by Jack Kintner
Lady B’s win one, lose one last week
The lady B’s took to the hardwood with a vengeance under new coach Jeremy Hinchey, easily handling the Meridian Trojans 43-31 before falling to potential state champs Ferndale 44-28 last Tuesday night.
Blaine returns an experienced starting backcourt trio of junior guards in the smooth and heads-up Bailey Richardson, the take-no-prisoners Kristen Elsbree and hustling Carley Schmidt, at 5’7” the tallest guard on the roster. Sophomore defensive specialist Jordan Oldham and senior Kellee Harbst, just shy of six feet tall, round out the starting five. Team height is not Blaine’s strong suit, and Harbst will be asked to carry more than her share of the weight inside the paint early in the season, but with such experienced ball handlers in the back court Blaine should acquit herself well.
Meridian hosted the Borderites for the season opener last week and as expected Blaine thumped the Trojans without working up much of a sweat, outscoring them 31-18 in the second and fourth quarters. Harbst played with impressive mid-season form in blocking five shots while snagging 13 rebounds and shooting 50 percent from the floor and 75 percent from the line for 18 points. Elsbree sank 6 for 13 and half her six free throws for 15 points. Richardson, never afraid to launch shots from the far corners of the court, garnered Blaine’s lone trey.
Against Ferndale Blaine found itself out matched, as will much of the league this season. Last year’s excellent Ferndale team choked at the district playoffs and missed a sure state tournament berth.
Blaine hosted the Golden Eagles last Tuesday for their home opener, a non-league contest, and for the first four minutes went scoreless, much of the time never even getting off a shot on their offensive possessions. Finally, after 4:08 had lapsed in the first period, Oldham blew by Ferndale’s six-foot Ashley Honeycutt, their best player, to score on a lay-up and draw a foul for good measure when Golden Eagle Sarah Cicchitti reached in on her during her drive to the bucket.
But Ferndale, who starts two six-footers at the post to go along with 5’10” senior Brittany Lindsay, pretty well shut down the Lady B’s offensively, with Harbst being held to just five points and sinking just one of her meager four attempts from the floor.
On the bright side, Blaine played well defensively, at times against the much taller and more experience Golden Eagles, getting 22 rebounds to Ferndale’s 27. But Blaine was hurt badly by 28 turnovers (to Ferndale’s 18), and at the half found itself behind 24-11. In the second half Blaine scored 17 to Ferndale’s 20, which kept the score at least within reason and gives some hope for the future.
Blaine’s final home game of 2007 comes Monday, December 10, at 5:45 p.m. against a touring Australian team before a tough three-game road series against Nooksack, Baker and a second meeting with Ferndale on December 19.
Blaine wrestlers crush three opponents in one night
In a tune-up for the 24-team Battle at the Border this weekend, Blaine swept its first wrestling meet of the season and in the process defeated Meridian 69-9, Friday Harbor 73-6 and Nooksack 73-12 in the triple-dual encounter.
Eight Blaine matmen went 3-0 on the evening, including freshman Kyler Mackowiak (140) who pinned Nooksack’s Mike Bolin in 50 seconds and Meridian’s Jason Brockman 47 seconds into the second period. Blaine senior Mike Petronella (119) pinned Meridian’s Colton Laughlin in 49 seconds after first dispatching Nooksack’s Gary DeJager in 83 seconds.
Other Blaine wrestlers going 3-0 on the evening were Heavyweight Cody Dobbs (285), who pinned Meridian’s Marshall McBride in half a minute, Shane Hicks (215), who pinned Friday Harbor’s Kalen Mehrer in just under a minute and Jacob Humphrey (125), who pinned Nooksack’s Nathan Christofferson in 1:28 and decisioned Meridian’s Harris Larson 9-1.
Also setting a 3-0 mark this first night out were Kelton Nix (112), Camden Nix (130), who pinned Friday Harbor’s Angel Gossom in 1:28 and decisioned Nooksack’s Stephen Kelly 10-5, and Jeremy Holdass (189) who pinned Friday Harbor’s Dalton Baker in 3:19 and Nooksack’s Sebastion DeBont in 1:56.
Blaine returns a strong team this year, including pre-season top-ranked Jacob Humphrey (125), and will have had their second contest, a dual meet with Lynden, by the time this edition hits your mailbox.
This weekend’s Battle at the Border, which gets underway at 1 p.m. Friday, December 7, will be worth a visit, especially when it all wraps up with championship rounds late Saturday afternoon.
For the week of November 29 - December 4
Ferndale 44, Blaine 28