By Ian Ferguson
A strong first quarter propelled the Borderites to a convincing win at home against the Meridian Trojans.
The Blaine girls basketball team won the February 3 NWC game, which was also their senior game, 66–49.
“We jumped out early to a 21–8 lead in the first quarter, and it always helps when you can come out strong like that,” said Blaine head coach Ryan Pike. “Barb Pocus played really well with 11 points, nine in the first half, and several steals. Overall it was a great
A nearly impenetrable half-court trap was the catalyst that led to a dominant performance for the Borderites. The team had 17 steals, many of which led to easy lay-ins.
“Good defense turned into good offense. We’ve talked about it all year, and we were able to execute it tonight,” Pike said.
Meridian played aggressively and outrebounded the Borderites 54–43, but shooting accuracy made all the difference. The Trojans made only a quarter of their non-free-throw shot attempts (16/63) while the Borderites made more than a third of their attempts (23/64).
“We wanted to slow the game down, but we knew they would respond to pressure, and I think we did a good job of keeping the pressure on and contesting every shot,” Pike said.
Mandy Hayes led the Borderites with 14 points, including two more 3-pointers, five steals and three assists. In addition to her 11 points, Pocus had two steals, two rebounds and one assist.
Mikayla Deming had 10 points, two steals and four rebounds. Taylor V’Dovec had nine points, four steals and six rebounds, and Breanna Chau had nine points, six rebounds and two steals.
“Everyone contributed tonight,” Pike said. “We did a good job of taking what we’ve been working on in practice and putting it into play.”
With the win, the Borderites improve to 7–4 in the NWC and 8–11 overall. In 2A NWC, Blaine stands in third place behind Burlington-Edison (8–2, 15–3) and Lynden (7–3, 11–7). The next best team, Anacortes, has a 4–6 NWC record, which means the Borderites are assured of at least a fifth seed heading into the 2A District 1 tournament between the Northwest Conference and the Cascade Conference.
“Our goal is to get to the district championship game to assure a good game in the regional tournament,” Pike said. “We want to be ready for the tournament when we get there.”
The Borderites will travel to Nooksack Valley on Friday, February 6 for their last conference game of the regular season.
“[Nooksack Valley is] a well-coached team. It will be a tough game,” Pike said.
The game begins at 7:15 p.m.