Because so few teams were in action this past week, the first Whatcom Hoops weekly recap will be abbreviated and include both boys and girls highlights.
Starting with Week 2, there will be separate recaps for boys and girls, and standings for both the Northwest Conference and Northwest 1B League.
Please note that the upcoming schedules are always in flux depending not only on our Whatcom County schools’ health concerns but also their opponents’. To be certain of dates and times, be sure to check your school’s website.
The good news? We won’t be having snow and icy conditions cancel any games this season.
For previews of all our boys and girls teams going into the season, and for a look at our seven new coaches, check out WhatcomHoops.com for the latest stories.
GAME OF THE WEEK
It figured to be a battle of two of the top Class 2A girls teams when Sehome visited Lynden on Saturday in both teams’ season opener. Sehome center Aspen Garrison had a game-high 21 points as the Mariners held on for an exciting 50-47 victory. With Garrison held to two points after halftime and eventually fouling out, Sehome needed strong games from Ava Collins (8 points), Ava Lunny (8 points) and point guard Kaylee Wilson, who also had 8 points and played the entire game against Lynden’s pressure defense. Lynden was led by sisters Adia (14 points) and Kalanie (9 points) Newcomb, Anna VanderYacht (9 points) and Maddie Canales (7 points). Even without standout center Faith Baar who missed the game, the Lions held Sehome to just four points in the final period but could only score six themselves. “It was fun to be back in the gym,” said Sehome coach Anye Turner. “It was a great team win overall.”
PLAYERS OF THE WEEK
Meridian senior Maddie Bowler had 20 points, including two 3-pointers, in the Trojans’ impressive girls win over Mount Vernon on Saturday. … Tyran Lane had two double-doubles in Lummi Nation’s two victories. The senior center had 20 points and 15 rebounds against Muckleshoot Tribal School on Tuesday and then had 21 points and 12 rebounds in Thursday’s win over Orcas Christian. … Garrison had 19 points in the first half and finished with 21, including three 3-pointers, to help Sehome start off the season with a victory over defending state champion Lynden on Saturday.
HIGHLIGHTS OF THE WEEK
The Meridian girls welcomed Mount Vernon into the Northwest Conference by using a 24-point fourth quarter to pull away from the Class 3A Bulldogs, 54-38, on Saturday. The Class 1A Trojans were led by Bowler, who had a game-high 20 points; Skyleigh James, who had 10 points including a 6-for-6 performance at the free throw line; and Maris Baklund, who had 5 of her 7 points in the big final period. It was a victorious debut for new coach Vic Wolffis, who teaches at Mount Vernon High School.
The Mount Baker boys started their season in winning fashion by besting Nooksack Valley at home, 55-36. Seniors led the Mounties with Mason Jacoby scoring 14 points, Ayden Rodriguez tossing in 11, and Aidan Corning adding 9. Jacoby had 8 points as Mount Baker exploded for a 19-point second quarter to take control of the game.
The Lummi Nation boys opened their season with two impressive home victories. The Blackhawks clobbered Muckleshoot Tribal School, 48-29, on Tuesday thanks to Lane’s 20 points and 15 rebounds, and senior forward Jaie Leighton’s 12 points and 11 rebounds. Then on Thursday, Lummi Nation dismantling Orcas Christian. 56-39, as Lane had 21 points and 12 rebounds and Leighton added 15 points and 11 rebounds.
The Lummi Nation girls lost a back-and-forth contest on Tuesday when visiting Muckleshoot Tribal School scored the final eight points to squeak out a 43-40 victory in both teams’ season opener. Sophomore guard Aleisha Solomon led the way with 13 points for the Lady Blackhawks, who were playing with only eight players.
The inexperienced Nooksack Valley boys struggled offensively Saturday in losing on the road to Mount Baker, 55-36. The team’s lone returnee, senior Cody Coppinger, led the Pioneers with 11 points, but Nooksack Valley couldn’t overcome a 13-point first half despite playing the Mounties even in the second half.
TOP GAME: Sehome and Bellingham open their seasons against each other on Monday at the Red Raiders’ gym in what will be the first of two contests this season between the long-time city rivals.
Monday, May 17: Sehome at Bellingham, Ferndale at Squalicum, Blaine at Lynden Christian, Mount Baker at Meridian, Lynden at Nooksack Valley, Lummi Nation at Providence Christian
Tuesday, May 18: Meridian at South Whidbey
Wednesday, May 19: Bellingham at Ferndale, Nooksack Valley at Blaine, Lynden Christian at Mount Baker, Sedro-Woolley at Lynden, La Conner at Meridian, Mount Vernon at Squalicum, Oak Harbor at Sehome
Thursday, May 20: Cedar Park Christian (Lynnwood) at Lummi Nation
Friday, May 21: Lynden at Bellingham, Nooksack Valley at Lummi Nation, Sedro-Woolley at Blaine, Mount Vernon at Meridian, Mount Baker at Burlington, Anacortes at Squalicum, Ferndale at Oak Harbor
Saturday, May 22: Nooksack Valley at Lynden Christian
TOP GAME: Defending Class 1A state champion Lynden Christian travels to Nooksack Valley on Saturday. Last year, the Pioneers were one of the few teams to come close to beating LC and with both teams returning almost their entire lineups, it figures to be another battle.
Tuesday, May 18: Bellingham at Sehome, Lynden Christian at Blaine, Meridian at Mount Baker, Nooksack Valley at Lynden, Squalicum at Ferndale
Thursday, May 20: Blaine at Nooksack Valley, Mount Baker at Lynden Christian, Burlington-Edison at Meridian, Lynden at Sedro-Woolley, Sehome at Oak Harbor, Squalicum at Mount Vernon, Cedar Park Christian (Lynnwood) at Lummi Nation
Saturday, May 22: Bellingham at Lynden, Blaine at Sedro-Woolley, Lynden Christian at Nooksack Valley, Meridian at Mount Vernon, Squalicum at Anacortes, Oak Harbor at Ferndale
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.