The good news is that we had our first Whatcom County basketball player honored as a WIAA athlete of the week. It was Kadance Blankers from Meridian for her performance the week of May 24-29 (the WIAA’s Week 15).
The junior guard had two good games, averaging 11 points, five rebounds, four assists and one and a half steals per game in helping the Trojans hand both Sehome and Ferndale their first losses of the season.
But Blankers had one GREAT shot, which happened to be caught on tape by Jeremy James (thanks for letting us use it, Jeremy). It was her buzzer-beating halfcourt shot that gave Meridian its 47-45 victory over the Golden Eagles on May 28.
You can read all about the great game — and all the great games from two weeks ago — in the Whatcom Hoops Week 3 girls recap at https://www.whatcomhoops.com/whatcom-hoops-girls-week-3-recap-may-24-29/.
Then there’s the bad news of the week: The Northwest Conference had its first COVID cancellations of the season, all but one of them affecting Whatcom County teams.
Anacortes canceled its games against Lynden Christian (last Thursday, June 3), Sehome (last Saturday, June 5), Ferndale (this Monday, June 7), La Conner (next Saturday, June 12) and Nooksack Valley (June 15).
Mount Vernon canceled its games with Ferndale (last Saturday, June 5) and Lynden (this Monday, June 7).
GAME OF THE WEEK
In a battle royale between two of last year’s Class 2A state semifinalists, defending state champion Lynden rallied to defeat rival Burlington-Edison on Saturday night, 53-50. Down by six midway through the final period, the Lions tightened up on defense with spark plug Sam Villars clamping down on Tigers sharpshooter Miranda Maskell. A bucket by Faith Baar and a 3-pointer by Villars — both off assists from Anna VanderYacht — plus two clutch free throws by Adia Newcomb gave Lynden the lead with 30 seconds to go. One final defensive stop gave the Lions the victory, their seventh in a row.
PLAYERS OF THE WEEK
Bellingham senior Alexa Mee scored 31 points against Mount Baker on Tuesday. … Lynden senior Anna VanderYacht had 26 points and 12 rebounds in the Lions’ big win on Saturday. … Nooksack Valley freshman Devin Coppinger had 20 points and sophomore Hallie Kamphouse hit five 3-pointers for 17 points on Thursday against Squalicum. The two came back on Saturday against Meridian with Kamphouse scoring 21 and Coppinger scoring 20. … Mount Baker sophomore Maddy Barter had 19 points against Bellingham on Tuesday.
HIGHLIGHTS OF THE WEEK
Lynden defeated Meridian on Tuesday, 49-32; beat Mount Baker on Thursday, 62-29; and edged Burlington-Edison, 53-50, on Saturday. Haylee Koetje led the Lions on Tuesday with 14 points and 10 rebounds, and fellow freshman Kalanie Newcomb added 7 points, 4 steals and 3 assists. Seniors Anna VanderYacht had 11 points, Faith Baar had 12 rebounds, and Riley Anderson had 9 rebounds. Against Mount Baker, Lynden jumped to a 17-1 lead and had 11 of 13 players score. VanderYacht led the balanced attack with 15 points, a pair of 3-pointers, and 6 rebounds. Sophomore Adia Newcomb added 11 points and a pair of 3s; Koetje had 8 points, 5 rebounds and 4 assists; Baar had 7 points and a team-high 10 rebounds; and senior Maddie Canales had 6 points and 6 rebounds. In addition to VanderYacht’s big game against Burlington-Edison, sophomore Adia Newcomb had 7 points and sister Kalanie had 6 points, and Anderson had 7 rebounds.
Nooksack Valley ran its winning streak to five games by stopping Squalicum on Thursday, 70-24, and overpowering short-handed Meridian on Saturday, 63-44. On Thursday, the Pioneers used their physical defense to limit the Storm to less than seven points in three of the four quarters. Freshman Devin Coppinter had a game-high 20 points, including a pair of 3-pointers, and sophomore Hallie Kamphouse hit five 3-pointers and had 17 points. Senior Maya Galley had 9 points and freshman Lainey Kimball had 8 points. On Saturday, Nooksack Valley used a 21-point second quarter to pull away from Meridian, which only had six players. Kamphouse hit four 3-pointers among her game-high 21, Coppinger had 20 points and was 3-for-3 from the line, and senior Jenna Compton had 8 points.
Bellingham ran its winning streak to four games by defeating Mount Baker on Tuesday, 63-41, and Oak Harbor on Thursday, 47-30. Against the Mounties, senior Alexa Mee had a career night with 31 points and four 3-pointers, sophomore Kristina Jovag had 13 points, and senior Adi McKay had 12 points on four 3-pointers. The Red Raiders’ victory on Thursday was their second over the Wildcats in less than a week. Mee had 16 points, including a pair of 3-pointers, and McKay hit three 3-pointers and was a perfect 4-for-4 from the line for 13 points. Jovag added 9 points as Bellingham held Oak Harbor to four points in the second quarter to take control.
Lummi Nation avenged an earlier loss by beating Grace Academy on Tuesday, 57-51; overcame Orcas Christian on Wednesday, 50-43; and lost to Neah Bay on Saturday, 66-23.
In its only game of the week, Lynden Christian defeated Ferndale on Tuesday, 70-34. The Lyncs, who already had a shorter 13-game schedule, also had Thursday’s game against Anacortes canceled. Against the Golden Eagles, LC exploded for 26 points in the third quarter to break open a close game. Junior Libby Stump led the way with 14 points, including two 3-pointers, senior Emily Mellema had 12 points, seniors Paige TeVelde and Kiley Roetcisoender had 10 points and two 3s each, and junior Alli Van Kooten came off the bench to score 9 points.
Sehome lost to Burlington-Edison on Tuesday, 68-45; slipped past Sedro-Woolley on Thursday, 40-32; and had its game with Anacortes on Saturday canceled. On Tuesday, Burlington-Edison used a 28-point third quarter to pull away from Sehome. Junior Madeline Schumacher had a team-high 15 points for the Mariners, senior Kaylee Wilson tossed three 3-pointers and 12 points, and sophomore Mac Cooper had 8 points. Against the Cubs, senior Haley Henderson sparked the Mariners with her three second-quarter 3-pointers, and Schumacher and junior Ava Lunny each added 8 points and a 3-pointer.
Meridian lost to Lynden on Tuesday, 49-32; beat Blaine on Thursday, 55-24; and then lost to Nooksack Valley on Saturday, 63-44. Against the Lions, sophomore Maris Baklund had a game-high 11 points, and senior Maddie Bowler had 7, but no other Trojan managed more than five points as Meridian was held to 16 points through three quarters. In the win over Blaine, Baklund led a balanced offense with 14 points, including a pair of 3-pointers. Bowler had 11 points and three 3s, junior Jolena Hoefer had 10 points, junior Ellie DeWaard had 8, and junior Skyleigh James had 7. Against the Pioneers, Bowler had 15 points, including a pair of 3s; junior Kadance Blankers had 9 points, and DeWaard had 8.
Mount Baker lost to Bellingham on Tuesday, 63-41; fell to Lynden on Thursday, 62-29; and beat Blaine on Saturday, 49-44. Sophomore Maddy Barter led the Mounties on Tuesday with 19 points, and junior Trinity Anderson added 7 points. Against Lynden, Barter had 12 points, and Anderson added 8 points. Anderson led the way in the victory over the Borderites, scoring 12 points and hitting a pair of 3-pointers. Freshman Lauren Valum had 11 points, and Barter added 9 points and two 3s.
Squalicum defeated Blaine on Tuesday, 30-25, for the Storm’s first win, but lost to Nooksack Valley on Thursday, 70-24. Senior Rachel Heinke had 11 points, and sophomore Callie McEachran added 10 as the Storm held on for the victory over the Borderites. Against the Pioneers, freshman Mari Binning had 7 points but no other Storm player managed more than four.
Ferndale fell to Lynden Christian on Tuesday, 70-34; lost to Burlington-Edison on Thursday, 61-59; and had its Saturday game against Mount Vernon canceled. Against the Lyncs, senior Jamie Johnson had a game-high 16 points, including two 3-pointers, and sophomore Cailyn Keesen came off the bench to hit a pair of 3s and score 8 points. The Golden Eagles let an eight-point halftime lead slip way against Burlington-Edison and lost another heart-breaker by two points. Senior Josie Cline, junior Kaelee Bungard, and sophomore Madisyn Butenshoen each had 13 points to lead Ferndale. Johnson added 10 points, and sophomore Ellie Ochoa had 7.
Blaine dropped its three games last week, losing to Squalicum on Tuesday, 30-25; Meridian on Thursday, 55-24; and Mount Baker on Saturday, 49-44. Against the Storm, the Borderites rallied after falling behind 14-2 at the half but couldn’t dig out of the hole. Freshman Alia Ball had a team-high 8 points, including six in the fourth-quarter comeback, but it wasn’t enough. Blaine’s offense never got going against the Trojans. Junior Hailey Pike managed to score 10 points, and Ball had 6, but the rest of the squad only managed eight points. Freshman Jordyn Vezzetti pulled down 13 rebounds to lead Blaine. On Saturday, Blaine’s fourth-quarter comeback against the Mounties came up short. Pike had 13 points and 13 rebounds to lead the Borderites, freshman Deja Dube had 11 points, and Ball had 9 points and 7 rebounds.
NORTHWEST CONFERENCE (unofficial)
Four of the NWC’s top teams square off this week when Sehome travels to first-place Lynden Christian on Monday, and second-place Nooksack Valley tries to keep pace when it hits the road against Burlington-Edison on Wednesday.
Monday, June 7: Bellingham at Squalicum, Nooksack Valley at Mount Baker, Blaine at Oak Harbor, Sehome at Lynden Christian, Sedro-Woolley at Meridian, Lummi Nation at Cedar Park Christian
Wednesday, June 9: Mount Baker at Sedro-Woolley, Nooksack Valley at Burlington-Edison, Sehome at Ferndale, Squalicum at Oak Harbor, Tulalip Heritage at Lummi Nation
Thursday, June 10: Lynden at La Conner, Sedro-Woolley at Blaine
Friday, June 11: Meridian at Bellingham, Lynden Christian at King’s, Oak Harbor at Mount Baker, Lummi Nation at Mount Vernon Christian
Saturday, June 12: Mount Vernon at Blaine
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.