Borderite boys headed to state
By Neil Macdonald
Blaine beat South Whidbey 59-56 February 21 and Nooksack Valley 61-53 February 23 in the Northwest District 1 boys 2A basketball championships at Mt. Vernon to earn a trip to State and a district championship match-up with Lynden Christian at 7.30 p.m. March 2.
The Borderites (17-4) went into the Nooksack (15-5) semi-final with a 56-54 OT win and 59-66 and 58-44 losses to the Pioneers in league and special playoff play.
Blaine jumped to a 21-7 lead in Q1, primarily on inside efforts. Blaines dominance didnt diminish in Q2 as the Bs balanced an inside-outside attack for a 36-18 halftime lead. Blaine matched NV in point-production 10-10 in Q3, trading inside efforts and a couple of free throws with the Pioneers.
But a team as good as NV isnt going to be hopeless and hoopless all night. The Valley boys came in Q4 out-pointing Blaine 25-15 and twice coming within 5 points of tying things.
Ryan Pike, who scored 17 points, got 13 rebounds and 5 assists for the Bs. Jake Gilmore added 12; Cory Crews, 11; Brendan Mulholland, 8; Skyler Anderson, 6; Keith Williams, 4 and Grant Sanders, 3. The all-significance stats were Blaines 66.7 percent (22-of-33) floor shot average and 62.5 (5-of-8) 3-point percentage.
The third-seeded Bs were favored over 7-13 six-seeded SW in their first round District encounter. Blaine had 58-41 and 68-42 wins over the Falcons in regular NCC season play. This wasnt expected to be any different, but district duels are a beast of a different breed.
SW hit 49 percent (21-of-43) to the Bs 50 percent (21-of-42) from to the floor and put down 80 percent (8-of-10) of their foul shots to the Bs 75 percent (15-of-20). SW even topped Blaine 6-2 in treys. But when you added up all the numbers, SWs totalled 56 while Blaine came to 59.
SW led 17-14 after Q1. Blaine was ahead 32-29 at the half and 42-41 after Q3. Falcon Pat Moote dipped in a deuce to put SW ahead 43-42 seconds into Q4. Borderite Ryan Pikes knotted it 43-43. The teams traded deuces making it 45-45, then 47-47 with three minutes left. Hooplock.
Blaine was ahead 54-52 with 1:09 left; 56-54 with 43.3 secs left; 57-56 with 18.6 secs. A little less hooplock, but a whole lot of heart stop and the game was up for grabs. SW came down court, coughed up the ball, and fouled Blaines Keith Williams in the process.
Williams put a pair of free throws through the hoop and it was over.. .
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girls trounce Lyncs
Blaines lady Borderites defeated Lynden Christian Lady Lyncs 46-23 in a winners bracket District semi-final on February 22 at Mt. Vernon high school gym to clinch a spot at the State Championships in Yakima.
The win put coast Pat Greens 2002 North Cascades Conference girls champions in the Northwest District 12A girls basketball championship on March 1 at 7:30 p.m. in Mount Vernon where 18-3 Blaine will play 15-6 Nooksack.
Gang Greens semi-final doubling at LCs output was a product of the Lady B assembly-line style of offense and disassembling kind of defense.
Outside Anna Sticklin, who scored a game-high 19 points, topped Blaines offensive efforts, sinking 4 treys, 3 deuces and a lone free throw. Inside Jessica Summers popped in 12 glass-bankers, turn round jumpers and similar close-in stuff. Summers also got 13 of Blaines 38 rebounds. Kristina Francis added 5 points; Becky Riddle, 4; Amada Stull 2, Ainsley Nix 2, Phillina Cain 1 and Shela Robertson 1.
Teammate Linsey Taylor led the squads bewitch, bother and bewilder defensive strategy. Its a phenomenon reminiscent of scenes on TV screens common to wild animal shows where a group of gorillas or orangutans protect their territory by rushing any intruders, their arms flailing wildly and their vocalizations screeching, screaming and scaring the interloper into panic mode.
The Lady Bs screech is Ball! Ball! Ball! And the arm flails are a wall of resistance. The flustered foe, faced with sensory overload, fails to get a shot off or put a ball in play in time, makes hurried passes that get intercepted and takes low percentage shots that fail to fall. LC hit 9-of-45 floor tries an anemic 20 percent to Blaines 19-of-46 success rate of 41 percent. The Killer Bs Big D held the Lyncs to 5 points in Q1 and blanked the Lyncs in Q2 to lead 19-5 at the half. Make no mistake LC didnt go 10-6 in the NCC without any scoring punch. The Bs outscored LC 16-8 and 11-10 in Qs 3 and 4.
Now its March 1, the Lady Pioneers, and the District Championships. Then its the trackima to Yakima..
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Orders for trees from the Whatcom Conservation Districts annual plant sale need to be in by this Friday. The conservation district encourages gardners to go native by offering many trees and shrubs that grow naturally in Western Washington, rather than planting varieties introduced to the area. While plants with a local origin are adapted to local conditions and in balance with other organisms they share the environment with, introduced plants can sometimes spread aggressively and damage habitat think canary grass and Japanese knotweed.
At costs far below nursery prices, the district offers red-flowering currant, Pacific dogwood, Douglas fir and a dozen more native trees and shrubs, from seedlings to two-year old plants. There will also be a selection of native perennials at the plant pickup March 8 (8:30 a.m. 4:30 p.m.) and March 9 (9a.m. to noon) at 6975 Hannegan Road in Lynden.
For more information or to order call 360/354-2035.
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