By Ian Ferguson
The Blaine boys basketball team managed to eke out a win at Sedro-Woolley after falling behind by 11 points in the fourth quarter.
The two teams were evenly matched from start to finish of the January 7 game. The Borderites carried a two-point lead into the second half, and were ahead 43–42 to start the fourth quarter. That’s when the Cubs began controlling possession and making shots, quickly jumping ahead by 11 points.
“We got ourselves in a hole pretty quickly in the fourth,” said head coach Shaun Pile. “We slowly but surely chipped away at their lead, and ended up hitting some huge three-pointers down the stretch.”
Three-point baskets from Jalen Kortlever and Kier Munzanreder allowed the Borderites to regain the lead. With only 30 seconds left in the game, Pile told his team to defend against the three-point shot. The Cubs scored two points and sent the game into overtime. Blaine controlled play in overtime, and outscored the Cubs 10–6 for a final score of 72–68.
“It was a close and exciting game,” Pile said.
Blaine center Shaq Woods earned his fourth double-double of the season, with 23 points and 13 rebounds. Kortlever scored 19 points. Munzanreder had 12 points, eight rebounds and nine assists. Marcus Potts contributed six points and 10 rebounds.
“It was good to see us fight back and get the win under pressure,” Pile said.
Many fans that had come to watch the girls game stayed to watch the boys game. The girls’ team lost 49–42 to the Cubs. With the larger crowd and close game, the gym was extra loud at the end of the game.
“It was a great atmosphere and a huge game for us to win on the road, because it will likely come down to Sedro-Woolley, Sehome and us to get the fourth seed for the district tournament,” Pile said.
The win gave Blaine a 2–2 league record while Sedro-Woolley dropped to 0–4 in league play.
On January 11, the Borderites traveled to Lynden and lost to the Lions 77–48. The drubbing was due to turnovers (21 for the Borderites) and strong shooting by senior point guard Noah King, who scored 18 points. Woods got into foul trouble in the second half, allowing the Lions to pull away with inside shooting.
“We had balanced scoring, but we didn’t take care of business on defense and we didn’t take care of the ball on offense,” Pile said.
Ben Adams scored 12 points for Blaine, making three of five three-point attempts and adding six assists. Munzanreder had 10 points and four assists.
The loss puts the Borderites at 2–3 in conference and 6–6 overall. Lynden is 3–1 in conference and 11–1 overall. Lynden’s sole loss came from the undefeated Anacortes Seahawks, who the Borderites will face this week.
“It will be a tough game,” Pile said. “They run a strong full-court press, so we’ll have to work hard to control the ball and limit turnovers.”
The Anacortes game will be held Friday, January 15 in the Ken Waters Memorial Gym (next door to the Blaine High School gym) for Throwback Night. In what has become an annual tradition, fans are encouraged to wear their vintage Blaine Borderite clothing to celebrate the history of Blaine athletics and support the home team.
The game begins at 7:15 p.m.