Whatcom Hoops: Girls Week 9 Recap (Jan. 22-27)

The hottest Northwest Conference and Northwest 1B League teams remained hot heading into the final week of the regular season as squads scrambled for the best seeding heading into the upcoming district playoffs.

After last week’s games, the top-ranked and defending Class 1A state champion Nooksack Valley girls have won nine in row as have the Lynden Lions, whose only defeat was at the hands of the Pioneers. Lummi Nation has won eight in a row, Lynden Christian has won five in a row, and Squalicum has won 12 of its past 13.

With some big games still upcoming, including the annual Lynden Christian-Lynden battle next Saturday, there may still be some moving around in the standings. But many of the playoff berths are already locked in.

Barring major upsets, Nooksack Valley will be first, LC second, and Blaine third in the 1A district tourney. Meridian and Mount Baker will face off in a loser-out game with the winner advancing to the double-elimination portion. The two district survivors will move directly to the state tournament this year.

In the 2A ranks, Lynden, Sehome, and Squalicum are assured finishing in the top six and advance directly to the quarterfinals, which begin on Feb. 8. Bellingham, however, will have to win a play-in game on Feb. 6 to move into the quarterfinals.

For Ferndale, this week’s three games are important as the Golden Eagles currently are perched in the fifth seed and must leap over Lynnwood of the Western Conference to earn a top-four seeding. The top four teams in the 3A district tourney earn first-round byes, while seeds 5 through 12 must win a loser-out contest on Feb. 8 to advance.

Lummi Nation is already penciled in as the second seed in the 1B district tournament. The Lady Blackhawks will host the winner of a play-in game in the quarterfinals on Feb. 3. A win in that game would not only move them into the semifinals but assure them of berth in the District 1-2-3 tournament.

For a look back at Week 9 for our Whatcom boys teams, check out Whatcom Hoops boys recap.

Here are the girls highlights from Week 9.


While there were a few contests that were closer last week, none was more important than Nooksack Valley’s matchup with Burlington-Edison last Monday. With undisputed first place and — barring a shocking upset this week — the NWC title on the line, the Pioneers overcame the physical Tigers and their home crowd in impressive fashion, 56-40. Thanks to the usual great game from all-state guard Devin Coppinger and the return of all-league wing Lainey Kimball from injury, Nooksack not only ended Burlington’s 12-game winning streak but continued to be unbeaten against Washington state opponents.


Sophomore Ailina Rabang had 28 points for Lummi Nation on Tuesday and followed that with 33 on Thursday. … Senior Madi Cooper had 23 points for Sehome on Monday and 28 more on Saturday. … Freshman Finley Parcher had 23 points for Lynden on Wednesday and 21 on Saturday, and sophomore Payton Mills had 16 points on Saturday. … Senior Jordyn Vezzetti had 22 points for Blaine on Monday and 19 more on Saturday. … Makayla Heaton had 20 points and fellow senior Mari Binning had 16 for Squalicum on Tuesday. … Senior Naomi Stanley had 17 points and senior Mallory Butenschoen and sophomore Jillea Fox had 15 points each for Ferndale on Monday, and Fox and sophomore Kayla Washington had 17 points each on Saturday. … Devin Coppinger had 17 points and fellow senior Tana Hoekema had 15 points for Nooksack Valley on Monday, and senior Lainey Kimball had 17 points and Coppinger had 16 for the Pioneers on Thursday. … Junior Grace Hintz had 17 points for Lynden Christian on Monday, and junior Allison Shumate had 15 points for the Lyncs on Tuesday, and the two of them had 16 points each on Saturday. … Junior Malia Hanks had 16 points for Bellingham on Wednesday. 


LYNDEN CHRISTIAN (RPI ranking: No. 7, Class 1A) walloped Anacortes on Monday, 71-33; Lakewood on Tuesday, 71-29; and Ferndale on Saturday, 82-54. On Monday, Lynden Christian took command early and caused 27 Seahawks’ turnovers for the easy win. Hintz had 17 points; sophomore Ella Fritts had 14 points, 9 rebounds, and 4 steals; and Shumate had 13 points. On Tuesday, 10 different Lyncs scored as Lynden Christian led by 30 at halftime before putting away Cougars. Shumate led the LC barrage with 15 points, Fritts had 14, sophomore Estella Hernandez had 12 points on four 3-pointers, senior Tabby DeJong had 9 points, and freshman Grace Russell added 8 points. On Saturday, Lynden Christian had its highest point total so far this season in pulling away from Ferndale. Nine different Lyncs scored led by Hintz and Shumate with 16 points each. Hernandez had 13 points, 7 assists, and 3 steals; junior Makalie Tveter and Danya Dykstra had 9 and 8 points, respectively; Fritts added 7 points; and DeJong had 6 points.

LUMMI NATION (No.13, 1B) knocked off Shoreline Christian on Tuesday, 52-6, and Grace Academy on Thursday, 56-18. On Tuesday, Lummi Nation’s defense was relentless, shutting out the Chargers in the second and fourth quarters and holding them to their lowest point total of the season. Rabang had 16 of her 28 points in the first quarter when the Lady Blackhawks went ahead 27-2. Freshman Jemma James only played the first half and had 7 points, and junior Robyn Jones and senior Zeta Landsem had 6 points each. On Thursday, Lummi Nation again had a great start, shutting out the Eagles in the first quarter and leading 37-5 at halftime. Rabang had 21 of her 33 points in the first half and finished with three 3-pointers, senior Serena Pantalia had 8 points, and sophomore Brianna Metteba added 6 points.

LYNDEN (No.2, 2A) annihilated Anacortes on Wednesday, 69-7, and stopped Sehome on Saturday, 74-39. On Wednesday, the Lynden defense did not give up a single field goal in shooting down the Seahawks. Parcher had 23 points and senior Haylee Koetje and sophomore Payton Mills also outscored the entire Anacortes team with 9 and 8 points, respectively. On Saturday, the Lions dominated on both ends of the court in handing the Mariners their worst loss of the season. Parcher led the way with 21 points and three 3-pointers, Mills had 16 points, junior Kiki York had 11 points, and Koetje, senior Mallary Villars, and sophomore Rian Stephan had 6 points each as nine different Lions got in the scoring column.

NOOKSACK VALLEY (No.1, 1A) beat Burlington-Edison on Monday, 56-40, and Mount Vernon on Thursday, 74-24. On Monday, Nooksack Valley limited the Tigers to seven first-quarter points and held them to their lowest point total of the season. Coppinger had two 3-pointers among her team-high 17 points and pulled down 8 rebounds and nabbed 7 steals; Hoekema had six of her 15 points in the final quarter as the Pioneers held off Burlington and also had 15 rebounds, senior Lainey Kimball and sophomore Payton Bartl added 7 points each with Bartl and junior Alayna Dykstra both making all four of their free throws as the Pioneers sank 20 of 26 from the line. Dykstra also had 6 rebounds, and sophomore Grace DeHoog added 5 boards. On Thursday, it was Senior Night but everyone got in the act as Nooksack Valley jumped out to a 32-1 lead after the first quarter and never looked back. Kimball had 11 of her game-high 17 in the first period and finished with 6 rebounds; Coppinger had 16 points, 5 rebounds, and 4 steals; Dykstra had a season-high 12 points; DeHoog had 9 points and 9 rebounds; and Hoekema and junior Kate Shintaffer had 7 points each. Hoekema also had 10 rebounds and 4 steals. To see the story from Thursday’s game, click on Nooksack Valley girls. https://www.whatcomhoops.com/seniors-lead-nooksack-girls-to-50-point-win/

SQUALICUM (No.12, 2A) overcame Oak Harbor on Tuesday, 51-42, and cut down Lakewood on Thursday, 63-32. On Tuesday, Squalicum stormed out to a 21-5 first-quarter lead, saw it dwindle to two points by halftime, and then pulled away from the Wildcats in the second half for the victory. Heaton had the hot hand with four 3-pointers and 20 points, Binning added 16 points, and the two guards combined for 19 points in the big first period. Heaton also had 7 steals, and Binning had 8 assists, 4 steals, and 4 rebounds. On Thursday, the Storm broke open a tight game by outscoring the Cougars, 21-0, in the second period. Binning had another 16 points, half of them coming in the deciding second quarter, and she also had 9 rebounds, 6 steals, and 3 assists. Freshman Carli Kiesaw had 14 points and a pair of 3s: junior Loretta Murphy-Kangas had 10 points, 7 rebounds, and 3 steals; freshman Addison Kettman had 9 points; and senior Caitlyn Richardson had 8 points.

BLAINE (No.28, 1A) defeated Mount Vernon on Monday, 56-40; lost to Burlington-Edison on Friday, 62-24; and beat Anacortes on Saturday, 39-33. On Monday, Blaine took a double-digit lead by holding the Bulldogs to 19 first-half points and then sank nine free throws in the fourth period to clinch the win. Vezzetti had another 20-plus game, making all six of her second-half free throws and finishing with 22 points, 7 rebounds, and 4 assists. Senior Deja Dube had 12 points including five in the crucial fourth quarter and 11 rebounds, freshman Teia Dube had 9 points, and senior Millie Berkeley had 8 points. On Friday, Blaine couldn’t get its offense going against the tough Tiger defense. Vezzetti had 13 points and 10 rebounds with 11 points and both her 3-pointers coming in the third quarter, and Teia Dube had 6 points. On Saturday, the Borderites were down by seven at halftime but rallied by outscoring the Seahawks, 27-14, in the second half. Vezzetti led the comeback with 14 of her game-high 19 points in the final two periods. Teia Dube added 9 points and 6 rebounds, Deja Dube had 8 points, Berkeley had 7 rebounds and 3 steals.

FERNDALE (No.31, 3A) stunned Sehome on Monday, 66-58; beat Mount Vernon on Tuesday, 57-48; and lost to Lynden Christian on Saturday, 82-54. On Monday, Ferndale made six 3-pointers and scored 26 points in the third quarter to rally from a one-point halftime deficit and hand the Mariners only their second league loss. Stanley had 17 points thanks to five 3-pointers including four in the third period; Butenschoen and Fox had 15 points each with Butenschoen sinking all eight of her free throws in the second half and Fox scoring nine points in the fourth quarter; and sophomores Kayla Washington and Abbey White had 8 points each and combined for another three 3s. On Tuesday, Butenschoen had 13 points and 11 rebounds; Stanley had 13 points and two more 3-pointers, Fox had 8 points and 10 rebounds, and Washington had 8 points, 6 assists, 5 rebounds, and 4 steals. On Saturday, a slow start left the Golden Eagles down by 10 after one quarter and they couldn’t keep up with the Lyncs the rest of the way. Sophomores led the way as Fox and Washington had 17 points each, and White had 13 points. Washington led Ferndale with five 3-pointers and White had two 3s. 

MERIDIAN (No.42, 1A) beat Bellingham on Wednesday, 32-26; lost to Oak Harbor on Friday, 48-37; and defeated Sultan, 36-26. On Wednesday, the Meridian defense limited the Bayhawks to one field goal and seven points in the middle two quarters to notch the victory. Senior Malia McCauley led the Trojans on Senior Night with 10 points and 9 rebounds, and junior Brooklyn Fuller had 7 points and 4 assists. On Friday, the Trojans got off to a fast start, leading 14-6 after one quarter, but couldn’t keep down the Wildcats. Freshman Eden Bernardy had 12 points and 13 rebounds to lead Meridian, freshman Maddy Swanson added 8 points and 7 rebounds, Fuller had 7 points, and McCauley had 6 points. In Saturday’s game, the Meridian defense was again up to the task, forcing 27 turnovers and holding the Turks to 10 first-half points to earn the non-league victory. McCauley had another big game with 15 points, 9 rebounds, and 5 steals; sophomore Kinsley Neal had 9 points on three 3s; and Fuller chipped in 6 points and 11 rebounds.

BELLINGHAM (No.53, 2A) fell to Meridian on Wednesday, 32-26, but came back to beat Mount Baker on Friday, 50-31. On Wednesday, Bellingham couldn’t hold on to its first-quarter lead and lost at Meridian. Hanks led the Bayhawks with 16 points by making 10 of 14 free throws, but no other Bayhawk had more than four points. Hanks also had 7 rebounds and 4 steals. On Friday, Bellingham used a 17-point first quarter to take the early lead would go on to break its 10-game losing streak and avenge an earlier eight-point loss to the Mounties. Sophomore Lily Jude led the Bayhawks with 14 points, sophomore Mary Lockhart and freshman Merritt Jensen each had 13 points and 3 assists with Lockhart pulling down 12 rebounds and Jensen grabbing 11 rebounds. Hanks added 8 points, 5 rebounds, and 5 steals.

MOUNT BAKER (No.47, 1A) lost to Sedro-Woolley on Tuesday, 61-40, and to Bellingham on Friday, 50-31. On Tuesday, Mount Baker was within two at halftime but was outscored, 38-19, in the second half. Sophomore Natalie Van Liew had 13 points; freshman Violet Fox had 9 points, 5 rebounds, 5 assists, and 4 steals; and sophomore Samiya Powell had two 3-pointers. On Friday, Mount Baker only managed to score 20 points through the first three quarters in falling to the Bayhawks. Van Liew had 14 points and 7 rebounds, and Fox had 10 points and 5 steals, but no other Mountie had more than three points.

SEHOME (No.15, 2A) lost to Ferndale on Monday, 66-58, and lost Lynden on Saturday, 74-39. On Monday, Sehome gave up 43 points in the second half in losing to a hot-shooting Ferndale squad. Cooper had 23 points, three 3-pointers, 5 assists, and 4 steals; senior Natalie Brewer had 14 points, a pair of 3s, and 8 rebounds; senior Maci Aven had 12 points and two 3s; senior Kylie Watson had 6 points thanks to two more 3-pointers, 3 steals, and 3 assists; and senior Hazel Gaston had 7 rebounds. On Saturday, the Sehome offense never got untracked, scoring only 15 points in the first half and falling behind by 25 at the half. Cooper continued to shine with 28 points including four 3-pointers, and 5 rebounds, but Brewer with 6 points on two 3s was the only other Mariner to score more than three points. Freshman Kate Schroeder helped the cause with 5 rebounds and 3 blocks.

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

Week 10


It may not be for a league championship, but the Lynden Christian-Lynden game will be important for RPI rankings — not to mention for civic pride. The Lyncs are at Lynden this year on Saturday evening and you can expect a big crowd at the Jake. And you don’t have to miss the boys game, which is at LC on Saturday afternoon. 


Monday, Jan. 29: Lakewood at Meridian, Oak Harbor at Mount Baker, Sehome at Lynden Christian, Burlington-Edison at Lynden

Tuesday, Jan. 30: Bellingham at Burlington-Edison, Blaine at Sehome, Lynden at Ferndale, Tulalip Heritage at Lummi Nation

Wednesday, Jan. 31: Squalicum at Lynden Christian, Nooksack Valley at Anacortes

Thursday, Feb. 1: Ferndale at Blaine, Mount Baker at Lakewood, Lynden at Mount Vernon

Friday, Feb. 2: Mount Vernon at Bellingham, Meridian at Squalicum, Nooksack Valley at Sehome

Saturday, Feb. 3: Lynden Christian at Lynden, Anacortes at Ferndale, Lummi Nation to host district tournament game


  League  Overall
Nooksack Valley130191
Lynden Christian 102135
Oak Harbor85117
Mount Vernon210411
Mount Baker013315


  League  Overall
Lummi Nation90125
Tulalip Heritage91106
Lopez Island6484
Grace Academy7577
Cedar Park Christian (Lynnwood)4778
Providence Classical Christian2929
Shoreline Christian010112
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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