By Ian Ferguson
The Borderites bounced back from a season-opening rout with a convincing win at Meridian on December 3. Head coach Shaun Pile said it looked like a completely different team on the court.
The season-opener at home against Nooksack Valley December 1 could only be described as ugly. The Borderites lost 76–52, and their per-quarter shooting percentage dropped as low as 9 percent. Pile said the team watched film from the game and knew they could do better. Two days later, on December 3, the Borderites reversed roles at Meridian, winning the non-conference game 74–42.
Still playing without talented center Shaq Woods, the Borderites excelled in all aspects of the game. They scored on 18 of 26 two-point attempts and hit seven three-pointers, with 11 assists and 11 steals.
Blaine scored 15 points before Meridian counted their first basket. By the end of the first half, the score was 34–13 Blaine. The Trojans played better in the third quarter, scoring 15 points to Blaine’s 16, but the Borderites outscored the Trojans 22–15 in the fourth to add to their lead.
Pile said the turnaround was evident from the tip-off.
“Right from the start, the intensity was different. Our defense came together and we hit some early shots, which led to a different energy throughout the game,” Pile said. “It was an all-around team effort.”
Carson Knutzen filled in for Woods at center. He was matched against Meridian’s 6’5″ center, who is four inches taller.
“Carson absolutely worked his butt off and did a great job,” Pile said. “He was mismatched, but he posted up big, went up strong for rebounds and made baskets.”
Forward Kier Munzanreder led the Borderites on offense with 29 points. Point guard Ben Adams scored 14 points. Marcus Potts scored nine points and Knutzen scored eight.
“We shot the ball really well, and we shared the ball. Guys were looking to make extra passes,” Pile said.
The Borderites hosted the Ferndale Golden Eagles December 8, and lost to the 3A powerhouse 65–42. Ferndale has four returning starters and a new coach, and relied on strong post play to get the win. Jalen Kortlever led the Borderites with eight points.
The Borderites will travel to the Olympic Peninsula this weekend, heading to Port Townsend on Friday, December 11 and Port Angeles on Saturday, December 12. Both games are non-conference. The Port Townsend game begins at 6 p.m. and the Port Angeles game begins at 1 p.m.