Blaine basketball season comes to an end with close loss to Liberty

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Blaine boys basketball had a wild ride through the post season, beating Sehome in a loser-out game to qualify for the district tournament, and then playing aggressive games against two experienced teams. The Borderites season came to an end on February 18 with a 75–70 loss against Liberty (17–6).

The Borderites came into the game with a 12–10 overall record, and stuck with Liberty throughout the game. Blaine trailed 41–37 at halftime, and came within two points of Liberty in the final minutes. Josh Russ and Zane rector concluded their stellar seasons with 29 and 20 points, respectively, against Liberty.

Before that, Blaine took on top-ranked Burlington-Edison, undefeated in conference play, and lost 81–51 on February 15.

The highlight of Blaine’s postseason was a 65–53 victory over Sehome in a packed Blaine High School gym on February 13. That game was a rematch – Blaine beat Sehome 61–57 the week before, to earn a home game in the first round of the playoffs.

“I was pretty nervous. The kids can get overconfident and I was a little worried we’d come out flat,” said Blaine head coach Brett Farrar after the game. “We showed them the film a couple times just to drive home the point that that first game was really close and anybody could have won.”

That worked – Blaine darted off to a 15–3 lead midway through the first quarter.

“We just knew we had to keep our tempo up and get it done,” said Rector, who led Blaine with 16 points and four three-pointers.

Confident with a 35–25 lead at half, Blaine looked like a different team to start the third quarter. Sehome tied the game at 35 before Blaine’s offense again came alive with Rector sinking back-to-back three-pointers.

For the Borderites, it was a big season of growth and the first since at least 2012 that Blaine boys basketball has finished with a winning overall record. To add to the excitement, Blaine will only lose two seniors to graduation – Rector and Mason Vega. 

“We’re a young, inexperienced team so we’re learning on the fly and I’m really happy with the resolve from our kids,” Farrar said. “I’m really, really proud of our kids. They’ve come such a long way.” 

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