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Sports roundup: Boys basketball standings narrow late in the season

WWU women's basketball keeps winning, men's team slides

Meridian’s Jaeger Fyfe puts up a shot between two Nooksack Valley defenders Tuesday
Meridian’s Jaeger Fyfe puts up a shot between two Nooksack Valley defenders Tuesday (Andy Bronson/Cascadia Daily News)
By Connor J. Benintendi Sports Editor

The top of the Northwest Conference boys basketball standings are separated by a slim margin, while the girls hierarchy has a clear leader. Local boys swim teams had their annual dive meet, and girls bowlers broke more records.

On the college side of things, Western Washington University women’s basketball kept winning as the men’s team hit a slump.

Here’s an overview of what you may have missed from the last week of winter sports.

Prep

Boys basketball

photo  Lynden Christian’s Kayden Stuit dunks the ball Saturday, Jan. 13 against Anacortes. (Andy Bronson/Cascadia Daily News)  

After Anacortes beat previously unbeaten Lynden Christian on Saturday, Jan. 13, the NWC standings became more crowded at the top end than they already were.

Lynden (12-3, 9-0 NWC), LC (14-1, 8-1 NWC), Mount Vernon (12-2, 8-1 NWC) and Anacortes (12-3, 8-2 NWC) are now all separated by two games or less, though Lynden does hold sole possession of first place.

The Lions earned two wins last week, beating Blaine 79-27 on Thursday, Jan. 11 and King’s, 64-39, on Monday, Jan. 15. Lynden has now won five straight after losing to Zillah on Dec. 28, 2023.

LC quickly bounced back from its first loss of the season by crushing Oak Harbor, 91-44, on Jan. 15. The Lyncs are tied for second in the league with Mount Vernon, which has won five straight games. Mount Vernon’s only in-conference loss of the season was a 72-62 defeat at the hands of the Lyncs on Dec. 11, 2023.

Anacortes has come on strong behind junior guard Davis Fogle, who posted a second-straight 40-point performance in a 100-45 win over Sehome on Tuesday, Jan. 16. Fogle finished with 47 points and 16 rebounds for the Seahawks in a game that saw the highest scoring output by a NWC team since Lakewood beat Mount Baker 101-63 on Feb. 2, 2023.

Bellingham (8-7, 6-4 NWC) has struggled during a tougher stretch of its league schedule, losing four of its last five games. The Bayhawks fell to Anacortes, 68-44, on Jan. 11 before again losing to Lakewood, 65-55, on Jan. 15.


Squalicum (7-8, 5-5 NWC) has quickly risen the ranks after winning three straight games. The Storm doubled up Mount Baker, 66-33, on Friday, Jan. 12 before outlasting Sedro-Woolley 56-45 on Jan. 16. 

Sehome (8-6, 5-4 NWC) has had the opposite experience, losing each of its last three contests, including allowing 100 points to Anacortes. The Mariners’ previous losses came against Mount Vernon, 73-44, on Wednesday, Jan. 10 before being bested by Sedro-Woolley, 47-39, on Jan. 13. Despite the consecutive losses, Sehome is still in seventh place in the league hierarchy.

Nooksack Valley (9-6, 5-6 NWC) stopped a three-game losing skid with a 67-55 victory over Meridian on Jan. 16.

Ferndale (5-9, 4-5 NWC) and Meridian (8-7, 4-6 NWC) each have four league wins but have been unable to crack a tough middle pack in the conference standings. Blaine (4-11, 2-8 NWC) and Mount Baker (3-12, 1-9 NWC) have continued to struggle into the latter half of the season.

Girls basketball

photo  Blaine’s Deja Dube floats a shot over two Mount Baker defenders Monday, Jan. 15 in the Borderites’ 54-47 win over the Mountaineers. (Andy Bronson/Cascadia Daily News)  

The NWC girls basketball standings remain dominated by Nooksack Valley (16-1, 11-0 NWC). 

The Pioneers played four games from Jan. 12–16 and won all of them, including a non-league game at home against Class 4A Union. NV has shaken off its Dec. 29, 2023, loss to Lake City (Idaho) with six straight wins, and it is still undefeated against teams in Washington.

Lynden (14-1, 8-1 NWC) and Sehome (9-2, 8-1 NWC) are tied for third place in the league standings despite the Mariners playing four fewer games than the Lions. 

Sehome has won four straight, and the Mariners recently picked up wins over Mount Vernon and Sedro-Woolley. They beat Mount Vernon 52-26 on Jan. 10 before routing Sedro-Woolley, 67-30, on Jan. 13.

Lynden has won its last three games by an average margin of 51 points. Following a 62-9 romping of Bellingham on Jan. 4, the Lions beat Mount Baker 81-24 on Tuesday, Jan. 9 and Blaine, 61-17, on Jan. 11.

Lynden Christian (10-5, 7-2 NWC) has remained near the top of the league standings without its best player, Grace Hintz, but the junior guard returned to action from a torn ACL on Jan. 11 against Meridian. 

Hintz finished with 14 points in her first game back as the Lyncs beat the Trojans 71-30.

Ferndale (7-7, 5-3 NWC) has fallen down the league ranks after losing its last four games. Most recently, the Golden Eagles dropped contests against Burlington-Edison, 64-52, on Jan. 10 and Nooksack Valley, 78-32, on Jan. 13.

Squalicum (10-6, 5-5 NWC) has been hampered by its mediocre league record despite already reaching 10 wins. The Storm have won two in a row, beating Mount Baker 66-33 on Jan. 12 before downing Sedro-Woolley, 42-23, on Jan. 16.

Jordyn Vezzetti led Blaine (7-8, 3-7 NWC) to a win over Mount Baker, 54-47, on Monday, Jan. 15 to remain in the hunt.

Meridian (3-11, 1-9 NWC), Mount Baker (3-12, 0-8 NWC) and Bellingham (2-12, 0-10 NWC) each have one-or-less league win heading into the season’s final stretch.

Boys swim

photo  Sehome’s Jack Legan dives Thursday, Jan. 11 as teammates Gus Deluca, left, and Kaden Schmidt look on during a dual meet against Sedro-Woolley. (Finn Wendt/Cascadia Daily News)  

Sehome’s Jack Legan won the NWC Boys Dive Invitational at Fidalgo Pool in Anacortes on Jan. 13, qualifying for the 2A state meet with a score of 399.45.

Bellingham’s Miles Ludwig finished second with a score of 214.50, and Squalicum’s Nolan Witman captured third with his score of 182.90.

Girls bowling

Meridian beat Ferndale by nearly 200 pins in a dual meet on Jan. 16 at Mt. Baker Lanes, while setting a new school scoring record with a 1,715-pin total.

Sophomore Dakota Hill led Meridian in the first game with a score of 157. Fellow sophomores Claire Hinkleman (192) and Lauren Lipton (181) fueled the Trojans in the second game, helping Meridian break another school record for scoring in a single game (774).

Ferndale was led by Katelin Oord’s two-game total of 345, though the Golden Eagles fell 1,715-1,552.

WWU

Men’s basketball

Western men’s basketball lost its two road games Jan. 11–13, extending its losing streak to three games. The Vikings lost to MSU Billings, 97-84, on Jan. 11 before falling 89-74 to Seattle Pacific on Jan. 13.

Junior guard Will Wilson led Western offensively in the latter contest, finishing with 15 points, six rebounds and two steals. Wilson’s fellow backcourt mate, sophomore Kai Johnson, added 12 points, three rebounds and five assists.

Redshirt freshman guard Tijan Saine (12 points) and sophomore forward BJ Kolly (11) also finished with double-digit points for Western.

Western will host Alaska Anchorage and Alaska Fairbanks Jan. 18–20, first playing the former at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 18.

Women’s basketball

photo  Western Washington University’s Riley Dykstra sinks a 3-pointer Thursday, Jan. 11 as her teammates get ready to celebrate the basket against Central Washington. (Andy Bronson/Cascadia Daily News)  

After picking up a dominant 100-75 win over Central Washington on Jan. 11, the Vikings earned another convincing victory, 88-60, over Northwest Nazarene on Jan. 13.

Junior guard Riley Dykstra (23 points) and junior forward Aspen Garrison (20) led the Vikings in the scoring column, while senior forward Brooke Walling finished with 16 points, 11 rebounds, five assists and two blocks. Garrison also had six rebounds and four assists.

In an impressive showing for the team’s junior class, guard Olivia Wikstrom also had 14 points, nine rebounds and five assists.

Western dominated all phases of the game, pulling down 19 more rebounds than Northwest Nazarene and dishing out 20 more assists.

Next up for Western is a two-game road trip, beginning at Saint Martin’s at 5:15 p.m. on Jan. 18.

GNAC men’s basketball standings — Jan. 17

Men’s basketball League Overall
Team W-L W-L
Montana State Billings 6-0 12-4
Saint Martin’s 4-1 14-1
Northwest Nazarene 4-2 8-6
Alaska Anchorage 3-2 13-3
Central Washington 3-3 10-5
Seattle Pacific  3-3 10-9
Western Washington 2-3 10-6
Western Oregon 1-4 4-9
Alaska Fairbanks 1-4 3-10
Simon Fraser 0-5 2-14

GNAC women’s basketball standings — Jan. 17

Women’s basketball League Overall
Team W-L W-L
Montana State Billings 6-0 15-3
Western Washington 4-1 12-3
Central Washington 4-2 13-5
Alaska Anchorage 3-2 9-5
Northwest Nazarene 3-3 6-7
Seattle Pacific 3-3 6-10
Western Oregon 2-3 9-7
Simon Fraser 1-4 9-9
Saint Martin’s 1-4 3-9
Alaska Fairbanks 0-5 2-13

Boys basketball, Northwest Conference — Jan. 17

Boys basketball League Overall
Team W-L W-L
Lynden 9-0 12-3
Lynden Christian 8-1 14-1
Mount Vernon 8-1 12-2
Anacortes 8-2 12-3
Lakewood 6-4 9-6
Bellingham 6-4 8-7
Sehome 5-5 8-7
Squalicum 5-5 7-8
Nooksack Valley 5-6 9-6
Ferndale 4-5 5-9
Meridian 4-6 8-7
Sedro-Woolley 4-6 7-8
Burlington-Edison 3-6 7-8
Blaine 2-8 4-11
Mount Baker 1-9 3-12
Oak Harbor 0-10 2-13

Girls basketball, Northwest Conference — Jan. 17

Girls basketball League Overall
Team W-L W-L
Nooksack Valley 11-0 16-1
Burlington-Edison 8-0 12-2
Lynden 8-1 14-1
Sehome 8-1 9-2
Lynden Christian 7-2 10-5
Anacortes 5-3 9-4
Ferndale 5-3 7-7
Oak Harbor 6-4 9-6
Squalicum 5-5 10-6
Lakewood 4-6 6-6
Blaine 3-7 7-8
Mount Vernon 2-7 4-8
Sedro-Woolley 2-8 6-8
Meridian 1-9 3-11
Mount Baker 0-8 3-12
Bellingham 0-10 2-12

A previous version of this story misspelled Western Washington University men’s basketball player Tijan Saine’s name. The story was updated to reflect this change at 2:10 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 18. Cascadia Daily News regrets this error.

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