Whatcom Hoops: Girls Week 7 Recap (Jan. 9-13)

With only three weeks left in the regular season, the top teams in both the Northwest Conference and Northwest 1B League are settling into place as they look forward to their respective District 1 tournaments.

Defending state champion Nooksack Valley and state runner-up Lynden Christian will again be the heavy favorites heading into the five-team Class 1A district playoffs. The top two teams get automatic berths into the state regionals this year and won’t have to play bi-district play-in games.

Burlington-Edison, Lynden, and Sehome were the district’s 2A state qualifiers last year and all three sit at or near the top of the NWC standings. The trio along with the NWC’s other 2A teams and Archbishop Murphy of the Western Conference will be battling for only two state berths this year.

In the 3A ranks, Ferndale is in position to qualify for its district tournament but after last week’s two losses will look to finish strong to avoid the loser-out play-in games.

For Lummi Nation, the district playoffs should be a mere formality as the Lady Blackhawks have stormed through their league and will be shooting for a first-round bye into the tri-district tournament.

For a look back at Week 7 for our Whatcom boys teams, check out Whatcom Hoops boys recap.

Last week, we re-introduced the RPI ratings and will continue to use them as a way to rank teams statewide. But if you want an easy way to understand the very complicated system — actually two systems — then click here to read Ted House’s great RPI explanation.

Here are the girls highlights from Week 7.


In a week where most games were blowouts, Ferndale’s 64-52 home loss to Burlington-Edison on Wednesday was the closest. The Golden Eagles were within two in the waning minutes, but the Tigers showed why they’ve reached the past two 2A state championship games by keeping their poise and closing with a 13-3 run for the final margin.  


Devin Coppinger had 24 points for Nooksack Valley on Tuesday and followed that up with 32 on Saturday. Fellow senior Tana Hoekema added 18 points for the Pioneers on Saturday. … Senior Jordyn Vezzetti had 31 points in Blaine’s big win Tuesday. … Freshman Jemma James had 27 points and sophomore Ailina Rabang had 23 points for Lummi Nation on Thursday, and on Friday, James had 22 points and Rabang added 21. … Sehome senior Madi Cooper had 25 points on Wednesday and 17 more on Saturday. … Sophomore Payton Mills had 18 points on Tuesday. … Senior Mallory Butenschoen had 15 points for Ferndale on Wednesday. … Freshman Eden Bernardy had 15 points to lead Meridian on Thursday. 


LUMMI NATION (RPI ranking: No.16, Class 1B) overcame Orcas Island on Thursday, 65-43, and pummeled Providence Classical Christian on Friday, 75-11. On Thursday, the Lady Blackhawks broke open a close game in the fourth quarter by outscoring the Vikings, 21-7, in the non-league contest. James had seven of her game-high 27 points and Rabang, a sophomore transfer from Sehome, had 12 of her 23 in the decisive fourth period. James finished with six 3-pointers and Rabang had four 3s. On Friday, Lummi Nation had the running clock going in the second quarter and led 48-4 at halftime. James had 13 of her game-high 22 points in Lummi’s 30-point first quarter and Rabang had all 21 of her points including two 3-pointers in the first half. Brianna Metteba, a sophomore transfer from Ferndale, added 12 points, all in the second half, and senior Zeta Landsom added 8 points as nine Blackhawks got in the scoring column.

LYNDEN (No.2, 2A) beat Mount Baker on Tuesday, 81-24, and Blaine on Thursday, 61-17. On Tuesday, 13 different Lions scored as Lynden overwhelmed the Mounties. Mills made all seven of her free throws on the way to 18 points, 7 rebounds, and 4 steals. Freshman Finley Parcher contributed 10 points, 8 rebounds, 5 assists, and 3 steals. On Thursday, seniors powered the Lions over the Borderites with Mya VanderYacht and Haylee Koetje collecting 10 points each, and Kalanie Newcomb hitting three 3-pointers for 9 points. Parcher added 8 points, all in the first half.

NOOKSACK VALLEY (No.1, 1A) defeated Squalicum on Tuesday, 63-27, and Ferndale on Saturday, 79-32. On Tuesday, the Pioneers gave up six or fewer points in three of the four quarters and led by more than 20 points by the second period. Coppinger had another big game with 24 points, 8 rebounds, and 5 assists; senior Tana Hoekema had 12 points and 9 rebounds; senior Kaylee Anderson had 8 points on a pair of 3s; and sophomore Grace DeHoog had 7 points, 7 steals, and 4 rebounds. On Saturday, the Pioneers burst to a 22-11 first-quarter lead and held the Golden Eagles to their lowest point total of the season. Coppinger had 22 of her 32 points in the first half and she finished with five 3-pointers and 13 rebounds. Hoekema had 18 points and 6 rebounds, and sophomores Payton Bartl and DeHoog had 12 points each with DeHoog also pulling down 10 rebounds.

SEHOME (No.11, 2A) defeated Mount Vernon on Wednesday, 52-36, and Sedro-Woolley on Saturday, 67-30. On Wednesday, the Sehome defense sparkled, holding the Bulldogs to 15 points through the first three quarters. On offense, it was Cooper who shined with 25 points including four 3-pointers, 3 assists, and 5 steals. Senior Natalie Brewer  had 9 points and 8 rebounds, and seniors Emmy Hart and Macie Aven had 6 points each with Hart collecting a pair of 3s and 4 assists. Hazel Gaston had 5 rebounds and fellow senior Kylie Watson had 3 assists. On Saturday, Sehome came out fired up, taking a 27-7 first-quarter lead and never letting up. Ten Mariners scored with Cooper’s 17 leading the way. Hart had 14 points and sophomore Gwen Gates had 12 points with the two of them hitting four 3-pointers each on 8 of 9 shooting. Brewer added 7 points, 7 rebounds and 3 assists; Gaston had 5 rebounds; Cooper and sophomore Aspen Barge had 4 rebounds each; and Watson had 5 assists.

LYNDEN CHRISTIAN (No.10, 1A) defeated Meridian on Thursday, 71-20, in LC’s only game of the week. Twelve different Lyncs scored but the big news was the return of all-state guard Grace Hintz, who was playing her first game after tearing her ACL last summer. The junior had 14 points to lead the Lyncs. Sophomore Ella Fritts added 11 points, senior Tabby DeJong and freshman Kortney Tolsma had 10 points each, and junior Danya Dykstra had 8 points. Dykstra and Tolsma also had two 3-pointers each.

BLAINE (No.34, 1A) beat Meridian on Tuesday, 49-34, and lost to Lynden on Thursday, 61-17. On Tuesday, Vezzetti had 11 of her 31 points in the fourth quarter as Blaine outscored the Trojans, 19-4, to record the big 1A victory. Senior Deja Dube hit five free throws in the final period and finished with 10 points. On Thursday, only Vezzetti managed to have offensive success against the Lions’ defense scoring 13 points to lead both teams.

SQUALICUM (No.15, 2A) lost to Nooksack Valley on Tuesday, 63-27, but bounced back to beat Mount Baker on Friday, 66-33. On Tuesday, the Storm had its seven-game winning streak snapped by the first-place Pioneers, who held Squalicum to two field goals and seven points in the first half. Senior Mari Binning finished with 9 points, and freshman Lexi Robbins came off the bench to score 6 points. On Friday, Squalicum stormed out to a 26-2 lead and never looked back in overwhelming the Mounties. Binning led the offensive onslaught with 12 points, freshman Carli Kiesau had 10 points including eight in the decisive first period; senior Makayla Heaton, and freshmen Tiana Thompson, Addison Kettman, and Robbins each had 8 points; and junior Loretta Murphy-Kangas had 6 points.

BELLINGHAM (No.50, 2A) lost to Oak Harbor on Tuesday, 49-16, and to Anacortes on Thursday, 52-24. On Tuesday, the Bayhawks struggled to get their offense going in the loss to the Wildcats. Sophomore Mary Lockhart had 9 points and 11 rebounds, freshman Merritt Jensen had 5 steals, and sophomore Avery Manning had 3 assists. On Thursday, Lockhart again had 9 points to lead Bellingham in scoring and she also had 7 rebounds and 3 steals. Junior Malia Hanks had 6 points, 8 rebounds, and 4 steals, and sophomore Lily Jude pulled down 8 rebounds and nabbed 3 steals.

FERNDALE (No.37, 3A) lost to Burlington-Edison on Wednesday, 64-52, and to Nooksack Valley on Saturday, 79-32. On Wednesday, the Golden Eagles battled the Tigers even until early in the fourth quarter when Burlington finished the game on a 13-3 tear. Butenschoen finished with 15 points including four 3-pointers and 10 rebounds, sophomore Jillea Fox had 12 points and 10 rebounds, senior Maleah Singson had 11 points on three 3-pointers, and sophomore Kayla Washington had 6 assists. On Saturday, all six Golden Eagles who played scored but it wasn’t enough against the Pioneers. Washington had 10 points thanks to three 3-pointers, and sophomore Abbey White added 6 points for Ferndale. For the story on Wednesday’s game, click on Ferndale-Burlington girls.

MERIDIAN (No.39, 1A) fell to Blaine on Tuesday, 49-34, and to Lynden Christian on Thursday, 71-30. On Tuesday, the Trojans fell behind by 10 in the first quarter, tied it up going into the final period, but only managed four points in the fourth as they lost to the Borderites. Sophomore Kinsley Neal sank three 3s and finished with 11 points, Bernardy added 9 points, and freshman Maddy Swanson had a pair of 3-pointers for 6 points. On Thursday, the Trojans played the Lyncs almost even in the second half, but a four-point first half was too much to overcome. Bernardy led the Trojans with 15 points, all in the second half, and senior Malia McCauley had 6 points and the team’s only 3-pointer.

MOUNT BAKER (No.44, 1A) lost to Lynden on Tuesday, 81-24, and to Squalicum on Friday, 66-33. On Tuesday, the Mounties couldn’t stop the second-ranked 2A Lions. Sophomore Natalie Van Liew had 8 points for Baker, and senior Jenna Wineinger and freshman Violet Fox had 7 points each. On Friday, the Mounties outscored the Storm in the second half but by then had fallen too far behind. Van Liew led the way again with 12 points, sophomore Samiya Powell had 7 points, and Wineinger and Fox had 6 points each.

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

Week 8


Don’t expect all blowouts this week as four of the top Northwest Conference teams will square off. On Wednesday, Burlington-Edison is at Lynden pitting teams that have played in the past three Class 2A state title games, and on Thursday, Sehome is at Lynden Christian in another long-time rivalry game.


Monday, Jan. 15: Bellingham at Lakewood, Blaine at Mount Baker, Lynden Christian at Oak Harbor, Union at Nooksack Valley

Tuesday, Jan. 16: Nooksack Valley at Meridian, Anacortes at Sehome, Squalicum at Sedro-Woolley, Cedar Park Christian (Lynnwood) at Lummi Nation

Wednesday, Jan. 17: Friday Harbor at Bellingham, Mount Vernon at Ferndale, Burlington-Edison at Lynden

Thursday, Jan. 18:  Sehome at Lynden Christian, Sultan at Meridian, Mount Baker at Nooksack Valley, Lopez Island at Lummi Nation

Friday, Jan. 19: Burlington-Edison at Blaine, Anacortes at Ferndale, Lynden at Mount Vernon

Saturday, Jan. 20: Squalicum at Bellingham, Meridian at Sedro-Woolley


  League  Overall
Nooksack Valley90141
Lynden Christian6295
Oak Harbor6395
Mount Vernon2738
Mount Baker09311


  League  Overall
Lummi Nation6095
Tulalip Heritage6175
Grace Academy4344
Lopez Island4343
Cedar Park Christian (Lynnwood)2657
Providence Classical Christian1515
Shoreline Christian0516
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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