dawson Adams Three-Point Contest Winner
The Whatcom County All-Star Game Dunk Contest
Ferndale Senior Sean Morrison Hits Two 3-Pointers During The All-Star Game
[More videos at bottom of post]
Lane, who rarely gets to play against the local teams in higher classification because Lummi Nation is Whatcom County’s only Class 1B school, said there were no nerves, only excitement.
“I was looking forward to playing Lynden and Lynden Christian,” said Lane, who played on the City team. “It was a lot of fun. I wanted to score 30.”
Ferndale’s Mark Schlichting added 12 points and Smithson had 10 points for the City. After Hommes’ 22 points for the County, Lynden’s Jordan Medcalf had 20, Adams had 14, and Meridian’s Dane Beck had 11.
But the stats don’t tell half the story … or half the fun.
* Cascadia’s Daily News sports editor Hailey Palmer, who was asked to be an honorary coach in the girls game, switched from the City Team to the County Team at halftime … so as to be “impartial.” Yeah, and guess who was winning.
* The Nooksack Valley student section provided the biggest cheers for the Pioneers, holding up “fat head” portraits of their favorite players and even using their phones to hold up 10’s (and even a 12) during Kimball’s dunk competition.
* When they saw Squalicum’s Reed Richardson shooting by himself in the 3-point contest, Medcalf and Blaine’s Jaxon Kortlever jumped in unannounced and started tossing up 3s.
* To set the tone for the game in the opening minutes, Medcalf lobbed an alley-oop pass to Hommes, who slammed it down with force. So much for the Lynden-LC rivalry.
* When Mount Baker’s Davin Beason hit a three-quarter-court shot at the third-period buzzer, he was not only congratulated by his City team but by the County team.
* First Ferndale’s Jazen Guillory hit a halfcourt shot, then Hommes did his best Steph Curry imitation by sinking 3-pointers on consecutive trips down the court from the high school line, NBA range, and finally about 30 feet away.
* On the night’s best set play, Squalicum’s 5-foot-7 Kaleb Hawkinson was lifted up by the 6-2 Beason and did a two-handed slam. Take that, tall guys!
But the best moment came with two minutes remaining when Sean Morrison entered the game. The Ferndale guard was chosen for the Classic, but wasn’t expected to play because of a brain surgery he’d had last month. He wasn’t even wearing a complete uniform.
So what does he do? Make two 3-pointers much to the enjoyment of both benches.
It was the perfect way to cap a night of fun.
County Girls 50, City Girls 31
City 3 8 8 12—31
County 18 16 6 10—50
City: Mazy Wright (Bellingham) 6, Krystin Kamrath (Blaine) 5, Hailey Pike (Blaine) 2, Kadance Blankers (Meridian) 2, Ellie DeWaard (Meridian) 5, Skyleigh James (Meridian) 4, Ava Lunny (Sehome) 2, Maddie Schumacher (Sehome) 2, Taite Reardon (Mount Baker) 3.
County: Claire DeVries (Lynden) 8, Libby Stump (Lynden Christian) 7, Lexi Kaptein (Lynden Christian) 5, Charley Dykstra (Lynden Christian) 7, McKenna Wichers (Nooksack Valley) 2, Ellie Van Berkum (Nooksack Valley) 13, Tehya Moore (Nooksack Valley) 8.
County Boys 109, City Boys 97
City 32 15 28 16— 97
County 21 33 27 28—109
City: Thomas Matthew (Bellingham) 8, Jazen Guillory (Ferndale) 5, Mark Schlichting (Ferndale) 12, Luke Wells (Ferndale) 8, Tyran Lane (Lummi Nation) 22, Duncan Toby (Lummi Nation), Davin Beason (Mount Baker) 9, Draven Davis (Mount Baker) 2, Kaleb Hawkinson (Squalicum) 9, Trevor Keeley (Squalicum), Kai Posey (Squalicum) 4, Reed Richardson (Squalicum) 2, Leyton Smithson (Squalicum) 10.
County: Scott Baldwin (Blaine) 2, Avery Dohner (Blaine) 6, Jaxon Kortlever (Blaine) 5, Cole Thomas (Blaine) 2, Dawson Adams (Lynden) 14, Jordan Medcalf (Lynden) 20, Crew Bosman (Lynden Christian) 5, William Colwell (Lynden Christian) 3, Jamison Hintz (Lynden Christian) 10, Andrew Hommes (Lynden Christian) 22, Dane Beck (Meridian) 11, Daniel Short (Meridian) 3, Dawson Kimball (Nooksack Valley) 7.
EDITOR’S NOTE: Special thanks to Andrew Schlichting for permission to use his videos.