The Northwest Conference’s top squads started to face off in league play and after three weeks there’s no doubt where the power lies with six of the top seven teams residing in Whatcom County.
Nooksack Valley and Lynden won early-season showdowns with other favorites to remain unbeaten in the NWC, but Lynden Christian, Ferndale, Meridian, and Squalicum are only a game behind with a lot more big games to go.
For a look back at Week 2 for our county boys teams, check out Whatcom Hoops boys recap.
Here are the girls highlights from Week 3.
GAME OF THE WEEK
In the showdown between the top-ranked Class 1A teams, No.2 Nooksack Valley handed No.1 Lynden Christian its first league loss in more than two years with a 74-68 victory at LC on Thursday. The Pioneers rallied with 30 points in the fourth quarter, 16 of them from sophomore sensation Devin Coppinger, and made 11 of 13 free throws in the final period to hold off the Lyncs. “We executed down the stretch and made free throws,” said Nooksack Valley coach Shane Wichers.
PLAYERS OF THE WEEK
Devin Coppinger had 30 points in Nooksack Valley’s big win on Thursday after collecting 22 points on Monday. Teammate Hallie Kamphouse had 21 points, including six 3-pointers, on Monday. … Lynden sophomore Mallary Villars hit five 3-pointers and scored 28 points in Wednesday’s big victory. Fellow sophomore Haylee Koetje had 17 of Lynden’s 35 points on Friday and followed that up with a 22-point performance on Saturday. … Squalicum sophomore Mari Binning had 22 points on Monday. … Bellingham junior Ellie Wolverton had 22 points and four 3-pointers against Blaine. … Blaine senior Hailey Pike had a season-high 24 points on Friday. … Lummi Nation juniors Aleisha Solomon and Raven Solomon had 20 and 18 points, respectively, on Monday. … Meridian junior Avery Neal had 19 points, including four 3-pointers, 10 rebounds, and 5 assists on Tuesday. … Lynden Christian senior Libby Stump had 19 points against Nooksack Valley and 18 points against Kentwood. … Junior Maddy Barter had 18 points in both of Mount Baker’s games last week. … Sehome sophomore Emmy Hart hit five 3-pointers against Bellingham.
HIGHLIGHTS OF THE WEEK
Nooksack Valley defeated Lakewood on Monday, 73-22, and knocked off Lynden Christian on Thursday, 74-68. The Pioneers put up 49 points in the first half Monday with Coppinger and Kamphouse each nearly outscoring the Cougars by themselves for the game and sophomore Lainey Kimball adding 10 points. Against LC, Coppinger’s huge game led the balanced Nooksack Valley attack. Senior Tehya Moore had 12 points, junior Taylor Lentz had 11, and Kamphouse and Kimball had 8 points each.
Ferndale defeated Anacortes on Monday, 59-44, and clobbered Lakewood on Friday, 57-37. In the win over the Seahawks, junior Madisyn Butenschoen led a balanced attack with fellow juniors Ashley Lang and Ellie Ochoa tossing in 14 and 13 points, respectively, as the Golden Eagles used a 21-point fourth quarter to put the game away. On Friday, Ferndale held the Cougars to 14 points through the first three quarters. Ochoa led the scoring with 16 points, Lang and junior Cailyn Kessen had 8 points each, and sophomore Maleah Singson added 7 points.
Squalicum defeated Sedro-Woolley on Monday, 68-51, and Mount Baker on Friday, 49-35. The Storm used its press to outscore the Cubs 35-10 in the middle two quarters. Binning led the way with her 22 points, sophomore Makayla Heaton added 13 points and 9 rebounds, junior Shelby Smithson had 10 points and 4 assists, and junior Callie McEachran had 9 points. Against the Mounties, the Storm used an 18-4 fourth period and hit 6 of 8 free throws to break away from a 31-31 tie for its second straight win. Binning had another great all-around game with 15 points, 4 rebounds, 3 assists and 5 steals. Sophomore Caitlyn Richardson had 14 points and 12 rebounds; McEachran had 9 points and 10 rebounds; and Smithson had 8 points.
Lynden beat Mount Baker on Wednesday, 78-35; edged Meridian on Friday, 35-30; and lost to Class 4A Eastlake on Saturday, 64-58. Villars led a balanced Lynden attack on Wednesday with her 28 points, junior Adia Newcomb added 15 points, and Koetje had 13. In the defensive battle with the Trojans, Koetje had nearly half of the Lions’ points and Newcomb added 8 points as Lynden held Meridian to its lowest score of the season. Koetje had another big game in the non-league loss to Eastlake with 22 points, including a pair of 3-pointers, but the Lions fell behind early and couldn’t make up the difference. Newcomb had 12 points, and Villars and senior Claire DeVries had 8 points each.
Lynden Christian outclassed Oak Harbor on Wednesday, 65-24; lost to Nooksack on Thursday, 74-68; and beat Class 4A Kentwood on Saturday, 51-37. Ten of 11 Lyncs scored against Oak Harbor as the LC defense allowed only six points in each quarter. Stump had 14 points, junior Day Poag had 11 with three 3-pointers, freshman Grace Hintz had 8, and senior Charley Dykstra had 7. Against the Pioneers, LC let a fourth-quarter lead slip away despite scoring 19 points in the final period. Stump led the way with 19 points; seniors Lexi Kaptein and Charley Dykstra and junior Demi Dykstra had 9 each; and senior Alli Van Kooten had 8 points. On Saturday, the Lyncs shut out the Conquerors in the second quarter of the non-league contest. Stump had another big game and Poag hit four 3-pointers and finished with 13 points.
Lummi Nation (2-3 overall, 1-1 in Northwest 1B League) had the busiest week with four games. The Blackhawks opened their Northwest 1B League season with a dominating 62-11 victory at Lopez Island on Monday; clobbered Concrete in a non-league game on Wednesday, 60-28; lost to Grace Academy on Thursday, 61-31; and fell to Muckleshoot Tribal on Saturday, 48-40. Against Lopez, the Solomon cousins combined for 38 points and sophomore Serena Pantalia added 16 points.
Sehome lost to Burlington-Edison on Tuesday, 68-40, but the Mariners notched their first win with a 60-36 victory over Bellingham on Thursday. Against the Tigers, senior Maddie Schumacher led Sehome with 11 points and a pair of 3-pointers, and junior Mac Cooper added 10 points. In the city rivalry game, Hart led the way with 15 points, and Schumacher and sophomore Natalie Brewer added 14 points each as the Mariners held the Bayhawks to single-digit scoring in each of the final three quarters.
Meridian cruised past Mount Vernon on Tuesday, 63-39 and lost a thriller to Lynden on Friday, 35-30. On Tuesday, the Trojans shot 51 percent from the field and got a big spark off their bench from Brooklyn Fuller. Besides Neal’s big game, senior Ellie DeWaard added 16 points on 7-of-10 shooting. In Friday’s defensive battle with Lynden, the Trojans rallied in the final minute but couldn’t hit the tying shot. Senior Skyleigh James had 10 points and Neal had 7.
Bellingham beat Blaine on Tuesday, 41-37, and lost to city rival Sehome on Thursday, 60-36. On Tuesday, Wolverton had 22 points and senior Mazy Wright tossed in 15 as the Bayhawks held off the Borderites. The two also had 7 rebounds each. Against Sehome, the Bayhawks fell behind early and could never close the gap. Wright had 16 points and fellow senior Kaycee French had 6, but they were the only Bayhawks with more than four points.
Blaine lost two close ones to Bellingham on Tuesday, 41-37, and to Mount Vernon on Friday, 54-51. Against the Bayhawks, sophomore Deja Dube and senior Hailey Pike led Blaine with 9 points each and senior Krystin Kamrath added 8 points. Pike also had 14 rebounds, and Kamrath had 8 rebounds and 6 steals, but going 0-for-6 from the line in the fourth quarter and 5 of 20 for the game doomed the Borderites. Pike’s 24 points and Dube’s 13 helped the Borderites take the lead going into the fourth quarter on Friday, but the Bulldogs hit five 3s in a 23-point fourth quarter for the win.
Mount Baker lost to Lynden on Wednesday, 78-35, and to Squalicum on Friday, 49-35. Against the Lions, Barter had a team-high 18 points and senior Taite Reardon added 8 points. Against the Storm, the Mounties rallied to tied the game after three quarters, but couldn’t pull off the win. Barter again had 18 points, Reardon had 8, and sophomore Jenna Wineinger had 9 rebounds to lead Mount Baker.
It’s a short week because of the holidays, so Whatcom Hoops wishes everyone a blessed Christmas with your loved ones. In a showdown between two of the Northwest Conference leaders, Lynden Christian is at Ferndale on Tuesday.
Monday, Dec. 20: Anacortes at Bellingham, Orcas Island at Lummi Nation, Blaine at Lynden
Tuesday, Dec. 21: Lynden Christian at Ferndale, Meridian at Squalicum, Mount Baker at Oak Harbor, Sedro-Woolley at Nooksack Valley, Sehome at Mount Vernon
Wednesday, Dec. 22: Lynden at Bishop Blanchet
Thursday, Dec. 23: Sehome at Seattle Prep