Whatcom Hoops: Girls Week 6 Recap (Jan. 2-6)

There are a lot of high school basketball rankings out there, but the one that matters most is the WIAA’s Rating Percentage Index (RPI). It is probably the most important factor in determining seedings in the playoffs, including state tournaments.

It is a complicated formula that is adjusted after every game, but the bottom line is the lower the number the better — just like the media rankings. In other words, you want to be No.1, not No.65.

With that in mind, Whatcom Hoops will often use the RPI ratings whenever rankings are mentioned in game stories or, starting today, in our recaps. Keep in mind, the RPI rankings can change every day depending on what your team does or what other teams do. It only really matters come playoff time.

So after six weeks, we have three Whatcom teams ranked in the top 10 of their classifications: Defending state champion Nooksack Valley sits atop the Class 1A rankings with Lynden Christian in ninth, and Lynden is No.2 among the Class 2A schools behind only two-time defending champion Ellensburg.

For a look back at Week 6 for our Whatcom boys teams, check out Whatcom Hoops boys recap.

Here are the girls highlights from Week 6 with the RPI rankings included:


Ferndale held a six-point lead in the fourth quarter but couldn’t hold off host Oak Harbor, losing in overtime on Friday, 66-64. The Golden Eagles couldn’t stop Wildcats sophomore Suki Warden, who hit a 3-pointer to send the game into OT and then scored six of Oak Harbor’s eight points in the extra period to finish with 27 points and hand Ferndale its first Northwest Conference loss.


Freshman Jemma James, who was just named one of the Scorebook Live state athletes of the week for Week 16 of the school year, had 35 points on Thursday and 22 on Friday in Lummi Nation’s two victories. … … Senior Devin Coppinger had 29 points to lead Nooksack Valley to its big win Friday. … Senior Emmy Hart had 23 points for Sehome on Wednesday and followed that with 16 more on Friday. … Senior Mallory Butenschoen had 19 points and sophomore Kayla Washington had 15 points in Ferndale’s only game of the week. … Freshman Finley Parcher had 17 points for Lynden on Thursday. … Mount Baker senior Jenna Wineinger had 15 points on Wednesday. … Senior Mari Binning had 15 points for Squalicum on Saturday.


SQUALICUM (RPI ranking: No. 13, Class 2A) ran its unbeaten streak to seven by defeating Mount Vernon on Tuesday, 48-33; Anacortes on Thursday, 58-25; and Blaine on Saturday, 45-27. On Tuesday, the Storm held the Bulldogs to 12 first-half points and kept the lead in double figures through most of the second half. Binning had a great all-around game with 14 points, 8 rebounds, 7 assists, and 3 steals; senior Caitlyn Richardson had 12 points, 6 rebounds, and 3 steals; and freshman Addison Kettman added 7 points as eight different Squalicum players scored.  On Thursday, Squalicum used a 23-point second quarter to go up by 20 at the half and coast to victory over the Seahawks. Nine different players scored with junior Loretta Murphy-Kangas collecting 13 points, Binning and freshman Carli Kiesau tossing in 11 each, and senior Makayla Heaton adding 9 points. On Saturday, the Storm held Blaine to 13 first-half points and then held off the Borderites. Binning and Kiesau had 15 and 14 points, respectively, and each had a pair of 3-pointers. Murphy-Kangas added 9 points for Squalicum. 

LUMMI NATION (No. 17, 1B) toppled Tulalip Heritage on Thursday, 64-22, and beat Friday Harbor on Friday, 40-33. On Thursday against their tribal rivals, the Lady Blackhawks jumped to an early lead and put away the Hawks with a 22-point second quarter. James had four 3-pointers among her 35 points, senior Zeta Landsem had 10 points, and senior Serena Pantalia had 6 points. In Friday’s non-league contest, James scored 16 of her game-high 22 points in the second half as Lummi Nation rallied from a one-point halftime deficit. The freshman also hit six 3-pointers in the game. Landsem added 9 point,s and Pantalia had 6 points.

NOOKSACK VALLEY (No. 1, 1A) defeated Lynden Christian on Friday, 61-46. In a rematch of the past two 1A state championship games, the Pioneers used a 27-point second quarter to take command and then hold off the Lyncs. Coppinger’s 29 points and seven 3-pointers led Nooksack Valley and she also had 6 rebounds and 5 assists. Senior Kaylee Anderson had 9 points on three 3s; senior Lainey Kimball had 9 points, 6 rebounds, and 6 assists; and senior Tana Hoekema had 7 points. Check out the story at Nooksack Valley-Lynden Christian girls.

SEHOME (No. 14, 2A) sank Oak Harbor on Wednesday, 67-54, and chopped down Lakewood on Friday, 72-54. On Wednesday, Hart made 7 of 13 from beyond the arc to finish with 23 points and come up one shy of tying her school record of eight 3-pointers set earlier this season. She also had 9 assists, 4 rebounds, and 4 steals. Fellow seniors Madi Cooper and Natalie Brewer had 14 points each with Brewer pulling down a team-high 14 rebounds and Cooper dishing out 6 assists. On Friday, Sehome blew open a tight game by scoring 42 points in the second half. Hart led a balanced scoring attack with 16 points and four 3-pointers and also had 7 assists and 6 rebounds. Cooper had 14 points, 7 rebounds, 5 assists, and 3 steals; seniors Macie Aven and Kylie Watson had 12 points each; and Brewer had 11 points. Aven added a pair of 3-pointers and 5 rebounds, Brewer had a team-high 8 rebounds plus 4 assists, and senior Hazel Gaston had 6 rebounds and 3 steals.

LYNDEN (No. 2, 2A) beat Bellingham on Thursday, 62-9. The Lions overpowered the Bayhawks with nine different Lions getting in the scoring column. Parcher made all six of her shots from the field for 17 points and pulled down a game-high 6 rebounds, sophomore Payton Mills had 10 points, freshman Lexi Hermanutz had 8 points and 4 rebounds, senior Haylee Koetje had 7 points and 5 assists, and sophomore Rian Stephan had 4 steals.

LYNDEN CHRISTIAN (No. 9, 1A) beat Mount Baker on Wednesday, 74-36, and lost to Nooksack Valley on Friday, 61-46. On Wednesday, Lynden Christian used its depth to outscore Mount Baker, 30-5, in the third quarter to break away from the stubborn Mounties. Ten Lyncs scored with junior Allison Shumate leading the way with 14 points. Senior Tabby DeJong had 12 points, including eight in third period; junior Danya Dykstra had 11 points, and sophomores Estella Hernandez and Ella Fritts had 8 points each. On Friday, the Lyncs were outscored by 14 in the second quarter, which proved to be the difference against the Pioneers. Fritts had 11 points and 6 rebounds, DeJong and sophomore Sara Van Loo had 8 points each, and Shumate had 6 points. Check out the story from Friday’s game at Lynden Christian-Nooksack Valley girls.

BELLINGHAM (No. 48, 2A) lost to Lynden on Thursday, 62-9. The Bayhawks only managed four field goals against the Lynden defense. Junior Malia Hanks had 5 points, and freshman Merritt Jensen had 4 rebounds for Bellingham.

FERNDALE (No.32, 3A) was upset by Oak Harbor on Friday, 66-64. The Golden Eagles led most of the way but after Oak Harbor tied it in the closing seconds, Ferndale was outscored, 8-6, in overtime. Butenschoen led the scoring with 19 points; Washington collected 15 points, 6 steals, and 5 assists; fellow sophomore Jillea Fox had 13 points and a team-high 10 rebounds; and senior Naomi Stanley added 8 points.

BLAINE (No. 33, 1A) lost to Sedro-Woolley on Thursday, 51-44, and to Squalicum on Saturday, 45-27. On Thursday, the Borderites held an eight-point lead at halftime, but couldn’t hold off the Cubs in the final period. Freshman Teia Dube led the Borderites with 13 points, senior Deja Dube had 10 points, and senior Alia Ball had 8 points. On Saturday, Blaine fell behind by 15 at the half but battled the Storm evenly in the second half. Senior Jordyn Vezzetti had four 3-pointers and a team-high 13 points, Deja Dube added 10 points and Teia Dube had 6 points.

MERIDIAN (No. 36, 1A) lost to Burlington-Edison on Tuesday, 52-29, and to Mount Vernon on Saturday, 45-40. On Tuesday, the Trojans never got their offense going against the Tigers’ pressure. Junior Brooklyn Fuller and sophomore Kinsley Neal had 11 points each with Fuller grabbing 7 rebounds and Neal nabbing 4 boards. On Saturday, after a five-point second quarter put them in a hole, the Trojans battled back with a 14-point fourth quarter only to come up short. Fuller had 10 points including a pair of 3-pointers during the late rally, and freshmen Maddy Swanson had 7 points, and Amelia Koning had 6 with Swanson and Koning each hitting two 3s. 

MOUNT BAKER (No. 46, 1A) lost to Lynden Christian on Wednesday, 74-36, and to Burlington-Edison on Saturday, 81-36. On Wednesday, Mount Baker battled to within five of the Lyncs at halftime but managed only 15 points in the second half. Only three Mounties scored with Wineinger collecting 15 points, sophomore Natalie Van Liew tallying 12 points, and freshman Violet Fox adding 9 points. On Saturday, the Tigers had too much firepower and led 56-18 by halftime. Wineinger again led the Mounties with 12 points, and Van Liew and Fox added 10 points each.

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



Ferndale will be put to the test this week as the Golden Eagles host Burlington-Edison, the Class 2A state runner-up the past two years, on Wednesday and then travel to Nooksack Valley to take on the defending 1A state champion Pioneers on Saturday.


Tuesday, Jan. 9: Oak Harbor at Bellingham, Squalicum at Nooksack Valley, Meridian at Blaine, Mount Baker at Lynden, Lummi Nation at Providence Classical Christian

Wednesday, Jan. 10: Burlington-Edison at Ferndale, Sehome at Mount Vernon

Thursday, Jan. 11: Bellingham at Anacortes, Lynden at Blaine, Meridian at Lynden Christian

Friday, Jan. 12: Mount Baker at Squalicum

Saturday, Jan. 13: Ferndale at Nooksack Valley, Sehome at Sedro-Woolley


  League  Overall
Nooksack Valley70111
Lynden Christian5285
Oak Harbor4375
Mount Vernon2536
Mount Baker0739


  League  Overall
Lummi Nation5075
Tulalip Heritage5165
Grace Academy3233
Lopez Island2323
Cedar Park Christian (Lynnwood)2454
Providence Classical Christian0404
Shoreline Christian0414
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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