Nooksack Valley and Lummi Nation earned important victories last week to secure the undisputed top spots in the Northwest Conference and Northwest 1B League, respectively.
The Pioneers used a big second half to beat Ferndale on Saturday in a battle between the last two unbeaten in NWC play. First-place Lummi Nation knocked off rival Tulalip Heritage to open a two-game lead over the rest of the Northwest 1B.
For a look back at Week 7 for our county boys teams, check out Whatcom Hoops boys recap.
Meanwhile, Lynden, Lynden Christian, and Sehome all kept pace with the league leaders by each winning a pair of games last week.
Here are the girls highlights from Week 7.
GAME OF THE WEEK
In another lopsided week with no games closer than 10 points, at least the Nooksack Valley contest for first place in the Northwest Conference on Saturday was close … for a half. The Pioneers only led by one at intermission, but when the Golden Eagles’ hot shooting cooled off, Nooksack Valley claimed another victim, 69-45.
PLAYERS OF THE WEEK
Mari Binning had 33 points and fellow junior Makayla Heaton had 15 points for Squalicum on Friday. … Lynden Christian sophomore Grace Hintz had 26 points and senior Daisy Poag had 21 points on Monday. … Nooksack Valley junior Devin Coppinger had 20 points on Monday and 26 on Saturday, and junior Lainey Kimball had 16 points on Saturday. … Mount Baker’s Maddy Barter had 18 points on Tuesday and 24 on Friday and fellow senior Jojo Lindsey added 18 points on Friday. … Meridian seniors Maris Baklund and Avery Neal had 21 and 18 points, respectively, on Tuesday. … Lynden junior Haylee Koetje had 17 points on Tuesday and 20 on Thursday. … Ferndale seniors Ellie Ochoa and Ashley Lang had 19 and 17 points, respectively, on Wednesday, and senior Cailyn Kessen had 16 points on Thursday. … Freshman Mary Lockhart had 16 points on Thursday. … Lummi Nation junior Serena Pantalia had 16 points on Tuesday. … Natalie Brewer had 15 points for Sehome on Wednesday and fellow junior Madi Cooper had 15 for the Mariners on Saturday.
HIGHLIGHTS OF THE WEEK
LYNDEN defeated Mount Baker on Tuesday, 68-32, and Blaine on Thursday, 63-22. On Tuesday, Koetje led a balanced attack with 17 points as nine different Lions scored. Junior Mallary Villars and freshman Payton Mills added 12 points each, and senior Adia Newcomb had 9 points all in the first quarter as Lynden jumped to a 19-5 lead. On Thursday, the Lions exploded for 25 points in the first quarter to overwhelm the Borderites. Koetje led the way with 8 points in the first period and finished with 20. Senior Chloe Wittenburg, Newcomb, and Villars had 8 points each as once again nine different Lions scored.
LYNDEN CHRISTIAN annihilated Anacortes on Monday, 61-25, and beat Meridian on Thursday, 53-19. On Monday, the Lyncs bounced back from their first league defeat by holding a Seahawks team with only one league loss to its season-low point total. Hintz and Poag led the way with 26 and 21 points, respectively, with Poag hitting a record seven 3-pointers. On Thursday, the Lyncs’ defense held the Trojans to six points or less in each quarter. Hintz had 23 points, senior Demi Dykstra had 8 points, and the two had 7 rebounds each.
NOOKSACK VALLEY stopped Squalicum on Monday, 68-21, and beat Ferndale on Saturday, 69-45. On Monday, the Nooksack defense was nearly impervious, limiting the Storm to seven points in the second half. Coppinger nearly outscored Squalicum by herself with 20 points and she was 8 of 8 from the line. Kimball added 11 points, junior Kaylee Anderson had three 3-pointers for 9 points, and senior Hallie Kamphouse had a pair of 3s and 8 points. In Saturday’s first-place showdown with Ferndale, the Pioneers scored the first 10 points of the third quarter and pulled away in the second half. Coppinger had a pair of 3-pointers among her 26 points, Kimball added 16, and Anderson hit two more 3s and finished with 8 points.
SEHOME defeated Mount Vernon on Wednesday, 59-46, and Sedro-Woolley on Saturday, 66-25. On Wednesday, the Mariners held the Bulldogs to five third-quarter points to pull away for the victory. Brewer led the balanced attack with 15 points, Cooper had 11 points, senior Madison Hogan had 10 points, and junior Kylie Watson had 9 points. On Saturday, the Mariners unleashed the offense early with a 46-9 first half to overwhelm the Cubs. Eleven different Mariners scored with Cooper collecting 15 points and three of Sehome’s 11 3-pointers, junior Emmy Hart making four 3-pointers for 14 points, and senior Mac Cooper putting up 9 points.
LUMMI NATION trounced Tulalip Heritage on Tuesday, 68-12. On Tuesday, in what was a battle between the top two Northwest 1B League teams, the Blackhawks showed who was best by outscoring the Tulalip, 26-0, in the first quarter and rolling to victory. Pantalia led the Lummi offense with 16 points, junior Keyonee Morris had 12 points, and senior Raven Solomon and eighth-grader Jemma James had 10 points each.
FERNDALE beat Burlington-Edison on Wednesday, 70-61, and Sedro-Woolley on Thursday, 71-27, and then lost to Nooksack Valley on Saturday, 69-45. On Wednesday, the Golden Eagles sank 13 3-pointers to knock off the Tigers. Ochoa had 19 points and two 3-pointers and was 3 for 3 from the line, Lang had 17 points and three 3s and was 6 of 7 from the line, junior Mallory Butenschoen had three more 3s and 12 points, and junior Maleah Singson and Kessen had 9 points each and combined for five 3-pointers. On Thursday, the Golden Eagles hit 11 more 3-pointers and their defense limited the Cubs to 18 points after the first quarter. All 10 Golden Eagles scored with Kessen’s 16 points and four 3s leading the way. Ochoa added 13 and a pair of 3s, and freshman Jillea Fox came off the bench to score 8 points. On Saturday, the Golden Eagles only managed 12 second-half points and had their eight-game league winning streak snapped by Nooksack Valley. Butenschoen, Lang and junior Naomi Stanley had 8 points each for Ferndale with Butenschoen making two 3-pointers.
MERIDIAN bested Blaine on Tuesday, 60-39, and lost to Lynden Christian on Thursday, 53-19. On Tuesday, the Trojans scored 20 points in the first quarter and ran away from the Borderites. Backcourt mates Baklund and Neal combined for 40 points and were 8 of 10 from the free throw line. Baklund also made four 3-pointers. Junior Malia McCauley added 9 points for Meridian. On Thursday, the Trojans couldn’t solve the LC defense and were held to their second lowest point total of the season. Neal had 8 points to lead Meridian.
SQUALICUM lost to Nooksack Valley on Monday, 68-21, and topped Mount Baker on Friday, 63-52. On Monday, the Storm couldn’t get much going against the top-ranked Pioneers. Heaton managed 7 points but only three other Storm players scored and none had more than five points. On Friday, Heaton had 13 of her 33 in the fourth quarter as Squalicum held off the Mounties. Binning had a pair of 3s as did Heaton, who hit 5 of 6 free throws for her 15 points. Senior Callie Richardson added 10 points for the Storm.
BELLINGHAM lost to Oak Harbor on Tuesday, 57-18, and to Anacortes on Thursday, 62-30. On Tuesday, the Bayhawks couldn’t get their offense going against the Wildcats. Sophomore Malia Hanks had 8 points to lead Bellingham. On Thursday, seven of the eight Bayhawks scored but it wasn’t enough against the Seahawks. Lockhart’s 16 points were a career high for the freshman, and she also collected 5 rebounds.
BLAINE fell to Meridian on Tuesday, 60-39, and to Lynden on Thursday, 63-22. On Thursday, the Borderites were held to two field goals and seven points in the first half. Junior Deja Dube had 13 points to lead Blaine and junior Jordyn Vezzetti added 7 points.
MOUNT BAKER lost to Lynden on Tuesday, 68-32, and to Squalicum on Friday, 63-52. On Tuesday, the Lynden defense limited Mount Baker to five points in the first period and only four Mounties managed to score in the game. Barter had 18 points and three 3-pointers, and Lindsey had 6 points and was the only other Mountie with more than four points. On Friday, the Mounties played Squalicum even though most of the game but couldn’t catch the fast-moving Storm. Barter sank three 3-pointers, was 5 of 6 from the line, and finished with 24 points. Lindsey had 18 points and freshman Natalie VanLiew had 9 points and a pair of 3s.
Two ranked Whatcom County teams will square off Thursday when Lynden Christian travels to Sehome. Both will be trying to keep pace a game behind first-place Nooksack Valley.
Monday, Jan. 16: Lakewood at Bellingham, Mount Baker at Blaine, Oak Harbor at Lynden Christian
Tuesday, Jan. 17: Meridian at Nooksack Valley, Sehome at Anacortes, Sedro-Woolley at Squalicum, Lummi Nation at Providence Classical Christian
Wednesday, Jan. 18: Ferndale at Mount Vernon, Lynden at Burlington-Edison
Thursday’s Jan. 19: Lynden Christian at Sehome, Nooksack Valley at Mount Baker, Cedar Park Christian (Lynnwood) at Lummi Nation
Friday, Jan. 20: Bellingham at Burlington-Edison, Ferndale at Anacortes, Mount Vernon at Lynden
Saturday, Jan. 21: Bellingham at Squalicum, Sedro-Woolley at Meridian
NORTHWEST 1B LEAGUE
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