by Jack Kintner
Blaine drops close decision to Baker
Alyssa Hendrickson won the battle with Courtney VanBrocklin
but the Lady B’s lost the war with Mt. Baker last
Saturday, bowing in the end 53-48. Hendricksen, Blaine’s
all-star guard, outscored Baker standout VanBrocklin 29-22
in a bruising contest in which 42 fouls were called. Hendrickson
had support from Kellee Harbst’s 14 points but not
much else to work with as only three other girls scored.
Bailey Richardson and Gabriela Avena each got two and Kristen
Both teams started slowly, Blaine trailing by five at the first quarter mark but making a run at Baker, holding them to four points for over four minutes to trail by just one at the half, 23-24, after some last-minute heroics by both teams trying to salvage or protect their lead.
The girls played evenly after the half, with good energetic pursuit by the B’s and great rebounding from both the dominating junior post Kellee Harbst and the hard-charging Avena. They ended the third quarter just two points down 31-33, on the strength of Hendrickson’s field goals and 14 for 16 foul shooting.
Two minutes into the fourth quarter Blaine tied it at 35 and then went ahead by two. Baker tied it at 37 less than a minute later and began to slowly pull away as VanBrocklin took over the game.
Her shooting made up in volume what it lacked in accuracy as her teammates drew Blaine’s defenses away to give her room, although Hendrickson, clearly the better shooter of the two, nearly pulled out the win.
Blaine pulled to within two points, 45-47, with 1:06 left and were shooting to tie but missed. Vanbrocklin pulled down the rebound and went coast to coast, running over Hendrickson in the process in a resounding crash that Blaine fans saw as a blatant charging foul, Hendrickson having stood her ground stock still and squared up in plenty of time to meet her opponent.
The call went VanBrocklin’s way, however, despite a voice vote to the contrary from partisan Blaine fans, and within 21 seconds Blaine found itself five points down with just 45 seconds left.That seemed to deflate the Lady B’s, which is something I’m sure they heard about from head coach Rob Adams. Bad calls are simply a part of the game, especially in this system where the better referees gravitate toward the boys’ teams and the bigger schools.
Even though some refs appear to not take the games seriously enough to concentrate as fully as they should, the team has to be better than that because while refs and coaches may lose games, only teams can win them.
Blaine wrestlers win two more titles
Shane Hicks (189 pounds) and Niko Rehon (160) each won championships in their respective weight divisions last Saturday in Mount Vernon at the Paul Reiman Invitational.
Jacob Humphrey (112) finished second in the AAA-level competition as did Mike Broyan (130). Tyson Foster (135) won his first match 9-3, then was pinned.
In the consolation bracket he pinned his next opponent and then won his final match for third place with a 7-0 shut-out victory over senior Tomas Pena.
Rehon Pinned his first opponent and then beat Burlington’s Beau Bridgeman 9-6 in his final. Alex Pennington (171) got pinned in his first match but then pinned his next two consolation round opponents before winning big, 16-0, over La Conner’s Corey Wilbur.
Hicks ran through his bracket like a hot knife through butter until meeting with Mount Vernon’s Brad Rabenstein in the final, where Hicks ultimately prevailed, 4-3.
Darrell Price (215) got fifth in his class with a pin over La Conner’s Tommy Peth, and Cody Dobbs (285) got fifth with a 7-5 win over Burlington’s Rudy Jinciney. The weight class, sometimes called heavyweight, was modified up ten pounds from last year’s 275. After Wednesday’s Mount Baker Invitational, results from which came after press time, the Borderites head for Vashon on December 30 to close out the year.