In a week marred by COVID cancellations, there was a shakeup at the top of the Northwest Conference standings as Lynden and Sehome suffered their first league losses of the season and Lynden Christian escaped an upset bid.
Besides the 7-0 Lyncs, the hottest boys teams in Whatcom County are Lummi Nation, which won its fifth straight game, and Squalicum, which has a four-game winning streak.
For a look back at Week 4 for our county girls team, check out Whatcom Hoops girls recap.
Here are the boys highlights from Week 4.
GAME OF THE WEEK
The Blaine-Lynden contest on Monday was a good game with rollercoaster, back-and-forth excitement. But what made it extra special was its historic significance as the Borderites defeated the Lions for the first time in 29 years, 46-41. Four Blaine seniors sank seven free throws in the last 75 seconds to hold off a final Lynden comeback. “It’s just a league win, but it’s a big deal for these life-long Borderite fans,” said Blaine coach Brett Farrar.
For the game story and photos, check out Blaine shocks Lynden.
PLAYERS OF THE WEEK
Junior Grant Kepley had 24 points and senior Gavin Ortega had 17 for Sehome on Wednesday. … Ferndale’s Mark Schlichting had 18 points and fellow senior Jesse Sapp had 15 points on Tuesday. …Senior Crew Bosman led Lynden Christian with 15 points in Tuesday’s win. … Sophomore Jesse Harward had 15 points in Mount Baker’s only game. … Lynden sophomore Anthony Canales had 15 points and 7 rebounds on Monday and followed that with a 25-point night on Wednesday. Senior teammates Jordan Medcalf and Dawson Adams added 16 and 15 points, respectively, for the Lions on Wednesday.
HIGHLIGHTS OF THE WEEK
Squalicum stretched its winning streak to four games by defeating Meridian on Tuesday, 66-48, and Class 4A South Kitsap on Wednesday, 57-47. At Meridian, the Storm broke open a tight game in the fourth quarter with a 15-0 run that included four 3-pointers, two of them back-to-back from senior Kaleb Hawkinson. Senior Kai Posey and sophomore Peter Albert led the Storm with 13 points each, and senior Reed Richardson had 10 points. Posey added 6 rebounds, and Hawkinson had 7 assists in addition to his 8 points. In the non-league road victory over the Wolves, Senior Trevor Keeley and Richardson had 13 points each, Posey added 12 and Albert had 10 points. Albert pulled down 8 rebounds, Kelley had 7, and Richardson 6, and Hawkinson added 7 assists. The highlight of the night was junior Dylan Jacobs’s buzzer beater from beyond halfcourt to end the third period.
Blaine defeated Lynden in historic fashion on Monday, 46-41. The Borderites beat the Lions for the first time since 1993 by holding Lynden to 30 points below its season average. Senior Cole Thomas led Blaine with 10 points, senior Avery Dohner hit a pair of big 3-pointers and had 8 points, senior Scott Baldwin also had 8 points, and junior Carson Lenhert had 7, including two more 3-pointers.
Lynden Christian got a big test Tuesday night when the Lyncs stayed unbeaten with a 73-65 victory over Ferndale. Bosman not only led the Lyncs in scoring but hit a big 3-pointer with 30 seconds left to hold off the Golden Eagles. Four other Lyncs were in double figures — senior Andrew Hommes (13 points), junior Tyler Sipma (12), junior Griffin Dykstra (10), and sophomore Jeremiah Wright (10).
Lynden lost for the first time this season when a cold-shooting night turned into a 46-41 loss to Blaine on Monday, but the Lions bounced back with a 73-61 victory over Mariner on Wednesday. Against the Borderites, Canales was the only Lion in double figures. Medcalf had 8 points and junior Kobe Baar came off the bench to score 7. On Wednesday, the Lynden defense held Mariner to three free throws in the second period to go up by 17 at the half and cruise to the non-league win.
Ferndale lost another close one to a good team when the Golden Eagles fell to Lynden Christian in the final seconds, 73-65, on Tuesday. Schlichting’s had four 3-pointers good for 18 points, Sapp had 15 points, senior Jazen Guillory had 10, and senior Sean Morrison, playing his last game before having brain surgery on Tuesday, had 9 points.
Sehome lost for the first time this season when the Mariners came up short against Mount Vernon on Wednesday, 70-59. Kepley and Ortega had big games and junior Mathew Storms scored 12 points, including Sehome’s only two 3-pointers, but the Mariners had their second-lowest point total of the season while giving up the most points.
Meridian lost its only game of the week to Squalicum on Tuesday, 66-48. The Trojans kept it close through three quarters but only managing seven points in a cold fourth period. Senior Daniel Short and junior Hunter Jones had 14 and 11 points, respectively, and seniors Bryce Johnson and Owen Hughes led Meridian with 7 rebounds each with Hughes adding 4 assists.
Mount Baker dropped its only game of the week to Oak Harbor on Monday, 57-52. The Mounties, who still had players out with the non-COVID flu, rallied in the fourth quarter, outscoring the Wildcats, 14-9, but couldn’t make up the difference. Harward again led Mount Baker with 15 points, including six in the final period, seniors Draven Davis and Davin Beason had 8 points each, and senior Caleb Horsmon had 7 points.
Lummi Nation (5-1 overall, 3-0 in Northwest 1B League) Orcas Island on Monday, 77-32.
Nooksack Valley had its game with Sedro-Woolley on Wednesday canceled because of COVID restrictions. No makeup date has been scheduled.
Bellingham had its only game canceled on Monday when Anacortes was forced to deal with a COVID outbreak. The Bayhawks also had their Dec. 28 game with Cascade (Everett) at the Snohomish holiday tournament canceled, although they are still scheduled to face host Snohomish on Wednesday, Dec. 29, at 9 p.m. Neither of the canceled games have been rescheduled.
Sehome is in the midst of a brutal stretch of games, but its non-league contest at North Kitsap on Monday may be its toughest. The Mariners will find out where they stand against the best of the Class 2A squads in the state when they take on the reigning 2020 state champs who are again loaded and state favorites.
Monday, Dec. 27: Sehome at North Kitsap, Cedarcrest at Squalicum
Tuesday, Dec. 28: Sehome at Marysville-Getchell, Ferndale at Meadowdale, Blaine Holiday Classic (Lynden Christian vs. Stanwood, Blaine vs. University Prep, Mount Baker vs. The Northwest School), Sun Dome Shootout (Lynden vs. Ellensburg, Meridian vs. King’s Way Christian)
Wednesday, Dec. 29: Bellingham at Snohomish, Eastlake at Ferndale, Blaine Holiday Classic (The Northwest School vs. Lynden Christian, Mount Baker vs. University Prep, Blaine vs. Stanwood), Sun Dome Shootout (Meridian vs. Toutle Lake, Lynden vs. Port Angeles)
Thursday, Dec. 30: Sehome at Shorewood, Squalicum at Archbishop Murphy, Lynden at Arlington
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.