Blaine and Nooksack Valley remained unbeaten with two more victories each this week, and Meridian finally opened its season with a pair of impressive wins as the Northwest Conference teams prepare to begin league play this week.
GAME OF THE WEEK: Ferndale was down by six going into the fourth quarter Monday, but a 33-7 final period gave the Golden Eagles their first victory of the season, a 71-54 triumph at Arlington. Jazen Guillory had 15 of his 25 points in the final period, and Jesse Sapp had four of Ferndale’s nine 3-pointers.
PLAYERS OF THE WEEK: Jackson Short had 24 points and 9 rebounds as Meridian opened its season with a victory over a tough Lummi Nation squad. … Ben Arps led Blaine to a pair of wins with two outstanding defensive efforts. … Jazen Guillory had 49 points in Ferndale’s two victories. … Colm Schaefer had 19 points in Bellingham’s lone contest this week. … Cody Coppinger led a balanced Nooksack Valley attack with 18 points on Friday and 15 on Saturday.
HIGHLIGHTS OF THE WEEK: Blaine blasted Oak Harbor, 84-53, on Tuesday and Bellingham, 95-66, on Friday to get off to a 4-0 start this season, its best in more than a decade. Josh Russ had 23 and 21 points in the two games, Zane Rector had 18 on Tuesday, and Kyle Turnberg had a team-high 22 on Friday.
Nooksack Valley had little trouble with its non-league schedule, going 4-0, all at home and by an average margin of 30 points. On Friday, the Pioneers put on the defensive screws to Friday Harbor, 58-19. On Saturday, they started slow before using a 26-2 second quarter to best La Conner, 81-47. Cole Eldridge and Zach Johnson each had 24 points for the two games.
Meridian started its season late, but didn’t waste any time getting in mid-season form with two impressive victories. The Trojans opened with a 68-55 victory over a talented Lummi Nation squad on Thursday and then had all 11 players score in a 60-11 win over La Conner. Jordan Veenstra had 15 points in Thursday’s win and a team-high 11 points on Friday as the Trojans held the Braves to six points over the final three quarters.
Mount Baker dropped a back-and-forth contest with Sehome on Tuesday, 54-50, and on Friday had a cold second half as the Mounties fell to 4A Mount Vernon, 58-36, despite the 11 points of Braedan Hart. Note: Mount Baker’s game with Sierra Summit of Seattle, which was scheduled for last Thursday, was postponed and is being rescheduled.
Ferndale evened its record with late rallies to notch two road victories. Freshman guard Isaiah Carlson had 13 of his 15 points in the final period as the Golden Eagles came alive in the fourth quarter to knock off Arlington on Monday. Guillory hit his season average of 24 points, and Ferndale held Everett to 18 second-half points to pull away for a 60-42 victory on Friday.
Bellingham had its highest scoring output of the young season Friday against Blaine, but it wasn’t enough as the Red Raiders fell in their non-league contest. Jackson Morrow had 10 points for Bellingham, which dropped its third straight contest after a season-opening victory.
Lummi Nation had the county’s busiest week winning three of four games on four straight nights. On Tuesday, the Blackhawks beat Mount Vernon Christian, 72-54, and followed that with a Northwest 1B League victory over Shoreline Christian, 82-35, on Wednesday. On Thursday, the Blackhawks rallied several times against Meridian, but came up short despite the 14 points of Tyran Lane and 13 of Caleb Revey. Revey added 17, William Hetland had 12, and Lane 11 as the Blackhawks notched a big victory against league rival Tulalip Heritage, 77-34, on Friday.
Lynden bounced back from a season-opening loss to 3A Gig Harbor by putting away Tamanawis of Surrey, B.C., 81-30, on Tuesday, and then taking on the big boys of 4A Eastlake and winning on the road on Saturday, 46-42.
Sehome got into the win column by holding off Mount Baker, 54-50, in a non-league contest on Tuesday. The Mariners couldn’t add to their winning streak, however, falling to 3A Marysville-Getchell, 63-40, on Friday.
Squalicum took the week off and opens NWC play on Monday at Blaine and then hosts Ferndale for a 3A matchup on Thursday.
Week 2 Standings
NORTHWEST 1B LEAGUE
|Cedar Park Christian (MLT)||2||0||3||1|
TOP GAME: Lynden Christian opens its season Monday and the defending NWC champion Lyncs will jump right in the frying pan as they travel to undefeated Burlington-Edison.
Monday, Dec. 16: Anacortes at Bellingham, Lynden Christian at Burlington-Edison, Squalicum at Blaine, Tamanawis (B.C.) at Ferndale
Tuesday, Dec. 17: Lynden at Mount Baker, Lakewood at Meridian, Sehome at Sedro-Woolley, Nooksack Valley at Ferndale, Orcas Christian at Lummi Nation
Wednesday, Dec 18: Lynden Christian at Seattle Christian
Thursday, Dec. 19: Sedro-Woolley at Lynden, Meridian at Anacortes, Ferndale at Squalicum, Lummi Nation at Providence Christian
Friday, Dec. 20: Blaine at Lynden Christian, Mount Baker at Nooksack Valley, Sehome at Bellingham
Saturday, Dec. 21: Nooksack Valley at Coupeville, Lynden Christian at Cedar Park Christian (Bothell), Meridian at Granite Falls, Bellingham at Oak Harbor, Lummi Nation at Cedar Park Christian (Mountlake Terrace)
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.