By Ian Ferguson
After pushing the game into overtime and swapping leads with the Squalicum Storm, the Blaine girls basketball team pulled off a narrow win in their first Northwest Conference (NWC) game of the season.
The Borderites started off strong and built up a healthy lead, but struggled to hold Squalicum back as they battled to a tie and then took a three-point lead in overtime. Blaine head coach Ryan Pike said it wasn’t the team’s best performance, but he was happy to see a competitive spirit on display as they overcame a deficit in overtime to earn the win.
“We had to battle through their three-point lead with no time-outs in overtime. We fought hard and battled through adversity,” Pike said. “It was good to get the win, and it was an important game for us to set a good tone for conference play.”
Mandy Hayes led the Borderites with 19 points and Breanna Chau had 13 points. Six other players contributed points, including Makayah Veliz, who had seven points.
“Makayah [Veliz] came off the bench and did a great job on defense and running the offense,” Pike said.
Squalicum freshman Chalae Wolters scored 26 points, buoying what has been a lackluster team in years past, but it wasn’t enough to defeat Blaine. The Borderites are still missing one of their star players, Taylor V’Dovec, who is out with a broken toe. She said she is on track to be back on the court as soon as December 29.
After losing their first three non-conference games of the season, the win over a strong Squalicum team couldn’t have come at a better time for the Borderites.
“I told the girls we’re 1–0 where it counts – in league play. We have some more tough games coming up, and we just need to keep battling and keep that momentum moving forward,” Pike said.
In practice this week, the team is working on the nuances of the game that add up to success.
“We’re going to have to keep working on the little things, the small details we’re not doing correctly yet,” Pike said.
Blaine’s next game is at Burlington-Edison on Thursday, December 18 at 7:15 p.m. The Tigers are 4–1 overall, and Thursday’s game will be their first league game.