Three weeks into the season and four Whatcom County teams sit atop the Northwest Conference standings and one sits atop the Northwest 1B League standings.
Nooksack Valley and Lynden Christian — widely considered the top two Class 1A teams in the state — are both undefeated at 7-0, and Class 2A power Lynden is right behind at 6-0. Ferndale suffered its first loss of the season in a non-league game, but the Golden Eagles join the Pioneers, Lyncs, and Lions at 4-0 in the NWC.
Lummi Nation had Whatcom County’s best week winning all four of its games. The unbeaten Blackhawks are riding a six-game winning streak and have yet to be tested by a Class 1B school.
For a look back at Week 3 for our county boys team, check out Whatcom Hoops boys recap.
Here are the girls highlights from Week 3.
GAME OF THE WEEK
For the second year in a row, Squalicum and Blaine squared off in a thriller, but this time the Borderites didn’t hit a 3-pointer at the buzzer to win it. The Storm came out strong in the second half and when Blaine closed to within one midway through the fourth quarter, Squalicum used an 8-1 lead to finish off the 51-46 victory. Check out the story at Squalicum holds off Blaine.
PLAYERS OF THE WEEK
Lynden Christian sophomore Grace Hintz scored 34 points Saturday in the Lyncs’ victory over Liberty (Renton), and Lynden Christian senior Daisy Poag had 18 points on six 3-pointers on Monday. … Senior Maddy Barter had 25 of Mount Baker’s 35 points on Saturday, and Jojo Lindsey had 15 points on Tuesday for the Mounties. … Lummi Nation junior Keyonee Morris had 21 points and eighth-grader Jemma James had 18 on Thursday, and senior Aliesha Solomon had 18 points against Cedar Park Christian (Lynnwood) on Tuesday, 18 against Darrington on Wednesday, and — guess what — 18 more against Muckleshoot Tribal on Saturday. … Ferndale senior Cailyn Kessen had 21 points against Jackson on Friday, senior Ellie Ochoa scored 20 on Saturday, and sisters Madisyn and Mallory Butenschoen had 16 points each for the Golden Eagles on Wednesday. … Blaine’s Jordyn Vezzetti had 20 points and fellow junior Deja Dube had 15 points on Friday. … Nooksack Valley junior Devin Coppinger had 18 points on Wednesday against Oak Harbor and followed that with 20 against Lakewood on Saturday. Junior Lainey Kimball had 18 points for the Pioneers on Wednesday and 15 on Saturday, and senior Hallie Kamphouse had 15 points on Saturday. … Sehome’s Natalie Brewer had 19 points and fellow junior Madi Cooper had 16 in Tuesday’s win over Mount Baker, and junior Emily Hart added 16 in Thursday’s loss to Burlington-Edison. … Bellingham senior Ellie Wolverton had 18 points in the Bayhawks’ win Tuesday. … Squalicum junior Makayla Heaton had 17 points on Friday, and junior Mari Binning had 15 points on Wednesday and 17 on Friday. … Lynden freshman Payton Mills had 16 points to lead the Lions on Friday.
HIGHLIGHTS OF THE WEEK
LUMMI NATION continued its hot streak by routing Cedar Park Christian (Lynnwood) on Tuesday, 64-8; Darrington on Wednesday, 46-20; Lopez Island on Thursday, 64-7; and Muckleshoot Tribal on Saturday, 68-22. On Tuesday, the Blackhawks shut out Cedar Park in the first half while scoring 51 points. Solomon had 18 points, senior Raven Solomon had 12, and junior Serena Pantalia and James added 8 points each. In Wednesday’s non-league win over Darrington, Aliesha Solomon again led the way for the Blackhawks with 18 points and a pair of 3-pointers, and Raven Solomon, James, and Morris had 7 points each. In Thursday’s rout of Lopez, the Blackhawks again pitched a shutout in the first half while scoring 33 points. Morris and James led the way combining for 39 points, and Aliesha Solomon had 12 points. On Saturday, the Blackhawks used the same script to jump to a 22-3 first quarter lead and hold the Kings to less than eight points each quarter. Aleisha Solomon led the Blackhawks’ attack with 18 points, Raven Solomon had 15, Morris had 14, Pantalia had 12, and junior Zeta Landsom added 7.
LYNDEN CHRISTIAN mauled Mount Vernon on Monday, 64-31; beat Bellingham on Friday, 52-9; and knocked off Liberty (Renton) on Saturday, 67-40. On Monday, the Lyncs had a 42-point lead before coasting to victory. Poag hit two 3s in each of the first three quarters before sitting out the final period and finishing with 18 points, senior Reganne Arnold and freshman Ella Fritts added 11 points each, and seniors Taryn Herwerden and Alexie Hagen added 8 points each, with Hagen tossing in two 3-pointers. On Friday, LC shut out the Bayhawks in the first quarter and used a truly balanced attack for the win. Poag had 9 points on three 3s, and Fritts, Arnold, senior Demi Dykstra, and sophomore Andi Anderson had 8 points each with Dykstra and Anderson each hitting two 3s. In Saturday’s non-league road win over Class 3A Liberty, Hintz had a career-high 34 points, going 11 of 16 from the field. She and Poag, who finished with 12 points, each were 4-of-8 on 3-pointers. Dykstra had 10 assists, and junior Tabitha DeJong had 10 rebounds.
LYNDEN beat Squalicum on Tuesday, 57-37, and Meridian on Friday, 46-28. Against the short-handed Storm, junior Haylee Koetje and freshman Ryan Stephan led a balanced Lynden attack with 10 points each, Mills added 9 points, and junior Mallory Villars had 8 points. On Friday, Mills had 13 of her game-high 16 in the first half as the Lions took the lead and never looked back. Senior Adia Newcomb added 13 points for the Lions.
NOOKSACK VALLEY overpowered Oak Harbor on Wednesday, 68-8, and Lakewood, 83-19, on Saturday. On Wednesday, the Pioneers ended any doubt early by taming the Wildcats, 34-0, after one quarter and surrendering only three points in the second half. Coppinger had four 3-pointers and Kimball two 3s as they combined for 36 points. Junior Kaylee Anderson added a pair of 3-pointers and had 8 points. The Nooksack defense again was nearly impervious on Saturday, holding the Cougars to single digits each quarter and only seven points in the second half. Coppiner outscored Lakewood with 20 points, Kimball and Kamphouse had 15 points each with the latter hitting three 3s, and sophomore Kate Shintaffer and freshman Payton Bartl had 8 points each.
FERNDALE beat Meridian on Monday, 44-36; lost to Stanwood on Wednesday, 68-57; defeated Jackson on Friday, 67-43; and beat Mount Baker on Saturday, 77-35. On Monday, the Golden Eagles survived foul trouble to hold off the Trojans in the final period. Senior Madisyn Butenschoen led Ferndale with 15 points, Ochoa added 8 points and junior Mallory Butenschoen had 7. On Wednesday against Class 3A state power Stanwood, the Butenschoens combined for 32 points with Madisyn hitting four 3-pointers. Kessen also sank three 3s for 13 points. On Friday it was Kessen’s big night as she hit three more 3s and had a team-high 21 points. Junior Naomi Stanley had 12 points, Madisyn Butenschoen had 11, and Ochoa added 10. Ferndale finished off a great week by jumping to a 23-7 lead and limiting Mount Baker to single digits in three of the quarters. All nine Golden Eagles scored with Ochoa’s 20 leading the way. Mallory Butenschoen had 14 points, freshman Jillea Fox had 11, Kessen 10, and Madisyn Butenschoen 8.
BELLINGHAM defeated Sedro-Woolley on Tuesday, 35-27, and lost to Lynden Christian on Friday, 52-9. On Tuesday, the Bayhawks held the Cubs to one field goal in the fourth quarter to break open the tight contest. Wolverton had a pair of 3-pointers among her game-high 18 points and had five of Bellingham’s eight points in the crucial final period. Freshman Mary Lockhart added 9 points for the Bayhawks. On Friday against the defending Class 1A state champs, sophomore Malia Hanks led the Bayhawks with 9 rebounds, 7 assists and 6 rebounds.
SEHOME topped Mount Baker on Tuesday, 70-43, and lost to Burlington-Edison on Thursday, 59-43. On Tuesday, the Mariners used nine 3-pointers and a 24-point second quarter to blow open the game. Brewer had 11 of her career-high 19 points and two of her three 3-pointers in the crucial second period and Cooper added five of her 15 and one of her two 3s in the period. Senior Mac Cooper added 11 points and a pair of 3s, and Hart had 8 points and two more 3s. On Saturday, sickness, vacation, foul trouble and injuries combined to leave the Mariners short-handed in the loss to the Tigers. Hart led Sehome with 16 points, and Madi Cooper had 10 points, but only six Mariners were able to score.
SQUALICUM fell to Lynden on Tuesday, 57-37, but bounced back to beat Blaine on Friday, 51-46. Against the Lions, the Storm was left with four varsity regulars and three swing players because of illness and injury. Binning led Squalicum with 15 points, and Heaton hit three 3-pointers and finished with 11 points. On Friday, the Storm picked up its first NWC victory by holding off the Borderites in the final quarter. Guards Heaton and Binning combined for 33 points, and fellow junior Caitlyn Richardson added 8 points.
BLAINE lost to Lakewood on Wednesday, 59-20, and to Squalicum on Friday, 51-46. On Wednesday, the Borderites couldn’t get much going against the Cougars’ defense. Vezzetti hit 5 of 6 free throws and a 3-pointer to lead Blaine with 8 points and junior Alia Ball had 5 points, including a 3-pointer. On Friday, the Borderites came from behind to close within one midway through the fourth quarter, but were held without a field goal the rest of the way as the Storm pulled out the victory. Vezzetti led the Borderites with 20 points and four 3-pointers, Dube added 15 points including three 3s, and freshman Aaliyah Bowman had two 3-pointers and 7 points.
MERIDIAN lost to Ferndale on Monday, 44-36, and to Lynden on Friday, 46-28. On Monday, the Trojans rallied after a three-point first quarter but couldn’t quite catch the Golden Eagles. Senior Avery Neal led the second-half comeback with 10 of her team-high 13 points after halftime, and senior Maris Baklund hit three 3-pointers and finished with 12 points for the Trojans. Against Lynden on Friday, a 10-point first half was too big of a hole to dig out of. Junior Malia McCauley led the Trojans with 9 points, and Neal added 8 points.
MOUNT BAKER lost to Sehome on Tuesday, 70-43, and to Ferndale on Saturday, 77-35. On Tuesday, the Mounties only managed 16 first-half points and couldn’t get back in the game against the Mariners. Seniors Lindsey and Barter had 15 and 14 points, respectively, with Barter sinking 7 of 9 free throws, and sophomore Faith Wilson added 7 points. On Saturday, Barter had three 3-pointers to go along with her 25 points and Lindsey added 7 points, but only three Mounties managed to score against the Ferndale defense.
The first big NWC showdown of the season will be Tuesday night at Nooksack Valley when the undefeated Pioneers host undefeated Lynden. The Lions were No.2 in the Scorebook Live’s Class 2A preseason ranking and Nooksack Valley was No.1 in the Class 1A rankings.
Monday, Dec. 19: Sehome at Bellingham, La Conner at Meridian, Squalicum at Burlington-Edison
Tuesday, Dec. 20: Sedro-Woolley at Ferndale, Lynden at Nooksack Valley
Wednesday, Dec. 21: Blaine at Lynden Christian, Sehome at Lake Stevens, Mount Baker at Meridian
NORTHWEST 1B LEAGUE
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