Whatcom Hoops: Girls Week 1 Recap (Nov. 27-Dec. 3)

Two Whatcom County girls basketball teams that many expect to be in the hunt for state titles — Nooksack Valley and Lynden — started their seasons off with a pair of impressive victories each last week, but the hottest start to the season was pulled off by the Mount Baker girls.

The Mounties, who only won four games last season, almost matched that total in Week 1 by opening their season with a three-game winning streak. Blaine, Meridian, and Sehome also began the new season on winning notes as each won their only game last week. 

Things will get serious this week as both the Northwest Conference and Northwest 1B League begin league play.

For a look back at Week 1 for our Whatcom boys teams, check out Whatcom Hoops boys recap.

Here are the girls highlights from Week 1.


Ella Fritz banked in a 3-pointer under pressure at the buzzer to give Lynden Christian a 62-59 overtime victory over Archbishop Murphy in the visiting Lyncs’ opener Tuesday night. The sophomore guard finished with 16 points, 7 rebounds, and 6 assists. Senior post Tabby DeJong added 14 points and 12 rebounds for the Lyncs.


Nooksack Valley all-stater Devin Coppinger had 25 points in the Pioneers’ season-opening win on Monday and followed that up with a 36-point outburst on Friday. … Sophomore Payton Mills had 30 points in Lynden’s victory on Thursday, and freshman teammate Finley Parcher had a team-high 17 points in her varsity debut Tuesday. … Mount Baker sophomore Natalie Van Liew had 23 points in Monday, 19 on Wednesday, and 18 on Friday. … Freshman Jemma James had 22 points in Lummi Nation’s season opener Saturday. … Junior Malia Hanks had 21 points in Bellingham’s victory Thursday, and sophomore Mary Lockhart had 18 points in the Bayhawks’ season opener on Wednesday. … Sophomore Jillea Fox had 18 points in Ferndale victory Saturday. … Senior Allie Richter had 17 points to lead Meridian to victory on Wednesday.


MOUNT BAKER had a great week winning all three of its games. The Mounties blew away Coupeville on Monday, 52-21; held off Bellingham in a non-league game on Wednesday, 54-44; and knocked off Orcas Island on Friday, 51-34. On Monday, Van Liew had four 3-pointers and outscored the Wolves by herself. Freshman Violet Fox added 10 points, but it was the Baker defense that made the difference, holding Coupeville to less than seven points in each period. On Wednesday, Van Liew had 19 points; Fox  had 15, 7 rebounds, and was 8-of-8 from the free throw line; and senior Jenna Wineinger  added 8 points as the Mounties won the non-league contest against the Bayhawks. On Friday, the Mounties fell behind early but then unleashed their defense, which held Orcas Island to seven field goals over the last three quarters. Van Liew again powered the offense with 18 points, and Wineinger and Fox had big games, too, scoring 14 and 13 points, respectively. Check out the story on Monday’s game at Mount Baker-Coupville girls.

LYNDEN opened its season with two big wins — 62-58 victory over Class 3A Meadowdale on Tuesday and 49-33 over Class 1A power King’s on Thursday. On Tuesday, Parcher led the visiting Lions with 17 points, junior Kiki York had 11, and senior Haylee Koetje and Mills had 10 points each. On Thursday, the Lions turned a close contest into a big win by scoring the final nine points of the game. Mills dominated inside and outside, hitting three 3-pointers among her 30 points, and pulling down 8 rebounds. Parcher added 8 points and a team-high 11 rebounds.

NOOKSACK VALLEY knocked off two big schools in non-league action, beating Kentwood on Monday, 65-49, and Archbishop Murphy on Friday, 63-54. The defending Class 1A state champion Pioneers continued their winning ways by using a 22-point first quarter to overpower the Class 4A Conquerors on Monday. Coppinger’s 25 points led the way but Nooksack spread the scoring out with seniors Lainey Kimball and Kaylee Anderson notching 11 points each and sophomore Payton Bartl and senior Tana Hoekema adding 8 each. Anderson sank three of the Pioneers’ nine 3-pointers with Bartl and Coppinnger sinking two each. On Friday, Archbishop Murphy sank 10 3-pointers including five in the first period, but the Pioneers tightened their defense, only allowing one field goal and eight points in the fourth period to overcome the Wildcats. Coppinger had 36 points included three 3-pointers and 6 rebounds, Kimball added 14 points, and Hoekema had 7 rebounds to give Nooksack the hard-fought victory.

BLAINE defeated Friday Harbor, 28-10, on Wednesday in a game shortened to one half because the Borderites needed to catch the ferry home. Jordyn Vezzetti  had 11 points, 5 steals, 4 rebounds, and 2 blocked shots, and sisters Deja and Teia Dube had 6 points each.

MERIDIAN started the season on a winning note with a 42-23 triumph over Friday Harbor on Wednesday. The Trojans used their defense to hold the Wolverines to six first-half points in running away with the road victory. Richter led the way with her 17 points, 7 steals, and 4 assists. Senior Savannah Storgaard added 8 points and 4 steals for Meridian.

SEHOME opened its season with a dominating 45-29 victory over Mountlake Terrace on Wednesday. The Mariners exploded for 21 first-period points and their defense held the Hawks to just seven first-half points. Senior Natalie Brewer led the way with 15 points, including a 6-for-6 performance from the line, and 7 rebounds. Senior Madi Cooper added 11 points and team-highs of 8 rebounds, 6 steals and 4 assists; senior Emmy Hart had a pair of 3-pointers, 8 points, and 6 steals; and senior Kylie Watson had 7 points.

BELLINGHAM lost its opener at home, 52-44, in a non-league contest against Mount Baker but bounced back to beat visiting Marysville-Pilchuck on Thursday, 67-28. On Wednesday, the Bayhawks played the Mounties even through three quarters but could make up the difference in the final period. Lockhart’s 18 points and 7 rebounds led the way; junior Malia Hanks added 12 points, 6 rebounds, 4 steals, and 7 assists; and freshman Merritt Jensen had 10 points and 7 rebounds in her varsity debut. In Thursday’s impressive non-league win, Hanks had a career-high 21 points and 10 steals, sophomore Lily Jude chipped in 15 points, and Lockhart added 12 points and 11 rebounds.

LYNDEN CHRISTIAN beat Archbishop Murphy, 62-59, in overtime on Tuesday and lost at Meadowdale on Saturday, 50-44. In Tuesday’s thriller, the Lyncs held Archbishop Murphy to three free throws in overtime and Fritts’s two 3-pointers in the extra period proved to be the difference. Senior Tabby DeJong added 14 points, sophomore Estela Hernandez tossed in 12 points including a pair of 3s, junior Allison Shumate had 10 points, and junior Danya Dykstra finished with 8 points and two 3-pointers. On Saturday, the Lyncs scored 18 points in the fourth period, but their rally fell short against the Class 3A Mavericks. Fritts had 12 points, Hernandez had 9 points including a pair of 3-pointers, but no other Lync managed more than five points.

FERNDALE lost its opener at home against Jackson on Friday, 62-54, but came back on Saturday to maul Mountlake Terrace, 60-27. On Friday, the Golden Eagles started the game icy from the field and fell behind 31-8 before rallying with an 18-5 fourth quarter to make it close. Senior Mallory Butenschoen led Ferndale with 15 points, four 3-pointers, 6 rebounds and 3 steals. Senior Naomi Stanley had 12 points and 7 rebounds, Fox added 10 points and 10 rebounds, sophomore Kayla Washington made 7-of-9 free throws and had a team-high 5 assists, and sophomore Abbey White grabbed 9 rebounds to go along with 6 points. The Ferndale defense shone on Saturday, holding the Hawks to two points in the second quarter and four in the fourth. Fox led the way on offense with 18 points, Butenschoen had 14 points and two more 3s, and senior Maleah Singson hit three 3-pointers for 9 points.

SQUALICUM dropped its season opener to Class 4A Lake Stevens, 65-36, on Wednesday but came back to beat Kingston at home on Saturday, 50-36. On Wednesday, the visiting Storm never got its offense going against the Vikings and quickly found themselves in a double-digit hole. Senior guard Mari Binning had 13 points, and junior post Loretta Murphy-Kangas had 7 points, including her first career 3-pointer. On Saturday, the Storm defense tightened up in the second half allowing only 13 points to pull away from the Buccaneers. Murphy-Kangas had eight of her 13 points in the first quarter to help Squalicum take the early lead, Binning finished with 10 points and made all six of her foul shots, and senior Makayla Heaton and freshman Carli Kiesau had 9 points each.

LUMMI NATION opened its season with a 63-36 loss at La Conner on Saturday. The shorthanded Lady Blackhawks couldn’t keep up with the Class 2B power although freshman James managed 22 points and senior Zeta Landsem added 10 points. 

NOTE: A big thank you to the coaches and Tyler Anderson of WhatcomPreps.com for providing statistics.



The Northwest Conference starts up league play with Squalicum squaring off with Sehome on Monday as part of a girls-boys doubleheader at Sehome. The Storm and Mariners are expected to be among the teams battling for the district’s two state berths, so Monday’s contest could have important playoff implications.


Monday, Dec. 4: Oak Harbor at Lynden, Anacortes at Meridian, La Conner at Mount Baker, Lummi Nation at Darrington, Squalicum at Sehome

Tuesday, Dec. 5: Bellingham at Blaine, Ferndale at Lakewood, Lynden Christian at Burlington-Edison

Wednesday, Dec. 6: Lake Stevens at Lynden, Mount Vernon at Mount Baker, Sedro-Woolley at Nooksack Valley, Providence Classical Christian at Lummi Nation

Thursday, Dec. 7: Cascade (Everett) at Blaine, Ferndale at Squalicum,, Lynden at Lakewood, Sehome at Meridian

Friday, Dec. 8: Sedro-Woolley at Lynden Christian, Mount Baker at Anacortes, Lummi Nation at Evergreen Lutheran

Saturday, Dec. 9: Nooksack Valley at Bellingham, Blaine at Oak Harbor


 League   Overall
Mount Baker 0 0 3 0
Anacortes 0 0 2 0
Lynden 0 0 2 0
Nooksack Valley 0 0 2 0
Blaine 0 0 1 0
Lakewood 0 0 1 0
Meridian 0 0 1 0
Sedro-Woolley 0 0 1 0
Sehome 0 0 1 0
Bellingham 0 0 1 1
Ferndale 0 0 1 1
Lynden Christian 0 0 1 1
Squalicum 0 0 1 1
Mount Vernon 0 0 0 0
Oak Harbor 0 0 0 1
Burlington-Edison 0 0 0 2


 League   Overall
Cedar Park Christian (Lynnwood) 0 0 0 0
Grace Academy 0 0 0 0
Lopez Island 0 0 0 0
Providence Classical Christian 0 0 0 0
Shoreline Christian 0 0 0 0
Tulalip Heritage 0 0 1 2
Lummi Nation 0 0 0 1
Jim Carberry of Whatcom Hoops

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.

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