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Lynden basketball

2/15/19: Burlington at Lynden doubleheader 

PHOTOS: Doug Lange

Lynden Punches 2 Tickets to State

February 15, 2019 

The Lynden Lions are heading back to the 2A State. The girls and boys basketball squads punched their tickets with victories over Burlington Friday in a doubleheader at Jake Mabery Gymnasium in Lynden. 


Same teams, same result, but very different games. 

The Lynden girls battled back from 7 down in the 4th quarter to edge the Tigers 43-40. The boys turned in a defensive gem, thumping Burlington 63-to-38. Both squads now move on to the district 1 title games Saturday night at Mount Vernon High School. 

The first game of the night featured a low scoring affair between the top 2 girls squads out of the 2A ranks of the Northwest Conference.  Neither Burlington or Lynden would lead by more than 7 and couldn't pull away as both struggled mightily from long range. 

MORE: Listen to our Lynden/Burlington girls archived broadcast


But when the Lions needed a triple-shot, they got it. Trailing by 1, Ruby VanderHaak hit a go-ahead 3-ball with just over 30 seconds left to play to put Lynden out in front. A tying three attempt by Burlington guard Katie King fell short at the buzzer.

"For us to come back like that...we haven't had  a close game like that quite yet. For us to finish a game that we needed was very big for our team for sure," said VanderHaak.  


Livia Tjoelker led 3 Lions in double-figure scoring with 12 points. Kylie Hershey had 11 and VanderHaak added 10. Burlington was led by the 13 points from King.  

With the win, the Lynden girls (19-3) advance to the state tournament for the 12th time in the last 13 seasons. A fact not lost on Lions coach Rob Adams. 

"It's not a right of passage, although people think it is not," said Adams. "It takes a lot of hard work and it's tough to get there, so we'll enjoy this one for tonight." 

Lynden will play Archbishop Murphy Saturday night in the girls district championship game. Tip-off is scheduled for 5:30pm at Mount Vernon High School. 

The nightcap featured the second match-up off the year between the Lynden and Burlington boys. The script was very similar to the 73-44 Lions win on January 10th during the regular season. A stifling defense helped Lynden jump out in front early and run away from the Tigers. 

MORE: Listen to our Lynden/Burlington boys archived broadcast

Kobe Elsner hit two early 3-balls as Lynden got out to a 19-to-7 first quarter lead. The Lions limited the tigers to just single digits in scoring in the first two quarters. 


The defense held Burlington to 40% shooting from the floor and just 27% from beyond the arc.  The Lions also forced 14 steals on the night.

Clayton Whitman paced the Lynden attack with 17 points. Blake Silves added 14. 

"Coach just said play defense and the offensive game will come to you, so I definitely grinded on defense and things just happened," said Silves. 

After picking up their 21st victory on the year, Lynden (21-1) moves on to the district title game Saturday. The defending 2A state champs will play Anacortes at 7:00pm at Mount Vernon High School. 

- Doug Lange 

Ruby VanderHaak Lynden_edited.jpg
Blake Silves Lynden

Lynden guard Blake Silves. PHOTO: Ted House

Lynden guard Ruby VanderHaak.

PHOTO: Ted House

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