And then there was only one week.
It wasn’t that long ago when we were wondering if there would be a basketball season, and now we have only six more days left.
Except for Lummi Nation, which is already done with its season (the Blackhawks started a week earlier than the rest of the county), our Whatcom County teams each have two or three games this week as the Northwest Conference wraps up its schedule.
Unfortunately, the NWC schools voted not to have any league playoffs because of the uneven schedules, and the WIAA, the state’s ruling body over high school sports, decided not to have any district, regional or state tournaments this year.
Fortunately, Week 6 is almost a playoff week with the top teams facing each other to settle the final “unofficial” league standings.
The big game, as usual, is Lynden vs. Lynden Christian. The two heavyweights square off on Thursday at LC.
One or the other has been in a state championship game six of the past seven years, including last year when the Lions won the Class 2A crown and the Lyncs were the Class 1A champions.
Other important contests this week are Lynden at Nooksack Valley on Monday; Ferndale at Lynden on Tuesday; Nooksack Valley at Sehome on Thursday; and Lynden Christian at Meridian and Ferndale at Nooksack Valley, both on Saturday.
GAME OF THE WEEK
Lynden Christian and rival King’s had another slugfest worthy of their legendary district and state battles. The visiting Lyncs led the defensive struggle throughout, but King’s cut LC’s lead to two twice in the final three minutes. The first time, junior Libby Stump countered with a layup, and the second time, senior Paige TeVelde hit a 3-pointer. But it took Stump’s baseline jump with 12 seconds left to seal the 39-35 victory for Lynden Christian.
PLAYERS OF THE WEEK
Bellingham senior Adi McKay broke the school record for career 3-pointers after knocking down five against Squalicum on Monday. She now has 138, breaking Sara Hanson’s 18-year-old record of 134. … Freshman Devin Coppinger had 27 points to lead Nooksack Valley over Mount Baker. … Mount Baker junior Trinity Anderson had 21 points against Sedro-Woolley. … Lynden senior Faith Baar had 27 rebounds in the Lions’ loss to Tahoma. … Meridian senior Maddie Bowler had 18 points and three 3-pointers against Sedro-Woolley. … Senior Jamie Johnson led Ferndale over Sehome with 18 points.
HIGHLIGHTS OF THE WEEK
Blaine overpowered Oak Harbor on Monday, 35-23; stopped Sedro-Woolley on Thursday, 53-37; and in a game originally scheduled for Wednesday, mauled Mount Vernon on Saturday, 54-16. In a rematch with Oak Harbor, the Borderites took command early and had the same victorious results. Krystin Kamrath led the way with 14 points and 9 rebounds, and fellow junior Hailey Pike had 9 points and 13 rebounds. In another rematch with the same results, Blaine had possibly its best all around game, collecting 18 team assists in the win over Sedro. Pike had 20 points and 13 rebounds, Kamrath had 17 points and 9 rebounds, and freshman Alia Ball dished out 6 assists. The Borderites finished off their best week of the season by shutting down the Bulldogs thanks to 19 steals. Kamrath and freshman Deja Dube had 14 points each, with Kamrath handing out 6 assists. Pike had 13 points and 10 rebounds, freshman Jordyn Vezzetti had 9 points, and Ball had 7 rebounds.
Squalicum has now won three of its last four games after beating Bellingham on Monday, 46-40, and Oak Harbor on Wednesday, 42-28. Against the Red Raiders, the Storm had their best offensive game of the season, scoring their most points in a game and holding Bellingham to only 17 second-half points. Senior Rachel Heinke led the Storm with 15 points, freshman Mari Binning added 12, and sophomore Callie McEachran had 9 points. In the win over the Wildcats, the Storm’s defense shined as it allowed its second-lowest point total of the season. Binning had another big game with 13 points, and senior Hannah Thurston had 10 points.
Meridian trounced Sedro-Woolley on Monday, 74-24, and pulled away to beat Bellingham on Friday, 48-29. Senior Maddie Bowler led the Trojans against the Cubs with 18 points. She had three of Meridian’s five 3-pointers in the first quarter as the Trojans jumped to 25-10 lead and then sealed the victory by holding Sedro to seven points in the second half. Junior Ellie DeWaard also had a trio of 3s and 16 points, and fellow juniors Kadance Blankers added 12 points and a pair of 3-pointers, and Skyleigh James had 10 points. Against the Red Raiders, Meridian used a big fourth-quarter to break open a close game. Bowler had a game-high 16 points and three 3-pointers, junior Finnley Claeys finished with 11 points, and Avery Neal had 9.
Lynden Christian defeated Sehome on Monday, 68-25, and King’s in a non-league battle on Friday, 39-35. On Monday, the Lyncs held the Mariners to eight first-half points and used a balanced offense to take the victory. Senior Emily Mellema and junior Alli Van Kooten had 10 points each, senior Lexi Hernandez had 9 points, junior Libby Stump had 8, and senior Kiley Roetcisoender had 7. In Seattle against King’s (see “game of the week” above), the Lyncs held on in the defensive struggle to stay unbeaten. Stump had a team-high 9 points, and senior Paige TeVelde had 8, and the two combined for LC’s nine fourth-quarter points. Seniors Kiley Roetcisoender and Emily Mellema had 6 points each.
Nooksack Valley only had one game this week, beating Mount Baker on Tuesday, 65-29, for the Pioneers’ sixth straight win. Nooksack Valley’s defense took the spotlight, limiting the Mounties to 19 points through three quarters. Freshman Devin Coppinger led the offense with 27 points and two 3-pointers. Senior Maya Galley and junior McKenna Wichers added 7 points each.
Ferndale had its game with Anacortes canceled on Monday (COVID); then defeated Sehome on Wednesday, 59-45, and picked up a non-league game against La Conner on Saturday, losing to the Class 2B power, 69-53. The Golden Eagles came out fired up against the Mariners, taking a 16-0 lead after the first quarter. Senior Jamie Johnson led the way with 18 points, but she got a lot of help from junior Alyvia Semu (9 points), senior Josie Cline (8 points), and junior Kaelee Bungard (8 points and 8 rebounds). Against La Conner, sophomore Cailyn Kessen had a team-high 16 points, including four 3-pointers in the fourth quarter; Bungard had 14 points; and sophomore Ashley Lang added 8 points thanks to a pair of 3s.
Mount Baker lost to Nooksack Valley on Tuesday, 65-29; overpowered Sedro-Woolley on Wednesday, 63-25; and beat Oak Harbor on Friday, 35-27. Against the Pioneers, sophomore Maddy Barter led the scoring with 13 points and the team’s two 3-pointers. Senior Ripley Reardon also had 7 points in a game where points were hard to come by. The Mounties got their offense going against the Cubs with a season-high point total. Junior Trinity Anderson led the way, scoring 21 points, hitting three 3-pointers, and going 3-for-3 from the line. Barter added 14 points, all in the first half, Reardon had 8 points, and freshman Lauren Valum had 7 points. The Mounties only managed two points in the fourth quarter against Oak Harbor, but by then had secured the victory. Anderson hit a pair of 3-pointers and had a game-high 10 points, and Reardon had 7 points.
Lummi Nation (5-6) wrapped up its season with a victory over Cedar Park Christian (Lynnwood) on Monday, 58-33, and losses to Tulalip Heritage on Wednesday, 49-41, and Mount Vernon Christian on Thursday, 67-38. In Monday’s victory, sophomore Raven Solomon and senior Shaylynn Jojola had 11 points each to lead the Blackhawks, and Aliesha Solomon had 8 points. Against Tulalip Heritage, Raven Solomon was the scoring leader with 12 points, and Aliesha Solomon and freshman Serenade Pantalia had 7 points each. Raven Solomon again led the way with 14 points against Mount Vernon Christian, and Alayla Solomon added 7 points.
Sehome lost to Lynden Christian on Monday, 68-25, and to Ferndale on Wednesday, 59-45. Against Lynden Christian, only four Mariners scored as Sehome’s offense never got going. Junior Madeline Schumacher and sophomore Mac Cooper had 8 points each, and junior Ava Lunny added 7 points. Against Ferndale, the Mariners fell into a 16-0 hole after the first quarter but then played the Golden Eagles even. Freshman Madi Cooper had a team-high 12 points and the Mariners’ only 3-pointer, and Lunny and Schumacher added 9 points each with Schumacher also pulling down 6 rebounds.
Lynden had its game with Mount Vernon canceled on Monday (COVID) and its game with Anacortes canceled on Wednesday (COVID). The Lions managed to get two non-league games, having their seven-game winning streak end against unbeaten Class 4A Tahoma on Wednesday, 51-49, and losing to once-beaten La Conner on Thursday, 74-58. Against Tahoma, the Lions rallied in the fourth quarter but couldn’t get off a good shot as time ran out. Senior Anna VanderYacht led the Lions with 14 points and added 5 rebounds, senior Faith Baar had 9 points and a game-high 27 rebounds, senior Maddie Canales had 9 points and 8 rebounds, and freshman Haylee Koetje hit two 3s and had 8 points. Against La Conner, a rough third quarter erased their halftime lead and a 19-point fourth quarter wasn’t enough to catch the Class 2B power. VanderYacht had a team-high 14 points, and Canales and Adia Newcomb had 8 each. Koetje and junior Sam Villars added 7 each.
Bellingham had its four-game winning streak snapped with losses to Squalicum on Monday, 48-43, and Meridian on Friday, 48-29. Senior Adi McKay broke the school record for career 3-pointers, hitting five of them and collecting 16 points in the loss to the Storm. Senior Alexa Mee had 11 points, and sophomore Kristina Jovag had 8 points but the Red Raiders only managed three buckets in the crucial fourth period. Against the Trojans, Bellingham stayed close through three quarters but couldn’t keep up with Meridian. Mee led the Red Raiders with 12 points, and McKay and Jovag had 6 each.
NORTHWEST CONFERENCE (unofficial)
The last week of the season offers us one of the best matchups of the season as defending Class 2A state champion Lynden travels across town to take on defending Class 1A state champion Lynden Christian on Thursday night. The Lions, who just had their seven-game winning streak broken, will be looking to knock the rival Lyncs from the unbeaten ranks.
Monday June 14: Lynden at Nooksack Valley
Tuesday, June 15: Sehome at Blaine, Burlington-Edison at Bellingham, Lynden Christian at Squalicum, La Conner at Meridian, Ferndale at Lynden
Thursday, June 17: Bellingham at Mount Vernon, Blaine at Ferndale, Lynden at Lynden Christian, Squalicum at Meridian, Nooksack Valley at Sehome
Saturday, June 19: Anacortes at Bellingham, Lynden Christian at Meridian, Mount Baker at Squalicum, Ferndale at Nooksack Valley