The hot stayed hot as Lynden Christian, Sehome and Lynden remained unbeaten with dominating victories this past week and the three sit atop the Northwest Conference standings with Lakewood and Mount Vernon.
Toss in Lummi Nation, which is on a four-game winning streak, and Whatcom County can boast of some of the top teams in the 2A, 1A and 1B classifications.
For a look back at Week 3 for our county girls team, check out Whatcom Hoops girls recap.
Here are the boys highlights from Week 3.
GAME OF THE WEEK
In a week with more blowouts than thrillers, Squalicum earned its first win of the season on Monday, coming out on top of a rollercoaster contest with Sedro-Woolley, 59-55. The Storm took a 6-0 lead, fell behind the rest of the first half, used a 15-6 run to go up by 10 in the third quarter, and then withstood a Cubs’ fourth-quarter comeback. “We just stuck to our game plan, and we didn’t panic,” said Squalicum coach Tyler Hannigan.
PLAYERS OF THE WEEK
Bellingham sophomore Ian O’Roarty had a career-high 26 points on Wednesday. … Senior Jordan Medcalf had 26 points in Lynden’s win Saturday, and sophomore Anthony Canales had 21 points for the Lions in Tuesday’s victory. … Blaine senior Scott Baldwin and junior Carson Lehnert finished with 25 and 18 points, respectively, and combined for five 3-pointers on Wednesday. Senior Cole Thomas led Blaine with 18 points on Thursday. … Juniors Mathew Storms and Grant Kepley had 21 and 18 points, respectively, and combined for five 3-pointers in Sehome’s win Thursday, and Kepley had 20 points to lead the Mariners on Tuesday. … Freshman Brady Ackerman led Nooksack Valley in scoring in both games last week, tossing in 20 points in Monday’s contest. … Junior Tyler Sipma had 18 points in Lynden Christian’s win on Wednesday. … Lummi Nation senior Tyran Lane had 18 points, 12 rebounds, 4 blocks and 4 steals against Lopez Island.
HIGHLIGHTS OF THE WEEK
Lummi Nation (4-1 overall, 2-0 in Northwest 1B League) had the busiest week, beating Lopez Island on Monday, 68-21; Concrete on Wednesday, 65-12; Grace Academy on Thursday, 67-37; and Muckleshoot Tribal on Saturday, 69-48. On Monday, in addition to Lane’s big game, senior Duncan Toby had 11 points, 6 steals and 3 assists; freshman Tony Abrams had 13 points and 8 rebounds; sophomore Tobias Francis had 9 points and 4 assists; and sophomore Mathis Johnson had 8 points. Lane and Abrams had 16 points each to lead the Blackhawks against Concrete with Abrams adding 9 rebounds, junior Richard Wilson collecting 13 points, 5 5ebounds, 5 steals and 4 assists; and junior Payton Brockie adding 11 points and 5 rebounds. Against Grace Academy, Lane had another monster game with 16 points and 9 rebounds, Johnson had 13 points and 3 blocks, Francis had four 3-pointers and 12 points, Abrams had 7 rebounds, and sophomore Desmond Bailey had 7 points in his first action this season.
Lynden beat Mount Baker on Tuesday, 70-44; Meridian on Thursday, 73-39; and Class 4A Eastlake on Saturday, 70-52. Canales led the Lions against the Mounties with 21 points, and Medcalf had three 3s and 17 points. Against the Trojans, the Lions raced out to a 24-2 lead and never let up. Canalas again led the Lynden attack with 16 points. In the non-league victory Saturday, Medcalf had 26 points and junior Kobe Baar came off the bench to chip in 13 points as the quick-handed Lions forced 16 turnovers while committing only three.
Sehome stayed unbeaten by defeating Burlington-Edison on Tuesday, 80-63, and city rival Bellingham on Thursday, 64-46. The Mariners jumped out to a 24-7 first-quarter lead and never let up in stunning the Tigers. Kepley led a balanced attack with 20 points and was followed by fellow juniors Storms, Grey Garrison and Dane Dominguez with 13 points each and senior Gavin Ortega with 9 as the Mariners sank 10 3-pointers. Against Bellingham, the Mariners jumped to a 10-0 lead and eventually stretched it to a 30-point margin to start the fourth quarter. In addition to the big games from Storms and Kepley, Garrison added 9 points for the Mariners.
Lynden Christian topped Oak Harbor on Wednesday, 75-52, and beat Enumclaw in a non-league game on Saturday, 74-42. The Lyncs also had Friday’s game with Nooksack Valley canceled because of COVID precautions. Sipma led the Lyncs over the Wildcats with 18 points, fellow junior Griffin Dykstra had 17 points and three 3s, senior Andrew Hommes aded 14 points, and senior William Colwell had 9 points. Against Enumclaw, the Lyncs jumped to a 23-4 lead and never let the Hornets within stinging distance. Sipma and senior Jamison Hintz had 14 points each with Hintz hitting four 3-pointers, Hommes added 13 points and a trio of 3s, and senior Crew Bosman and sophomore Jeremiah Wright added 12 points each.
Squalicum won its home opener against Sedro-Woolley on Monday, 59-55, and followed that up with a 64-26 victory over short-handed Mount Baker on Thursday. Against the Cubs, the Storm rallied in the second half with seniors Kai Posey and Trevor Keeley collecting 14 and 12 points, respectively. Keeley and senior Kaleb Hawkinson led a staunch Storm defense that held Mount Baker to nine first-half points on Thursday. Once Squalicum’s 3s started falling the Storm expanded on its 19-point halftime lead. Posey had 16 points and 7 rebounds, junior Ashton Englehart had half of Squalicum’s six 3-pointers for 9 points, junior Xander Sledge had 8 points, and Hawkinson had 7 points, 6 assists and 5 steals.
Blaine beat Bellingham on Wednesday, 78-68, and lost to Mount Vernon on Thursday, 52-45. Against the Bayhawks, the Borderites had their highest point total of the season. Besides big games from Baldwin and Lehnert, Thomas added 16 points and senior Avery Dohner and junior Lucas Smith had 8 points each as the Borderites sank 22 of 28 free throws to ice the win. Thomas was the only Borderite in double figures with 18 points against the Bulldogs, and Lehnert added 9 points.
Mount Baker had several players out with non-COVID flu and lost to Lynden on Tuesday, 72-44, and to Squalicum on Thursday, 64-26. Junior Kaeden Hill, a JV player who was moved up to help the short-handed varsity, led the team on Tuesday with 13 points, and senior Davin Beason had 11 points. Against the Storm, another JV player, Tavian Powell, had 8 points, and fellow junior Landon Smith had 6 points and a team-high 8 rebounds.
Nooksack Valley lost to Lakewood on Monday, 63-49, and to Lake Stevens on Wednesday, 70-49, and had its Friday game with Lynden Christian canceled because of COVID precautions. Ackerman’s 20 points led the Pioneers on Monday and junior Bennett DeLange added 9 points against the Cougars. On Wednesday, Ackerman again led the Pioneers with 10 points, and senior Dawson Kimball and sophomore Wayne Silves had 8 points each, with Silves dropping in a pair of 3s. The Pioneers’ games next week against Archbishop Murphy on Monday and Sedro-Woolley on Wednesday also have been canceled, and makeup dates have yet to be determined.
Bellingham lost to Blaine on Wednesday, 78-68, and fell to city rival Sehome on Thursday, 64-46. On Wednesday, the Bayhawks had a 40-point second half but couldn’t catch the Borderites despite O’Roarty’s 26 points, junior Henry Sheldrup’s 16, and senior Thomas Mathews’ 12. In the big BellingHome doubleheader, the Bayhawks put up a 23-point fourth quarter against the Mariners but it wasn’t enough to overcome a cold start. Sheldrup and O’Roarty had 13 points each with O’Roarty tossing in a pair of 3-pointers.
Meridian lost to Mount Vernon on Tuesday, 62-44, and to Lynden on Thursday, 73-39. The Trojans came out cold against the Bulldogs and never recovered despite the 14 points of junior Hunter Jones and 11 points and two 3-pointers of senior Daniel Short.
Ferndale lost to Anacortes on Monday, 64-51; to Lakewood on Thursday, 62-58; and to Lake Stevens in overtime on Saturday, 72-69. Against the Seahawks, the Golden Eagles were ice cold in the first half, scoring only 12 points before making a game of it. Senior Mark Schlichting had four 3-pointers for 12 points, senior Luke Wells had 10 points, and senior Jesse Sapp and junior Damien Toney had 8 each. Against Lakewood, Ferndale came back in the second half but again came up short. Wells had a pair of 3s and 16 points, 14 of them in the second-half comeback; senior Sean Morrison had 13 points; and senior Jazen Guillory added 12. In the non-league contest with Lake Stevens, the Golden Eagles rallied from a double-digit deficit to tie the game at 65-65 and send it to overtime but could only manage four points in OT. Morrison led Ferndale with 15 points, Sapp and Guillory had 12 each, and Wells had 11 with three 3-pointers.
It’s a short week because of the holidays, so Whatcom Hoops wishes everyone a blessed Christmas with your loved ones. In two contests featuring teams unbeaten in league play against squads seeking to break into the top tier of the Northwest Conference, Lynden is at Blaine on Monday and Ferndale is at Lynden Christian on Tuesday.
Monday, Dec. 20: Bellingham at Anacortes, Lynden at Blaine, Oak Harbor at Mount Baker, Orcas Island at Lummi
Tuesday, Dec. 21: Ferndale at Lynden Christian, Squalicum at Meridian, Mount Vernon at Sehome
Wednesday, Dec. 22: Mariner at Lynden
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.