By Ian Ferguson
The boys basketball team pulled out a win on the road in a fast-paced, closely-matched game against Mount Baker.
The Borderites never gained a double-digit lead, but stayed out ahead of the Mountaineers and outmatched them in a strong second half for the win in the January 6, Northwest Conference (NWC) game. The final score was 58-53.
“We’re both young teams and we’re evenly matched, so it was a pretty close game throughout,” said Blaine head coach Shaun Pile. “We did a good job offensively and defensively, and it was a good win for us.”
Kier Munzanreder led the Borderites on offense with 21 points.
“He did a great job attacking the hoop in the first half and sunk eight free throws,” Pile said.
Ben Hodgin had 12 points, nine of which came in an electric third quarter performance that buoyed the Borderites and helped them stem Mount Baker’s comeback attempt. Blaine was trailing by two points to start the second half, and Hodgin’s scoring allowed the Borderites gain a comfortable six-point lead heading into the fourth quarter.
The Mountaineers outscored Blaine 17–16 in the final quarter, but consistent free throws from the Borderites allowed them to hold on to their lead. Carson Knutzen made five of six free-throw attempts.
“Mount Baker played hard throughout and hit some key shots in the fourth quarter. They definitely didn’t roll over,” Pile said.
Mount Baker’s defense held Shaq Woods, a consistent high scorer for Blaine, to four points. Pile saw it as an encouraging sign that other players were able to step up on offense.
Anthony Ball led the Borderites in rebounds with nine, and Woods and Munzanreder had eight rebounds each.
The win put the Borderites into a winning 2–1 record in the NWC and 3–7 overall, while Mount Baker fell to 0–3 in conference and 4–8 overall. Pile said he’s hoping his team can use momentum from the win to earn a key win at home against Sedro-Woolley on Thursday, January 8. With sharp shooter Jackson Price running the Sedro-Woolley offense, it promises to be a tough game for the Borderites.
“We’ll have to find a way to slow him down with full-court pressure and our fast breaks will have to be on point,” Pile said.
The NWC game begins at