And then there were just two.
With five Whatcom County aiming for state championships at the Class 1A and 2A boys and girls state tournaments in Yakima, only two can accomplish their dream after Thursday’s quarterfinal round.
It was an especially tough night for the county as two top-seeds — the Lynden Christian boys and Lynden girls — lost, joining the Meridian girls in consolation play on Friday.
But two defending state champions — the Lynden Christian girls and Lynden boys — won in impressive fashion Thursday to move into Friday’s semifinals.
For updated pictures and stories from games involving our Whatcom County teams, keep checking www.whatcomhoops.com.
Here’s what happened Thursday:
1A Boys: King’s Hands Lynden Christian First Loss
The defending state champion Lyncs (24-1) couldn’t keep up with tall and hot-shooting King’s Knights and lost, 73-50, ending their undefeated streak and their hopes of a second straight title.
Sophomore guard Jaden DeBoer came off the bench to score 15 and senior guard Luke Bos had 11, but all-state guard Cole Bajema was held to just four points by the 10th-seeded King’s Knights (21-5).
NEXT UP: The Lyncs will play a loser-out game Friday at 12:15 p.m. against Seattle Academy, which lost to King’s Way Christian on Thursday. The winner of that game will play Saturday for fourth place.
2A Girls: Lynden Can’t Keep Up With East Valley (Spokane)
The top-seeded Lions (21-4) couldn’t hold a 10-point first-half lead and were eventually worn down by the bigger Knights of East Valley (Spokane), 52-42, in Thursday’s late quarterfinal.
Keylie Hershey had a game-high 21 points and Ruby VanderHaak added 10 but no other Lion could manage more than three points against the second-seeded Knights (21-4).
NEXT UP: The Lions play a loser-out game Friday at 12:15 p.m. against Port Angeles, which lost to White River, 60-55, on Thursday. The winner of the Lynden-Port Angeles game will play for fourth and sixth on Saturday.
1A Girls: Cold-Shooting Dooms Meridian Against Medical Lake
Meridian had its worst offensive game of the season at the wrong time and became the first Whatcom County team to lose Thursday, 41-33, to Medical Lake.
The seventh-seeded Trojans (19-6) fell behind early and despite a furious comeback in the final minutes, fell to ninth-seeded Cardinals. Junior center Jolee Sipma led Meridian with 12 points.
NEXT UP: The Trojans missed an opportunity to play rival Lynden Christian in the semifinals, and will have to settle for a loser-out game Friday at 10:30 a.m. against Elma, which lost to the Lyncs on Thursday. If they win Friday morning, the Trojans will earn a trophy.
1A Girls: Lynden Christian Guns Down Elma Eagles
The Lyncs came out ready to defend their state championship with a dominating 55-25 victory over Elma on Thursday afternoon.
Senior wing Isabella Hernandez and junior guard Riley Dykstra led the third-seeded Lyncs (22-3) with 16 and nine points, respectively, as 10 different Lyncs scored against the fifth-seeded Eagles.
NEXT UP: The Lyncs are in the semifinals Friday at 5:30 p.m. against the Medical Lake, which beat Meridian on Thursday.
2A Boys: Lynden Rallies To Top Columbia River
The Lynden boys were the first of five Whatcom County teams to tip off Thursday morning and they started things off with a 52-40 victory over second-seeded Columbia River.
The top-ranked Lions (24-1) were led by the 22 points of Clayton Whitman and the 14 points of Christian Zamora. The Lions took a big 18-4 lead in the first quarter, but had to rally after being behind, 22-20 at half.
NEXT UP: The Lions are in the semifinals Friday at 3:45 p.m. against Pullman, which beat Clarkston in overtime Thursday.
(Full schedule and bracket at nwcathletics.com)
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.