While cancellations and postponements continued to pile up, the Northwest Conference boys basketball teams continued their battles for playoff positioning as they headed into the final three weeks of the regular season.
But of all the games played in Week 7, the most emotional was Lynden’s contest with Anacortes on Thursday, Jan. 13. The Lions easily won, 71-49, but the score was not as important as the man who was honored: longtime Lynden youth coach and friend to almost anyone involved in Lynden sports the past 27 years, Jerry Kok.
Kok passed away on Jan. 5, leaving behind a legacy that was remembered by many at the game. The Lynden players wore t-shirts that said “Thank you Jerry, a true servant warrior.”
The school also announced the creation of the Servant Warrior Award, which was given to Kok and accepted by his son, Burlington-Edison boys coach and former Lynden star Chas Kok. The award will be known as the Jerry Kok Service Award and will be presented annually to supporters of Lynden youth sports.
“Jerry was a man who gave of his time and himself and asked for nothing in return,” said Lynden coach Brian Roper. “He coached every one of our our varsity and JV players at some point, and he organized youth programs and refereed probably a hundred games a year. He was a big-time encourager. We will miss him.”
For a look back at Week 7 for our county girls team, check out Whatcom Hoops girls recap.
Here are the boys highlights from Week 7.
GAME OF THE WEEK
Squalicum and Nooksack had a defensive struggle on Monday with the Storm looking in control at halftime. But the Pioneers rallied to close the gap to three going into the fourth period, only to see Squalicum senior Reed Richardson score five of his game-high 19 points in the final period as the Storm held off Nooksack, 49-46. It was a hard-luck week for the Pioneers, who lost a second game by three points to Oak Harbor on Thursday.
PLAYERS OF THE WEEK
Bellingham sophomore Wyatt Stephan had 27 points on Monday, and teammate Henry Sheldrup had 41 points in the Bayhawks’ two games. … Senior Jordan Medcalf had 26 points for Lynden on Thursday, and sophomore Anthony Canales led the Lions with 20 points on Tuesday. … Senior Andrew Hommes had 63 points in Lynden Christian’s three wins. … Senior Reed Richardson had 19 points for Squalicum on Monday. … Ferndale senior Jesse Sapp had 19 points on Saturday. … Nooksack Valley junior Bennett DeLange had 18 points on Thursday and freshman Brady Ackerman had 15 points and 11 rebounds for his fourth straight double-double. … Junior Grant Kepley had 17 points for Sehome on Thursday.
HIGHLIGHTS OF THE WEEK
Lynden Christian remained undefeated by beating Blaine on Monday, 64-51; Sehome on Thursday, 63-60; and Stanwood in a non-league game on Saturday, 76-55. In the Class 1A showdown with the Borderites, Hommes scored 12 points in a 24-point third quarter as the Lyncs pulled away. Junior Tyler Sipma had three 3-pointers and 11 points, senior Jamison Hintz and sophomore Jeremiah Wright had 9 points each, and senior Crew Bosman and junior Griffin Dykstra had 8 points each. On Thursday, the Lyncs held off the Mariners thanks to Hommes’s 23 points. Bosman and Wright had 10 points each, and Dykstra had 9 points. All 13 LC points in the fourth quarter were from free throw line. Against Class 3A Stanwood, the Lyncs jumped out to a 20-point first-half lead and coasted to victory. Hommes led four Lyncs in double figures with 21 points, Bosman added 15, Sipma had 14, including a pair of 3s, and Dykstra had three 3-pointers good for 11 points. Wright added 9 points.
Ferndale defeated Meridian on Monday, 68-32, and Squalicum on Saturday, 56-42, to run its win streak to three games. On Monday, the Golden Eagles limited the Trojans to two points in the first quarter and took a double-digit lead Ferndale never relinquished. Sapp led the balanced Ferndale attack with 15 points; senior Luke Wells had 14 points, including a pair of 3-pointers; and seniors Mark Schlichting and Ethan Lagerwey had three 3s and 11 points each. Against Squalicum, Sapp again led the way with 19 points, 11 in the critical fourth period when Ferndale used a 15-0 run to take control. Wells had two more 3s and 12 points, and junior Damian Toney and sophomore Conner Walcker had 9 points each.
Lynden overpowered Oak Harbor on Tuesday, 71-49, and blasted Anacortes on Thursday, 78-46, to run the Lions’ winning streak to five games. Lynden continues to lead the NWC by allowing less than 43 points per game and by posting a winning margin of 25 points per game. On Tuesday, the Lions used a 26-5 second-quarter surge to pull away from the Wildcats. On Thursday, Medcalf had 26 points and Canales 12.
Squalicum defeated Nooksack Valley on Monday, 49-46, and lost to Ferndale on Saturday, 56-42. On Monday, all 10 Storm players scored and Squalicum needed every point to hold off Nooksack Valley. Richardson led the way with 19 points, including a pair of 3s, and senior Travis Keeley added a dozen points. Against Ferndale, the Storm led by three going into the fourth quarter but managed only four points in the period. Senior Kaleb Hawkinson led the way with 12 points, Richardson had 9, and senior Leighton Smithson and junior Xander Sledge had 6 points each.
Bellingham lost to Sedro-Woolley on Monday, 66-61, but came back on Thursday to notch its first league win, a 53-46 victory over Mount Baker. Against the Cubs, the Bayhawks were down by 11 going into the final period but couldn’t make up the difference. Stephan had five 3-pointers among his 27 points, and Sheldrup added 21 points, but no other Bayhawks managed more than 3 points. On Thursday, Sheldrup scored 15 of his 20 points in the second half as the Bayhawks rallied with a 23-point final period to top Mount Baker. Senior Thomas Mathew had 9 points, including a pair of 3s, and sophomore Ian O’Roarty had 8 points.
Sehome lost its only game of the week to Lynden Christian on Thursday, 63-60. Against the Lyncs, Kepley led the Mariners with 17 points, senior Gavin Ortega had 14 points, and juniors Mathew Storms and Isaac Lawrence had 9 and 8 points, respectively.
Meridian lost to Ferndale on Monday, 68-32, and then had its games against Friday Harbor on Wednesday and Burlington-Edison on Saturday canceled. Against the Golden Eagles, the Trojans struggled offensively, falling behind 17-2 in the first quarter and never recovering. Senior Daniel Short had a pair of 3-pointers and 8 points, and senior Owen Hughes had 5 points but no other Trojan managed more than four.
Blaine lost to Lynden Christian on Monday, 64-51, and clobbered Sedro-Woolley on Saturday, 60-38. On Monday, senior Avery Dohner led the Borderites with 14 points and a pair of 3-pointers. Senior Scott Baldwin had 12 points, and juniors Matthew Russ and Carson Lehnert had 8 and 7 points, respectively. In the victory over the Cubs, Baldwin had a great game running the offense and scoring 15 points, senior Cole Thomas collected 13 points and 11 rebounds, Lehnert had 11 points, junior Lucas Smith had 8 points and 4 rebounds, and junior Ethan Koreski pulled down 10 boards.
Mount Baker lost to Burlington-Edison on Wednesday, 68-43, and to Bellingham on Thursday, 53-46. The Mounties led the Tigers after one period, but gave up 21 points in the second quarter and could never catch up. Senior Caleb Horsmon led Baker with 14 points, including a pair of 3-pointers; junior Landon Smith added 11 points and 4 steals; senior Draven Davis had 8 points; and sophomore Jesse Harward had 6 points and a team-high 7 rebounds. On Thursday, the Mounties held the Bayhawks to 15 first-half points, but couldn’t hold off Bellingham’s fourth-quarter rally. Senior Davin Beason led a balanced Baker attack with 12 points, Harward added 11 points, and Horsmon had a pair of 3s and 8 points.
Nooksack Valley had two hard-luck losses, falling to Squalicum on Monday, 49-46, and then to Oak Harbor on Thursday, 59-56. On Monday, the Pioneers only managed six points in the first quarter and couldn’t quite make up the difference. Freshman Colton Lentz led Nooksack with 18 points and Ackerman had 15 points and 13 rebounds. On Thursday, the Pioneers again fell behind early but thanks to hitting 12 of 13 free throws, rallied in the fourth quarter before falling. DeLange was 6-for-6 from the line for the game as Nooksack Valley made 20 of its 22 free throws. In addition to DeLange’s 18 points, senior Dawson Kimball hit a pair of 3s, was 5-for-5 from the line, and had 15 points; Ackerman added 15 points and 11 rebounds; and sophomore Joey Brown tossed in 8 points.
Lummi Nation had its two games postponed. The Blackhawks will host Cedar Park Christian on Friday, Jan. 21, and Fellowship Christian on Thursday, Feb. 3.
Ferndale is battling for one of two Class 3A district playoff spots and has a chance to make up grounds in Week 8 when it faces its two rivals. On Monday, the Golden Eagles host Oak Harbor and on Friday the Golden Eagles travel to Mount Vernon.
Monday, Jan. 17: Meridian at Bellingham, Oak Harbor at Ferndale, Lake Stevens at Lynden, Nooksack Valley at Mount Vernon, Lopez Island at Lummi Nation, Sehome at North Kitsap
Tuesday, Jan. 18: Lynden Christian at Anacortes, Sedro-Woolley at Sehome, Squalicum at Burlington-Edison, La Conner at Meridian
Wednesday, Jan. 19: Blaine at Mount Baker, Mount Vernon at Lynden
Thursday, Jan. 20: Lynden at Nooksack Valley, Lummi Nation at Grace Academy
Friday, Jan. 21: Meridian at Blaine, Ferndale at Mount Vernon, Lakewood at Lynden Christian, Mount Baker at Sehome, Cedar Park Christian (Lynnwood) at Lummi Nation
Saturday, Jan. 22: Bellingham at Squalicum, Ferndale at Mount Baker
NORTHWEST 1B CONFERENCE
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