The Northwest Conference and Northwest 1B League are coming down to the stretch run of the regular season, and it seems every game has some playoff or seeding implication.
The playoffs for the 1A and 1B teams start later this week, with the 2A and 3A wrapping up their regular season before starting their post-season action next week.
Be sure to watch WhatcomHoops.com for previews of the various district tournaments and, of course, coverage of all the games.
GAME OF THE WEEK: Lynden extended its win streak to 15 games by winning the big showdown with its city rival Lynden Christian, 74-62. The Lions’ victory not only ended the Lyncs’ 10-game win streak but set up another big showdown — probably for the NWC championship — with the Tigers at Burlington-Edison this Saturday.
PLAYERS OF THE WEEK: Squalicum’s Devante Powell had 25 points and the game-winning play against Meridian and followed that up with 29 points against Nooksack Valley. … Mount Baker’s Braedan Hart had four 3-pointers and 20 points against Sedro-Woolley, and then got even hotter against Bellingham with 30 points, including a pair of 3-pointers and 8-for-8 shooting from the line. … Jazen Guillory had his third 30-plus game of the season with 35 points in Ferndale’s victory over Bellingham. … Lynden’s Brock Heppner had 19 points against Lynden Christian and finished the week with 24 against Meridian. His teammates Jordan Medcalf had 27 against Lakewood and Liam Hanenburg had 21 against LC. … Jackson Short had 21 points to lead Meridian against Lynden. … Bellingham’s Colm Schaefer had 20 points against Mount Baker with 19 of them and all five of his 3-pointers in the second half.
HIGHLIGHTS OF THE WEEK: Lynden had the county’s best week with four big wins. The Lions had a 22-point fourth-quarter lead before coasting past Lakewood on Monday, 75-65, thanks to Hanenburg’s 17 points and Clay Kochuten’s 11. The Lions beat King’s on Tuesday, 66-50, with Kaleo Jandoc and Heppner each scoring 13, Kochuten 12, Hanenburg 11 and Koby Whitman 10. On Friday, Lynden defeated Lynden Christian in their big rivalry showdown, 74-62. And the Lions finished the week with a big fourth quarter to top Meridian on Saturday, 63-53, with Medcalf having 14 points and Kochuten 10.
Lummi Nation wrapped up another Northwest 1B League title with easy league victories over Shoreline Christian on Tuesday, 84-14, and Lopez on Thursday, 78-26. In-between, the Blackhawks lost a non-league contest to Meridian for the second time this year, 60-49, on Wednesday.
Squalicum had a pair of important victories last week, beating Meridian on Tuesday, 61-59, and Nooksack Valley on Friday, 67-58. Against the Trojans, Powell put back an offensive rebound, was fouled and sank a free throw with two seconds remaining to give Squalicum the victory. Dedrick Mitchell had 13 points and 9 assists in the game, and Leland Zender added 10 points. Against the Pioneers, Mitchell had 14 points and 9 assists, and Zender had 9 points and 9 rebounds.
Lynden Christian beat Nooksack Valley on Monday, 67-51, but then had its 10-game winning streak snapped by Lynden on Friday, 74-62, despite Jaden DeBoer’s 19 points, 16 from Andrew DeVries and 10 from Zach Sipma. The Lyncs then crushed Overlake early Saturday, 72-36, in a non-league contest.
Meridian split its four games last week. The Trojans fell to Squalicum on Tuesday, 61-59; beat Lummi Nation in a non-league contest on Wednesday, 60-49; topped Mount Baker on Friday, 71-53, with Short scoring 17 points and Jordan Veenstra adding 16, including four 3-pointers, and Joseph Plagerman adding 14; and lost to Lynden on Saturday, 63-53, despite Plagerman’s 13 points.
Ferndale continued its up-and-down season, beating Bellingham, 83-58, thanks to 17 points from Andrew Monks and 12 from Isaiah Carlson; but then lost to Sedro-Woolley on Thursday, 60-56.
Bellingham fell to Ferndale on Tuesday, 83-58, and to Mount Baker on Wednesday, 76-52, before notching its first NWC win of the year with a 55-50 victory over Blaine on Friday.
Mount Baker dropped two of three games last week, losing to Sedro-Woolley on Monday, 66-59, despite Ayden Rodriguez’s 15 points; beating Bellingham on Wednesday, 76-62, thanks to Hart’s big game; and falling to Meridian on Friday, 71-53, despite another 17 points from Rodriguez.
Sehome lost to two of the NWC’s top teams last week. The Mariners fell to Burlington-Edison on Tuesday, 65-52, and to Lakewood on Thursday, 70-45.
Blaine dropped both its games last week, losing to Anacortes on Tuesday, 69-57, and to Bellingham on Friday, 55-50.
Nooksack Valley dropped all three of its games last week. The Pioneers lost to Lynden Christian on Monday, 67-51; to Squalicum on Friday, 67-58; and then rallied from 15 points down before falling to Lakewood on Saturday, 71-68. Against Lakewood, Clancy Coppinger and Cole Eldridge led the Pioneers with 15 points each and Keldon Weidkamp had 11.
Week 9 Standings
NORTHWEST 1B LEAGUE
|Cedar Park Christian (MLT)||10||3||12||7|
TOP GAME: Lynden travels to Burlington-Edison on Saturday in both teams’ regular-season finale. It will be a showdown between the top two Class 2A teams in the state with the Northwest Conference title at stake.
Monday, Feb. 3: Blaine at Lynden, Anacortes at Mount Baker, Ferndale at Sehome, Nooksack Valley at Burlington-Edison
Tuesday, Feb. 4: Bellingham at Sedro-Woolley, Lynden Christian at Meridian, Squalicum at Lakewood, Lummi Nation at Grace Academy
Wednesday, Feb. 5: Sehome at Mount Baker, Nooksack Valley at Blaine, Lynden at Ferndale,
Thursday, Feb. 6: Meridian at Bellingham, Lakewood at Lynden Christian, Burlington-Edison at Squalicum, Class 1B District 1 semifinal (Lummi Nation vs. team TBD at Mount Vernon Christian)
Saturday, Feb. 8: Lynden at Burlington-Edison, Sehome at Blaine, Class 1A District 1 play-in game (NWC #4 at North Sound #5), Class 1B District 1 final at Marysville-Gentchell
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.