It was a busy day for Whatcom Hoops teams with five playing in state semifinals at the Yakima Valley SunDome on Friday, March 3, and four of them winning to earn spots in their respective state championship games.
The Nooksack Valley girls were up first and the top-ranked Pioneers punched their ticket for the Class 1A state finals for the second year in a row with a 58-46 victory over King’s in Friday’s early semifinal. All-state guard Devin Coppinger had 26 points as the Pioneers held off the Knights in the final quarter.
Nooksack Valley will face a familiar foe — Lynden Christian — which outlasted Wapato, 67-51, in the other girls semifinal. All-state guard Grace Hintz had 25 points as the Lyncs outscored the Wolves, 35-20, in the second half.
It will be the third time the two teams have played this season — with Nooksack winning the first two — and a rematch of last year’s state final, which the Lyncs won in overtime. The girls state championship game is scheduled for 3 p.m. Saturday.
The third Whatcom team to reach a state final is also familiar: the Lynden boys. The defending state champions manhandled Prosser in Friday’s semifinal, 60-42, and will play Mark Morris in the Class 2A title game at 9 p.m. Saturday.
And the Lynden Christian boys made it four for four by topping Toppenish in the Class 1A quarterfinals, 82-60, on Friday. Junior Jeremiah Wright led the Lyncs with 23 points and 10 rebounds.
Unfortunately, the Blaine boys couldn’t make it a clean Whatcom sweep on Friday as the Borderites lost to King’s, 57-38, in the tournament’s final boys game on Friday.
King’s will go on to play Lynden Christian in the 1A boys championship game at 5 p.m. It’ll be a rematch of the past two state finals with the Lyncs winning last year and the Knight winning in OT in 2020.
The Borderites aren’t done, though. They will be playing for a third-place trophy on Saturday at 1 p.m. against Toppenish.
Follow all the action by clicking on WhatcomHoops.com later tonight and Saturday for full game stories and lots of photos.
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.