By Ian Ferguson
The Blaine girls basketball team showed how effective solid teamwork can be in a win at Bellingham January 20. The Borderites won the Northwest Conference (NWC) matchup 66–39.
“It was the most unselfish basketball I’ve seen in a long time,” said head coach Ryan Pike. “We had contributions from everyone who played, and everyone made that extra pass before shooting in the second half.”
Rapid substitutions throughout the first half gave every Borderite time on the court, and although the Red Raiders had a lead after the first quarter and kept it close in the second.
Blaine’s players were well rested going into the second half. That’s when they cranked up the energy and dominated the court.
“We had a really strong third quarter on both sides of the court,” Pike said. “I think the subbing helped keep everyone fresh.”
Blaine outscored Bellingham 22–5 in the third quarter and 21–12 in the fourth.
Kiana Gray led the Borderites with 13 points and four rebounds.
“She played really well tonight,” Pike said.
Mandy Hayes scored 11 points with five assists, one block and two steals. Taylor V’Dovec, who played her first game after sitting out the first half of the season with a broken toe, scored 10 points in 10 minutes with three assists.
“It was good to see that strong debut,” Pike said. “She wasn’t limping afterwards or anything.”
With every player on the team scoring at least two baskets, Pike said he couldn’t have been happier with how his team played.
“Basketball-wise, it was a fun game to be able to coach,” he said.
Blaine defeated Anacortes 53–48 in a NWC game at home January 15. Coupled with the win on the road, the Borderites own a strong 5–2 record in the NWC and are 5–9 overall.
They need to end the regular season in the top four of eight 2A NWC teams, and so far they’re on track with the second-best record behind Lynden (6–0 NWC, 10–4 overall). Five more NWC games are left in the regular season.
Next the Borderites will face Sehome on the road on Friday, January 23. The NWC game is the official “Coaches Against Cancer” game and will be played before the boys game.
“Sehome has played some tough teams this season,” Pike said. “We’re going to keep scouting them and try and be prepared for when we go down there on Friday.”
The NWC matchup begins at 6 p.m.