For everyone else in the Deming Dome, knowing who to root for was easy: either the host Mount Baker girls basketball team or visiting Ferndale.
But not for the Yost family, which for the first time had to watch two siblings face each other.
On this night it was oldest sister Terri Yost, coach of the Golden Eagles, who got the better of her youngest sister, Mounties senior Abby Yost, in Ferndale’s 74-31 victory on Monday, Jan. 20.
“It was fun playing against her,” said Terri. “I wanted to secretly cheer her on, but I’ve got to cheer for Ferndale. Before the game, I’m giving her a high five, but once the game starts … it’s game on.”
Ferndale (10-4 overall and 5-2 in the Northwest Conference) played its most complete game of the season, using its pressure defense to jump out to a 19-4 lead and never letting up.
Jamie Johnson led the Golden Eagles with 15 points, including three 3-pointers, and Kaelee Bungard added 11 to the balanced attack that saw seven players score 7 or more points.
Mount Baker (7-6, 2-4) was led by Yost’s 9 points and Madison Barter’s 8 points, but only five Mounties managed to score.
“It was hard (playing against Terri) because we’re so competitive,” said Abby, who has played on select teams coached by her oldest sister. “I’d rather play with her.”
Look for more photos from the game on the Whatcom Hoops Facebook page later in the week. And check all the latest scores and standings at nwcathletics.com.
Mount Baker coach Kim Stensgar was impressed with Ferndale’s athleticism and in-your-face defense. But she also was impressed with how Abby Yost handled the whole situation.
“Ferndale pressured us really hard, and we had a hard time with it,” said Stensgar, who was an assistant coach with Terri Yost at Mount Baker years ago. “But Abby was amazing. She doesn’t give in. She wants to leave her mark, and she’s done that and more.”
When it comes to Mount Baker sports, the Yost family has certainly left its mark.
Both parents played basketball for the Mounties — Paul graduating in 1978 and Kay (then Richner) graduating in 1983. And all seven of their children have worn the red and black in multiple sports.
“It’s what we do as a family,” said Terri of sports. “It’s been fun to watch everybody. The hardest thing is getting to everybody’s games.”
Paul said he and Kay have always tried to make sure one of them was at each child’s games even when they were playing at the same time in different places.
“We started with (oldest child) Dustin, coaching him at 6 or 8, and we’ve been involved for 28 years,” he said.
Kay, who coached her girls in the AAU program, recalled the days when they’d pack up all the kids in their 15-seat van and take off for the next tournament.
“We’re a close-knit family,” she said. “We support each other. I tell people we’d have a huge savings account if we didn’t do sports. For me it’s fun.”
If you’re keeping track of the Yost children, 34-year-old Dustin is the oldest followed by Terri (32), Tyler (30), Erika (26), Emily (23), McKenzie (20), and Abby (17).
All of the family except McKenzie were able to make the game Monday to support Terri and Abby — and let’s not forget Emily, who is an assistant coach for Ferndale. Even Grandma Richner was there.
“I loved the support,” said Abby.
And now that Monday is over — and with Ferndale heading to the Class 3A playoffs and Mount Baker to the 1A district — the Yosts can go back to rooting for both their daughters.
Terri and Abby Yost with their Grandma.
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.