LYNDEN — Lynden girls basketball turned a rivalry match into a 66-33 blowout victory over Lynden Christian on Saturday, Feb. 3 at Lynden High School.
Freshman Finley Parcher scored a game-high 19 points for Lynden (13-1, 9-1 NWC), while sophomore Payton Mills chipped in 11, and seniors Haylee Koetje and Mallary Villars each scored nine.
Lynden Christian (11-4, 9-2 NWC) was led by junior Allison Shumate’s 10 points and sophomore Ella Fritts’ nine points.
Lynden head coach Rob Adams said winning the rebound battle, playing physical defense, minimizing turnovers and hitting open shots were all key for the Lions.
Adams praised the defensive effort from Kiki York, who held LC star Grace Hintz to just three points on the night. Last year as a sophomore, the 5-foot-9 Hintz averaged 23 points per game and was named to the all-Northwest Conference first team.
“The second half got off to a nice start in the third quarter where we didn’t turn the ball over a whole bunch,” Adams said. “When we don’t turn the ball over a whole bunch, we’d like to think that we have some kids that can put the ball in the hoop.”
Right from tip-off, both teams focused on getting the ball in the paint and drawing fouls. Never hesitating to push the break, the Lions capitalized when the Lyncs didn’t get back on defense in time.
Lynden was able to snag back-to-back offensive rebounds that resulted in open layups after missed free throws to end the first quarter up 17-10.
And-ones at the rim were a common pattern for both teams as the second quarter began. Foul after foul and a bevy of free throws slowed the pace down a bit. Lynden’s defense suffocated Lynden Christian and forced them to shoot contested shots as the shot clock winded down. The first half ended with Lynden leading 29-20.
Lynden came out of the locker room firing, ripping off eight unanswered points to start the second half.
The momentum seemed to disappear from the Lyncs as they were unable to convert on the offensive end and left bamboozled on defense. Lynden, which played passing lanes on defense and continued to attack the paint with ferocity, built a comfortable 50-28 lead at the end of three quarters.
Lynden continued to push the ball on fast break chances to start the fourth quarter and outscored Lynden Christian by six points in the first two minutes.
Before long, Lynden’s lead grew to an unsurmountable 30 points as the Lions closed out the victory.
Koetje said the gym was a fun environment to play in because they were competing against a cross-town rival. Moving forward into the playoffs, she said the team remains focused on what matters — enjoying it while it lasts.
“We’re just taking it one game at a time, cherishing our time that we have together, and just going in and doing our job.” Koetje said.
For Lynden Christian head coach Brady Bomber, the loss was not easy for him or his team to digest. The moments that he did like early in the game, Bomber said, did not last throughout the entirety of the game.
“I think we’ve got to go to the drawing board and figure out how we can do things better from a coaching standpoint,” Bomber said. “Going into next week and postseason, it’s not fun to experience it [this loss]. But it’s a great time for us to look in the mirror and find out what the coaches and players can do better.”
Lynden Christian closes out the regular season at home against Blaine at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 7.
Lynden finishes out the regular season at 7 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 8, against a team yet to be announced.