By Ian Ferguson
Like a freight train leaving the station, both the Blaine and Nooksack Valley girls basketball teams got off to a slow start in their first regular season game. In the first quarter, the rare shot was usually a miss, passing was a little off and there was little sense of urgency.
As the game progressed, both teams gained steam. Shots started falling for both sides, but Nooksack Valley’s consistent shooting gave them an edge, and the Pioneers built a lead throughout the second half.
Both teams pushed the pace with occasional fast breaks, and the Borderites used a man-to-man full-court press that gave Nooksack Valley some trouble. The Pioneers were up to the challenge, however, showing poise and good basketball sense to thread passes, make plays and sink baskets. The final score of the December 2 non-conference game at Blaine was Pioneers 64, Borderites 50.
Breanna Chau led the Borderites on offense with nine points. Mandy Hayes and Kiana Gray each contributed eight points, and sisters Mikayla Deming and Josie Deming each scored seven points.
On defense, Mikayla Deming and Hayes led the team in rebounds with six each. Hayes had five steals and Chau had four.
“The girls played hard tonight,” said Blaine head coach Ryan Pike after the game. “The effort was there. Our defense and our shot selection need work. We shot poorly tonight, and I think some players were trying to do too much on offense.”
As can be expected in a season opener, new varsity players had to adapt to a higher level of play.
“The pace of the game is a little fast for them,” Pike said. “They’re learning quickly though.”
Blaine’s next game is Friday, December 5 at Meridian. The non-conference game begins at 7:15 p.m.