When it comes to girls basketball, the capital of Washington state is the town of Lynden.
The Lynden Christian girls basketball team knocked off invincible Cashmere and superstar Hailey Van Lith, 58-55, to win the Class 1A state championship Saturday night, March 7.
It was the nightcap of a triple-header in the Yakima SunDome involving Whatcom County teams going for state titles.
The Lynden girls started off the fun by completing their season-long mission of winning the Class 2A state championship. The Lions beat West Valley of Spokane for the second time in a week, 60-38, in the state title game.
It was the the Lynden girls’ third state championship, the others coming in 2009 and 2017.
The Lynden Christian boys gave it their all but couldn’t make it a Whatcom County sweep, falling in overtime to heavily favored King’s, 70-67, in the Class 1A state title game.
Tournament action began Saturday afternoon in Yakima for Whatcom County fans as the Lynden boys finished off a great season with a 72-58 victory over Lindbergh to take third place in the Class 2A state tournament.
Earlier, the Lummi Nation boys lost their season finale to Naselle, 70-41, to earn a fifth-place trophy at the Class 1B state tournament in the Spokane Arena.
For updated pictures and stories from games involving our Whatcom County teams, keep checking www.whatcomhoops.com.
Here’s what happened Saturday:
2A Girls: Lynden Seniors Finish With Championship
The seniors wouldn’t let it end any other way. Keylie Hershey had 22 points, including 4 of 5 3-point attempts; Liv Tjoelker had 15 points; and Ruby VanderHaak had 12 points, 4 rebounds and 4 assists.
But as Hershey said, “Defense wins championships,” and the Lions defense did that, holding the Eagles under 40 points again. Forty points in the second half guaranteed the perfect finish to a 27-1 season.
1A Boys: Lynden Christian Can’t Finish Off King’s
The Lyncs played even with the tournament favorite through most of the game, even holding a nine-point lead with two minutes to go.
But King’s hit a 3-pointer with 10 seconds left in regulation to send it to overtime, and then outscored the Lyncs 11-8 in OT to pull out the victory, and leave the Lyncs to take the second-place trophy.
“We agreed in the locker room before the game to give everything we had, and that’s all you can ask of kids,” said Lynden Christian coach Roger DeBoer. “I am super proud of them.”
1A Girls: LC Beats Cashmere, Van Lith For Title
The Lyncs proved once again that great teams can beat great players as they rallied from eight points down to knock off previously undefeated Cashmere and win the 13th state title in Lynden Christian’s storied history and the third in five years.
The second-ranked Lyncs finished the season 27-1. Libby Stump led the balanced LC attack with 12 points, and Riley Dykstra and Emily Mellema had 10 points each. Van Lith finished with 27 points and 0 state championships.
2A Boys: Lynden Wins Emotional Game To Take Third
The top-seeded Lions bounced back from Friday’s disappointing loss in the semifinals to win an emotional game over Lindbergh and complete a 24-3 season with a third-place trophy.
Liam Hanenburg led the Lions with 25 points 14 rebounds, and a couple of chipped teeth. Brock Heppner, one of five seniors who played their last game for Lynden, finished with 13 points and 12 rebounds.
1B Boys: Lummi Nation Settles For Fifth Place
The third-seeded Blackhawks couldn’t bounce back from their disappointing one-point loss Friday and fell to Naselle in the consolation finals.
Caleb Revey finished off his outstanding career with 16 points, 6 rebounds and 5 steals. Tyran Lane added 8 points and Duncan Toby had 7, but Lummi Nation was down by 17 at the half and never got closer.
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.