The Lynden girls and Lynden Christian boys each place 4th at state in Yakima. PHOTOS: Ted House
No. 1's Refocus to Finish Strong at State
March 2, 2019
Two top-seeded teams proved they could bounce back from early disappointment at the state tournament and go out with a victory. After seeing their shot at state titles disappear on Thursday, the Lynden girls and Lynden Christian boys won 4th place trophies on Saturday.
2A Girls: Lynden 57 Black Hills 39
Facing the same team in the same scenario from a year ago the Lynden girls basketball team made sure the outcome was different on the final day of 2A state in Yakima. The Lions got out early and used a stifling defense to thump Black Hills 57-to-39 to claim 4th place in the SunDome.
Lynden made sure there would be no repeat of 2018 when they fell to the Wolves 51-47 in the 4th/6th place game. The No. 1 seed also answered the call after seeing their shot at a state championship disappear in a 10-point loss to East Valley of Spokane in the quarterfinals.
"It really just showed a lot about us, because nobody really expected us to get here except for us, which has always been a thing for the Lynden Lions program," said senior Blakely Doerge on the NFHS & Eli Network broadcast. "It's a really a big deal for us to come out and finish especially after a hard loss on Thursday."
The Lions jumped out to a 16-to-9 1st quarter lead and never really looked back. Junior Ruby VanderHaak led the way connecting on four three-balls on the way to a game high 15 points. Junior Kylie Hershey added 13 points, 4 rebounds and two steals.
But it was defense that keyed the victory. Lynden held Black Hills to just 20% shooting for the game and only allowed Kennedi Greenfield to crack double digits with 10 points. The lions forced the waves into 14 turnover that led to 16 points.
The Lions finish the year with a record of 23-and-4.
Lynden Christian 78 Bellevue Christian 48
The senior-laden Lynden Christian boys basketball team wrapped up 1A state and their prep basketball careers following a dominating victory Saturday at the SunDome. The Lyncs rolled past Bellevue Christian 78-48 to win 4th place in Yakima.
Lynden Christian trailed 21-18 after 1 quarter of play, but outscored the Vikings 60-to-27 the rest of the way. Cole Bajema led the attack with a 23 point, 14 rebound double-double performance. Andrew DeVries found his long range shooting touch with six triples on the way to 20 points for the Lyncs.
It was the second straight blowout victory for Lynden Christian after they dispatched Seattle Academy 75-39 on Friday. The Lyncs atoned for an upset loss on Thursday to King's that squashed their hopes of a repeat state championship
LC coach Roger DeBoer gave credit to his five outgoing seniors in Bajema, Cole Langstraat, Jake Liboldt, Luke Bos and Christian Colwell for refocusing the team and ending on a high note.
"We love those guys a ton. They have left such a legacy for our younger players," said DeBoer. "They will not ever be defined by their on court success. Rather their love for Jesus , love for their teammates and love for the game."
The Lyncs end the year with a record of 26-1.
- Doug Lange