With an abbreviated schedule of games because of the holidays, this is a great week to take a look at each team at the halfway point of the regular season.
For the next month, the Northwest Conference and Northwest 1B League will concentrate on conference games as everyone battles for playoff spots. Here’s where all the Whatcom County teams stand after one month.
GAME OF THE WEEK: Meridian won the big NWC showdown of the week by knocking off Sehome, 61-51, on Friday. The Mariners had been unbeaten in league play, but the Trojans hit 16 of 18 free throws to move into a tie for third with five other teams.
PLAYERS OF THE WEEK: Caleb Revey had a triple-double for Lummi Nation, collecting 20 points, 15 rebounds and 10 assists (and adding 7 steals) in the Blackhawks’ victory over Grace Academy. … Tyran Lane had 46 points and 29 rebounds in Lummi Nation’s two victories. … Jackson Short had 26 points in Meridian’s big win over Sehome on Friday Short scored 21 of his points in the second half, including going 7-for-8 from the line. …
Jaden DeBoer had 20 points, including five 3-pointers, to lead Lynden Christian over Mount Baker on Friday. … In the same game, Lynden Christian’s Andrew DeVries had 9 points to join the school’s exclusive 1,000-point club for his career. The senior already holds the school record for career 3-pointers and 3-pointers in a game.
HIGHLIGHTS OF THE WEEK: Lynden beat a good Marysville-Pilchuck squad, 68-65, in a non-league game Monday and then sank Anacortes, 75-58, on Saturday, as the Lions extended their winning streak to eight games. While its not surprising to see the two-time defending state champions in first place, the Lions’ wins over larger schools proves this young and inexperienced squad is not looking to rebuild but to earn some state hardware of its own.
Meridian beat Sehome, 61-51, in the Trojans’ only game of the week as Jordan Veenstra tallied 13 points, including 5-for-6 from the line. The win was Meridian’s seventh in eight games — its only loss coming by one point — making them a dangerous 1A squad when it comes to playoff time.
Nooksack Valley again show its talent and experience by knocking off Bellingham, 74-56, on Saturday to continue the Pioneers’ early-season success. With an 8-2 record and sitting in the third-place NWC pack, the senior-dominated Pioneers have proven they are a force to reckoned with.
Lynden Christian topped Mount Baker, 83-62, on Friday with Bryce Bouwman scoring 15, Andrew Hommes 13, Logan Dykstra 12 and Zach Sipma 10. It was a reminder how misleading the Lyncs’ 4-3 record is. Despite starting the season late because of football, LC’s only losses have been 2A power Burlington-Edison in OT, to 4A Monroe by 3, and to Glacier Peak, considered one of the top two 4A teams in the state. Watch out for these Lyncs.
Ferndale lost to Lakewood, 84-69, on Friday despite 17 points from Jazen Guillory, 14 from Mark Schlichting, and 13 from Jesse Sapp. Having lost most of last year’s squad to graduation, the 7-3 Golden Eagles are one of the surprise stories of the season, and even without anyone taller than 6-foot-2, they are shooting for a 3A playoff spot.
Sehome suffered its first NWC loss of the season, falling to Meridian, 61-51, on Friday. Jake Ortega led the way with 12 points, and Elliott Tanovan, Nick MacPhee, and Micah Daheim had 10 points each. Another young and inexperienced squad, the Mariners have taken their lumps in non-league play but are still in the mix near the top of the NWC.
Blaine fell to first-place Burlington-Edison, 90-51, on Saturday. After a hot start, the Borderites have cooled off, losing three of their last four against top-quality opponents. Still, Blaine has shown it can put up points against anybody and will get a chance to move up in the standings with six of its next eight games at home.
Mount Baker dropped an 83-62 contest to Lynden Christian on Friday to fall to 2-7 overall. But the improving Mounties again showed spurts of outstanding play, and once they put it all together, they’ll be looking to take on the big boys in February.
Bellingham fell to Nooksack Valley, 74-56, on Saturday as the Red Raiders remained winless in NWC play. So far, the Raiders’ biggest struggle has been to find offensive help for sharpshooting guard Colm Schaeffer, something they’ll be looking to improve on in the second half of the season.
Squalicum wrapped up its Southern California visit on Monday with an 86-63 loss to Murrieta Valley in the Tustin Holiday Classic, and then notched its first league win on Friday with a convincing 71-56 victory over Sedro-Woolley. Despite its 4-6 record, the Storm has been in almost every game and is looking to catch the late-season magic that saw them make a playoff run last year.
Lummi Nation had a good week, clobbering Grace Academy, 76-34, in league play on Thursday as Jaie Leighton collected 10 points, 8 rebounds and 4 blocks. Lummi then took down Chief Kitsap Academy, 75-28, in a non-league game on Saturday. Revel had 13 points and 9 assists, and Leighton had 13 points and 11 rebounds. William Hetland added 15 points, 16 rebounds, 7 steals and 6 assists in the two games. The Blackhawks sit comfortably atop the Northwest 1B League standings and have shown they deserve their top-five 1B ranking, their only two losses coming to strong 1A and 2A teams.
Week 5 Standings
NORTHWEST 1B LEAGUE
|Cedar Park Christian (MLT)||3||2||5||5|
TOP GAMES: The Northwest Conference schedule gets serious with a couple of important clashes on Tuesday. Meridian travels to first-place Burlington-Edison, and Ferndale is at Lynden Christian in battles to keep in the running for a league title.
Monday, Jan. 6: Lummi Nation at Lopez
Tuesday, Jan. 7: Lakewood at Blaine, Meridian at Burlington-Edison, Ferndale at Lynden Christian, Nooksack Valley at Sedro-Woolley
Wednesday, Jan. 8: Lynden at Bellingham, Anacortes at Sehome, Squalicum at Mount Baker
Thursday, Jan. 9: Burlington-Edison at Ferndale, Blaine at Meridian, Lynden Christian at Sedro-Woolley
Friday, Jan. 10: Mount Baker at Lakewood, Anacortes at Nooksack Valley, Sehome at Lynden, Bellingham at Squalicum, Cedar Park Christian (Mountlake Terrace) at Lummi Nation
Saturday, Jan. 11: Port Angeles at Lynden Christian, Sultan at Blaine, Meridian at Cedar Park Christian (Bothell)
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.