The Northwest Conference leaders continued on their collision courses as Class 2A Lynden and Sehome and Class 1A Blaine and Lynden Christian remained unbeaten in league play after sweeping their games last week.
The Lions collected three victories and the Mariners, Borderites, and Lyncs each notched two wins. And our Class 1B team, Lummi Nation, remained unbeaten in league after smacking Grace Academy in a showdown between Northwest 1B League leaders.
For a look back at Week 6 for our county girls team, check out Whatcom Hoops girls recap.
The WIAA also unveiled its RPI rankings, which are used to determine playoff seeding in each classification and are updated each week. Here are the Whatcom teams ranked in the top 10: Lynden Christian (#1, 1A), Lynden (#2, 2A), Sehome (#3, 2A), and Blaine (#8, 1A).
For the rankings of all the teams, check out Boys RPI rankings.
Here are the boys highlights from Week 6.
GAME OF THE WEEK
The most exciting game of the week had to be Saturday afternoon in Sequim, of all places, as Bellingham notched a 57-54 non-league victory. The Bayhawks jumped to a 25-7 first-quarter lead thanks to three 3-pointers and 14 points from junior Ian O’Roarty. But the Wolves huffed and puffed their way back into the game, finally closing the gap to three points in the final minute. They had two chances to tie but couldn’t hit their last shots as Bellingham hung on for the victory.
PLAYERS OF THE WEEK
Senior Richard Wilson had 35 points in Lummi Nation’s big win Friday and had 19 points on Wednesday. Freshman Jerome Toby had 18 points in both games for the Blackhawks. … Lynden Christian senior Tyler Sipma had 35 points on Friday after scoring 16 on Wednesday. Junior Jeremiah Wright had 25 points on Wednesday for the Lyncs. … Seniors Carson Lehnert and Lucas Smith had 25 and 15 points, respectively, in Blaine’s victory Monday, and senior Matt Russ had 20 points on Thursday. … Meridian sophomore Talon Jenkins had 25 points on Tuesday and 22 on Thursday, sophomore Jaeger Fyfe had 24 on Thursday and 21 on Saturday, and senior Hunter Jones added 16 points on Tuesday. … Sehome’s Grant Kepley had 17 points on Wednesday and 23 on Friday, and fellow seniors Grey Garrison had 18 on Wednesday and Mat Storms had 20 points on Friday. … Bellingham junior Wyatt Stephan had 20 points on Monday, and junior Ian O’Roarty had 18 points on Thursday and 18 more on Saturday. … Senior Xander Sledge had 19 points to lead Squalicum on Tuesday. … Lynden junior Anthony Canales had 17 points on Monday, 15 on Tuesday, and 19 on Thursday, while sophomore Brant Heppner had 15 in Monday’s game and senior Coston Parcher had 17 on Tuesday and 15 on Thursday. … Ferndale senior Damien Toney had 18 points on Monday. … Senior Ethan Larson led Mount Baker with 16 points on Thursday.
HIGHLIGHTS OF THE WEEK
LYNDEN hammered Sedro-Woolley on Monday 80-25; knocked off Nooksack Valley on Tuesday, 64-40; and beat Bellingham on Thursday, 69-44. On Monday, the Lions outscored the Cubs, 44-8, in the middle two quarters to turn the game into a rout. Canales led the balanced Lynden attack with 17 points followed by Heppner with 15 and three 3-pointers, Parcher with 14 points, and senior Elijah Hanenburg with 10 points, a pair of 3s, and 7 rebounds. Senior Cameron Petersen added 9 rebounds and 4 assists. On Tuesday, the Lions pounced on the Pioneers for an 18-3 lead to start the game and were never headed. Parcher led Lynden with 17 points and 4 assists, Canales had 15 points, senior Kobe Baar had 10 points, and Heppner had 7 points and 9 rebounds. On Thursday, the Lions used a 23-point second quarter to take control. Canales led the way with 19 points and three 3-pointers, 8 rebounds and 5 assists; Parcher had 15 points and 5 steals; junior Brady Elsner had 12 points on four 3-pointers; and Petersen had 8 rebounds.
BLAINE defeated Nooksack Valley on Monday, 74-60, and Sedro-Woolley on Thursday, 67-45. On Monday, the Borderites used a 24-point third quarter to run away from the Pioneers. Lehnert and Smith combined for 40 points and each had three 3-pointers with Smith adding 9 rebounds. Junior Noah Tavis had 11 points, and senior Matt Russ added 10 points and 5 steals. On Thursday, the Borderites’ defense held the Cubs to 19 first-half points and never let up. Russ led the balanced Blaine attack with 20 points, Lehnert and senior Ethan Koreski had 12 points each and combined for five 3s, Smith had 10 points, and Tavis 8.
LUMMI NATION crushed Shoreline Christian on Wednesday, 78-31, and walloped Grace Academy on Friday, 74-46. On Wednesday, the Blackhawks came out firing, making 15 3-pointers in overwhelming the Chargers. Wilson had two 3s with his 19 points, Toby had four 3s with his 18, junior Tobias Francis had four more to total 12 points, and senior Peyton Brockie added two 3-pointers among his 8 points. In Friday’s showdown for first place against Grace Academy, the Blackhawks blew open a close game by outscoring the Eagles, 24-5, in the fourth quarter. Wilson had 10 of his 35 points in the final period, Toby hit three 3s among his 18 points, and Francis and senior Payton Scott had 7 points each.
LYNDEN CHRISTIAN defeated Mount Baker on Wednesday, 74-36; and Nooksack Valley on Friday, 73-52. On Wednesday, the Lyncs broke up a close game with a 48-point second half. Wright had 25 to lead the offense, Sipma had 16 points and was 6 of 6 from the line, senior Griffin Dykstra had 12 points, and junior Dawson Bouma added 11. On Friday, the Lyncs again used a big second half — this time scoring 42 points — and a 13-of-16 performance from the line to pull away from the Pioneers. Sipma’s 35 points included six 3-pointers, and Wright and Dykstra contributed 9 and 7 points, respectively.
SEHOME overwhelmed Oak Harbor on Wednesday, 78-38, and defeated Lakewood on Friday, 66-48. On Wednesday, the Mariners’ defense was on display, holding the Wildcats to 12 first-half points. Twelve Mariners scored led by Garrison and Kepley, who combined for 35 points and three 3-pointers. Junior Braddock Duckworth added 11 points, and Storms had 10. On Friday, the Mariners were down early but stormed back with a 23-5 third quarter to put down the Cougars. Kepley kept Sehome in the game with 21 of his 23 points in the first half, and Storms had 18 of his 20 in the second-half rally. The two also combined for five of the Mariners’ season-high 12 3-pointers, and senior Isaac Lawrence and freshman Nolan Wright each had three 3s for 9 points.
MERIDIAN beat Burlington-Edison on Tuesday, 68-59, and Mount Baker on Thursday, 77-55, and lost to Mount Vernon on Saturday, 66-55. On Tuesday, the Trojans built up a 13-point halftime lead and then held off the Tigers with a 21-point fourth-quarter. Jenkins had 25 points, hitting four 3-pointers and all five of his free throws; Jones had 16 points and 14 rebounds; Fyfe added 11 points, including eight in the fourth period; and junior Taran Burks added 10 points. On Thursday, the Trojans ran off to a 22-5 lead to start the game and were never headed. Sophomores Jenkins and Fyfe combined for 46 points with Jenkins hitting four 3-pointers, junior Cohen Fuller added 8 points, and Jones had 7. On Saturday, Meridian fell into a double-digit hole in the second quarter and could never make up the difference against the Bulldogs. Fyfe led the way with 21 points and a pair of 3-pointers, senior Tyrel Brooks had 9 points, and Jenkins had 8, including two 3s.
BELLINGHAM beat Ferndale on Monday, 57-48; lost to Lynden on Thursday, 65-44; and rebounded with a 57-54 non-league win over Sequim on Saturday. On Monday, the Bayhawks used a 22-point third quarter to break away from a halftime tie and then held on to beat the Golden Eagles. Stephan had two 3-pointers and nine of his 20 in the third period, junior Joshua Tolle added 10 points and a two 3-pointers for Bellingham, and sophomore Kincade Vanhouten had 8 points. On Thursday, the Bayhawks only scored 28 points through three periods and couldn’t keep up with the defending state champion Lions. O’Roary had 18 points, including a pair of 3s, and was 6 of 7 from the line, but no other Bayhawk had more than six points. Stephan had a team-high 7 rebounds and 4 assists. On Saturday, O’Roarty had 14 of his 18 points in the first quarter as the Bayhawks jumped to a 18-point lead before holding off the Wolves. Junior Elias Togage had 10 points, and sophomores Harmon Weinkers and Carson Brethauer each had 8 points and two 3-pointers.
FERNDALE lost to Bellingham on Tuesday, 57-48, and to Oak Harbor on Friday, 56-43. On Monday, Toney had 18 points and senior Mathias Johnson added 8 points as the Golden Eagles rallied from a 12-point fourth quarter deficit only to fall short against the Bayhawks. On Friday, Ferndale managed only 17 points in the middle two quarters and couldn’t catch the Wildcats. Johnson had 14 points, including four 3-pointers, and Toney had 10 points to lead the Golden Eagles.
SQUALICUM lost to Mount Vernon on Tuesday, 72-56, and to Anacortes on Thursday, 70-43. On Tuesday, the Storm held an eight-point halftime lead but couldn’t hold off the Bulldogs in the second half. Sledge had 16 of his 19 points and all four of his 3-pointers as the Storm took the first-half lead. Senior Dylan Jacobs added 12 points, junior Peter Albert had 9 points, and senior Ashton Englehart had 8 for Squalicum. On Thursday, the good news is that nine of the 11 Storm scored, but the bad news is it wasn’t enough to outscore the Seahawks. Sledge had 12 points and two 3-pointers, but no one else had more than six points.
MOUNT BAKER lost to Lynden Christian on Wednesday; 74-36; to Meridian on Thursday, 77-55; and to Burlington-Edison on Saturday, 85-51. On Wednesday, a four-point first quarter put the Mounties in too deep a hole against the defending state champs. Freshman Joe Harward led Mount Baker with 13 points, senior Kaden Hill had 9, and junior Jesse Harward added 8 points. On Thursday, the Mounties again found themselves looking at a big hill to climb when they fell behind 23-5 to the Trojans. Larson helped Mount Baker stay close in the second half with 14 of his 16 points coming after halftime, and Jesse Harward added 13 points for the Mounties. On Saturday, the Mounties endured another slow start and couldn’t keep up with the high-powered Tigers. Larson led the way with 14 points, Joe Harward had 13 points, and Jesse Harward added 10.
NOOKSACK VALLEY had a tough week thanks to playing three of the first-place teams. The Pioneers lost to Blaine on Monday, 74-60; to Lynden on Tuesday, 64-40; and to Lynden Christian on Friday, 73-52. In Monday’s loss to the Borderites, the Pioneers were outscored 24-9 in the third quarter. Senior Bennett DeLange had 14 points and 4 assists, sophomore Cody Heutink had 10 points, and junior Wayne Silves and sophomore Brady Ackerman had 9 points each with Ackerman collecting 9 rebounds and 4 blocks. On Tuesday, the Pioneers found themselves in a deep hole early and couldn’t dig out against the defending Class 2A state champs. Sophomore Colton Lentz had 8 points and 3 assists for Nooksack, and junior Dalton Hickey and Ackerman had 7 points each with Ackerman and DeLange collecting 5 rebounds each. On Friday, the Pioneers only managed two field goals in the fourth period and couldn’t keep up with the Lyncs. DeLange, Lentz, and senior Ayden Roper had 11 points each, with Roper hitting a pair of 3s, and Ackerman adding 9 points.
The Northwest Conference and Northwest 1B League leaders start clashing this week with Lynden Christian at Anacortes on Monday, Lummi Nation at Tulalip Heritage on Tuesday, and Lynden at Blaine on Thursday.
Monday, Jan. 9: Lynden Christian at Anacortes, Squalicum at Nooksack Valley, Ferndale at Glacier Peak
Tuesday, Jan. 10: Oak Harbor at Bellingham, Meridian at Blaine, Mount Baker at Lynden, Lummi Nation at Tulalip Heritage
Wednesday, Jan. 11: Burlington-Edison at Ferndale, Sehome at Mount Vernon
Thursday, Jan. 12: Bellingham at Anacortes, Lynden at Blaine, Meridian at Lynden Christian, Fellowship Christian at Lummi Nation
Friday, Jan. 13: Mount Baker at Squalicum, Meadowdale at Bellingham, Ferndale at Sedro-Woolley
Saturday, Jan. 14: Ferndale at Nooksack Valley, Lynden Christian at Seattle Academy, Sedro-Woolley at Sehome
NORTHWEST 1B LEAGUE
|Cedar Park Christian (Lynnwood)||2||4||2||5|
|Providence Classical Christian||0||5||0||6|
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.