The Northwest Conference and Northwest 1B League wrapped up their regular seasons with new champions — Anacortes and Grace Academy, respectively — and now 10 of our 11 Whatcom teams will be heading into the playoffs with new hopes.
Lummi Nation was the first of the 10 to see postseason action as the Blackhawks won their district opener on Saturday.
All five Class 1A squads automatically advance to the District 1 tournament with Nooksack Valley hosting Mount Baker in a loser-out game on Monday. The winner will move on to the double-elimination portion with the semifinals on Wednesday.
For a preview of all the district tournaments involving our boys and girls teams, check out Whatcom Hoops district previews.
The four Class 2A teams also are guaranteed district spots. Bellingham is at Archbishop Murphy and Squalicum hosts Sedro-Woolley on Thursday in play-in games with the winners taking on Anacortes and Lynden, respectively, in the quarterfinals. In another quarterfinal, Sehome hosts Burlington-Edison.
In the Class 3A ranks, Ferndale missed out on the playoffs and had its season end last week.
For a look back at Week 10 for our Whatcom girls teams, check out Whatcom Hoops girls recap.
Here are the boys highlights from Week 10.
COACHES OF THE WEEK
Congratulations to two of our coaches for being honored and reaching milestones.
Tim Zylstra was named the 2021-22 National Federation of High School Associations Section 8 boys basketball coach of the year after leading Lynden Christian to the Class 1A state championship last March. Section 8 includes Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming.
Brian Roper became the winningest coach in Lynden High School history on Tuesday with his 522nd victory, a 69-32 win over Ferndale. Roper, whose Lions have won five Class 2A state titles, passed the legendary Jake Maberry (yes, the same Jake who the Lynden High School gym is named after).
GAME OF THE WEEK
A great regular season wrapped up with a great game as Lynden Christian went into the Jake and knocked off Lynden, 55-52, in a matchup of defending state champions. Both teams showed their heart as the Lions battled back from a 17-point deficit to finally take the lead with 1:30 to go, but LC senior Tyler Sipma hit a huge 3-pointer and another field goal and the Lyncs withstood two last-ditch Lynden shots in the final seconds to keep the Lions from claiming the Northwest Conference title.
PLAYERS OF THE WEEK
Sehome’s Grey Garrison had 27 points on Tuesday and 20 on Friday, and fellow senior Grant Kepley had 21 points on Friday. … Lummi Nation senior Richard Wilson had 24 points on Monday and 18 on Saturday. … Blaine senior Lucas Smith had 18 points on Tuesday and 23 on Thursday, and senior Carson Lehnert added 19 points on Thursday. … Lynden junior Anthony Canales had 17 points on Tuesday and 20 points on Saturday. … Senior Ashton Engelhart had 19 points for Squalicum on Wednesday. … Bellingham sophomore Harmon Wienkers had 18 points on Tuesday. … Lynden Christian’s Jeremiah Wright had 17 points on Wednesday, and fellow junior Dawson Bouma had 16 points on Saturday. … Mount Baker senior Tavian Powell had 15 points on Wednesday and repeated that with 15 on Thursday. … Meridian sophomore Jaeger Fyfe had 15 points on Monday. … Nooksack Valley junior Wayne Silves had 15 points on Wednesday.
HIGHLIGHTS OF THE WEEK
LUMMI NATION wrapped up its regular season and a second-place league finish with a dominating 67-48 victory over Tulalip Heritage on Monday and then won its Class 1B District 1 tournament opener on Saturday by beating Lopez, 66-25. On Monday’s Senior Night, seniors led the way with Wilson collecting 24 points, Payton Scott scoring 10, and Peyton Brockie adding 8. Freshman Jerome Toby tossed in 13 points as the Blackhawks outscored their rivals, 43-22, in the middle two quarters. On Saturday, the Blackhawks’ defense was too much as Lummi Nation easily advanced into Tuesday’s district semifinals against Orcas Island and earned a guaranteed spot in the tri-district tourney. Wilson had 18 points and two 3-pointers, senior Desmond Bailey had 13 points, and junior Mathias Johnson had 10 points as nine different Blackhawks got in the scoring column.
LYNDEN CHRISTIAN defeated Squalicum on Wednesday, 60-48, and Lynden on Saturday, 55-52. On Wednesday, the Lyncs broke open a close game with a 21-point fourth quarter. Wright had 10 of his 17 in the fourth period and collected 11 rebounds, Sipma had 14 points and a pair of 3-pointers, Bouma had 11 points, and Griffin Dykstra added 8 points and 7 rebounds. In Saturday’s thrilling victory over Lynden, Bouma had three 3-pointers and 11 of his team-high 16 points in the first quarter as the Lyncs jumped to a 20-4 lead. After the Lions’ comeback, Sipma had five of his 12 points in the final 1:30 to give LC the win. He also had 7 rebounds and 4 assists. Wright had 10 points and 8 rebounds, Dykstra added 9 points, and Lane Dykstra had 8 rebounds and 4 assists.
SEHOME beat Blaine on Tuesday, 65-49, and Nooksack Valley on Friday, 63-48. On Tuesday, the Mariners rallied from a four-point halftime deficit by outscoring the Borderites, 33-13, in the second half. Garrison’s 27 points led the Mariners with Kepley notching 14 points and senior Mat Storms adding 12. On Friday, the seniors shined on Seniors Night as all 10 got into the game for the Mariners. Kepley had nine points as Sehome jumped to a 16-4 first-quarter lead and finished with 21 points and three 3s. Garrison had 20 points, senior Isaac Lawrence had 9 points on three 3-pointers, and freshman Nolan Wright added 9 points with a pair of 3s.
BLAINE lost to Sehome on Tuesday, 65-49, and beat Ferndale on Thursday, 70-52. After scoring 36 points and hitting seven 3-pointers in the first half on Tuesday, the Borderites were held to 13 points and one 3 in the second half and couldn’t hold off the Mariners. Smith had 18 points and four 3-pointers, senior Matt Russ had 11 points, and Lehnert had 10 points. On Thursday, the Borderites used a 24-point second-quarter to run up a double-digit lead they wouldn’t relinquish. Lucas hit four 3s among his 23 points, Lehnert had five 3s among his 19, and Russ added 10 points.
LYNDEN knocked off Ferndale on Tuesday, 69-32, and lost to Lynden Christian on Saturday, 55-52. On Tuesday, the Lions jumped out to an early lead and hit eight 3-pointers while keeping Ferndale from making any, and cruised to the big victory. Eleven different Lions scored with Canales having 17 points, sophomore Brant Heppner 14 points, and junior Weston VanDalen 8 points with the three sinking two 3s each. Senior Cameron Petersen led the Lions with 5 rebounds, and Parcher had 4 assists. On Saturday, the Lions eventually dug themselves out of a 17-point hole to take a one-point lead with two minutes left, but were outscored 5-1 in the final 90 seconds and lost to their city rivals. Canales had a game-high 20 points and 5 rebounds, senior Kobe Baar had 13 points, and Parcher had 11 points, 9 rebounds, and 7 assists.
SQUALICUM lost to Lynden Christian on Wednesday, 60-48, and defeated Meridian on Friday, 41-35. On Wednesday, the Storm played LC even for three quarters but gave up 21 points in the fourth quarter to fall to the defending state champs. Senior Ashton Engelhart had 19 points, hitting 5 of 10 from the 3-point line. Senior Xander Sledge added 11 points, three more 3s, and 6 rebounds. Junior Peter Albert had 6 rebounds and 3 blocks, and seniors Jake Donnelly and Kyle Heaton had 4 assists each. On Friday, the Storm only scored 16 points in the first half, but managed to hold off the Trojans thanks to five 3-pointers in the second half. Engelhart had a team-high 13 points with two of his four 3-pointers coming in the fourth period, and Albert pulled down 11 rebounds.
BELLINGHAM lost to Burlington-Edison on Tuesday, 72-56, and to Mount Vernon on Saturday, 82-59. On Tuesday, the Bayhawks battled the Tigers evenly through most of the contest despite having leading scorer Wyatt Stephan out all week with illness. Wienkers continued his outstanding play with six 3-pointers to lead Bellingham with 18 points, and junior Joshua Toll added 12 points. On Saturday, the Bayhawks couldn’t keep up with the high-scoring Bulldogs. Wienkers had 10 points to lead Bellingham; senior Grayson Stone and sophomores Gabriel Van Hofwegen and Kincaide Vanhouten had 8 points each; and Wienkers and VanHofwegen had two 3-pointers each.
FERNDALE fell to Lynden on Tuesday, 69-32, and to Blaine on Thursday, 70-52. On Tuesday, the Golden Eagles couldn’t breech the Lynden defense, managing only 20 points through three quarters. Freshman Mantaj Singh had 8 points to lead Ferndale. On Thursday, the Golden Eagles played Blaine even in the second half but couldn’t overcome a cold 22-point first half. Senior Mathias Johnson had a team-high 13 points and two 3-pointers, senior Lucas Mills had 11 points and three 3s, and senior Damien Toney added 8 points.
MERIDIAN lost to Lakewood on Monday, 63-56, and to Squalicum on Friday, 41-35. On Monday, after a 23-point first quarter, the Trojans’ offense slowed down and was held to just 22 points in the second half. Fyfe had 15 points, senior Hunter Jones and junior Taran Burks had 11 points each, and sophomore Talon Jenkins had 8 points with Burks hitting three 3-pointers and Jenkins hitting two. In Friday’s defensive struggle, the Trojans couldn’t quite catch the Storm. Fyfe had 9 points and Jones had 8, and the two had 9 rebounds each.
NOOKSACK VALLEY lost to Anacortes on Wednesday, 67-46, and to Sehome on Friday, 63-48. On Wednesday, the Pioneers’ rallied from a 22-point halftime deficit to cut the margin to 10 going into the fourth quarter but couldn’t stop the Seahawks from pulling away. Silves had three 3-pointers among his team-high 15 points, sophomore Caden Heutink had 13 points, and senior Bennett DeLange added 9 points. On Friday, a four-point first quarter left the Pioneers in a hole they couldn’t climb out of against the Sehome defense. Sophomore Brady Ackerman led Nooksack Valley with 10 points, junior Joey Brown had 9 points on three 3s, DeLange had 9 points, and sophomore Colton Lentz had 8 points.
MOUNT BAKER lost to Oak Harbor on Monday, 77-55; to Mount Vernon on Wednesday, 94-38; and to Lakewood on Thursday, 101-63. On Monday, the Mounties fell into a 20-point first-quarter hole and despite playing the Wildcats even the rest of the way never could make up the difference. Senior Ethan Larson led Mount Baker with 14 points, and sophomore Luke Smith tossed in 10 points. On Wednesday, Powell had 15 points and three 3-pointers but was the only Mountie who scored more than six points. On Thursday, Powell again led the Mounties with 15 points and a pair of 3s, and Larson had 11 points.
NORTHWEST CONFERENCE (final standings)
NORTHWEST 1B LEAGUE (final standings)
|Providence Classical Christian||2||11||2||13|
|Cedar Park Christian (Lynnwood)||2||12||2||15|