BELLINGHAM - It sure doesn't take long to shift gears in Lynden.
It was only nine days ago that 12 of the 13 players listed on the Lions boys' basketball team's varsity roster were on the floor of the Tacoma Dome celebrating a repeat Class 2A state football title with the rest of their teammates.
"The first couple of days of practice, it was a pretty big change going from outdoors to indoors, but by the middle of the week we were getting into it and finding our rhythm," Lynden senior John Shine said. "It just takes a little bit of time to shake off the rust and make the switch from using a football to a basketball."
From what they showed on Monday, Dec. 10, in their first game of the season against a Sehome squad that was playing its fourth, there sure wasn't much rust to shake off.
Shine, who moved into the starting lineup this year, led three Lions players in double figures, as Lynden opened defense of its 2A basketball state title by doubling up the Mariners 68-34, handing Sehome its first loss of the season.
Also having big games for Lynden (1-0) were Dak Shagren with 12 points and Zach Vis with 10, while Scott Hastings and Kyle Mark came off the bench to score nine and eight, respectively. Shagren and Hastings each had six rebounds.
"I was surprised by how well we shot the ball," Lynden coach Brian Roper said. "We've got a number of athletes, and they did a good job of making the transition, and we shot the ball surprisingly well."
The Lions hit 26 of 57 shots (45.6 percent) from the field and were an impressive 10 for 22 (45.5 percent) from the 3-point range, as they never trailed in the game.
As impressive as Lynden's offense was, the scoreboard wasn't the only statistical area the Lions at least doubled the Mariners (3-1) - they out rebounded Sehome 43-21, as well, including 11-4 on the offensive glass.
"Rebounding, especially on the offensive end, has been a special point of emphasis for us," Roper said. "Our guys, when they go to the glass, it kind of spreads, and I think you saw that, especially on the offensive boards in the second half."
While Lynden shot the ball exceptionally well, Sehome struggled, as the Mariners were held to two made shots from the field in each of the first three quarters and didn't record their 10th field goal until 17 seconds remained in the game. They went 10 for 40 from the field overall, and their starting backcourt was held to three points combined by a Lynden defense that proved just as stingy on the basketball court as it was on the football field this fall.
"We take a lot of pride in our defense," Shine said. "It's something you can always rely on. You can have off shooting nights, but if you focus on playing good, team defense, like we did tonight, you know that will always be there for you."
And it was throughout the game Monday, as Sehome seemingly never got an uncontested shot, and rarely got a look at anything around the paint.
"They really shut us down," Sehome coach A.J. LaBree said. "We tried to set screens, and they would just go over the top of them. We didn't do a good job of running our sets, and I think you have to give them some credit for that."
Charlie Linneman was the only Mariner to reach double figures with 13 points, and Jake Manson was the only other to score more than four with a pair of fourth-quarter 3s.
By winning both the offensive and defensive ends of the court and the battle on the glass, Lynden was able to score the first seven points of the game, and by the end of the first quarter they led 15-7.
With continued good ball movement, that lead was 33-14 at the half. Josh Kraght, who did a good job shutting down Sehome sharp shooter Noah Cyr-Moore on the defensive end, logged a team-high four assists for Lynden, but six of his teammates also recorded at least one.
"I think we showed we're ready to make the transition and start playing some basketball," Shine said. "I think this was a good team win."
Reach David Rasbach at email@example.com or 360-715-2286.
LYNDEN 68, SEHOME 34
Lynden 15 18 19 16 - 68
Sehome 7 7 7 13 - 34
Lynden: Josh Kraght 2, Kyle Mark 8, Zach Vis 10, John Shine 18, Dak Shagren 12, Jaremy Martin 5, Scott Hastings 9, Jalani Phelps 2, Matt Meyer 0, Marcus Fakkema 2, Bret DeGraaff 0. Team totals: 26-57 6-8 68.
Sehome: Mo Williams 1, Evan Miksovsky 4, Leif Anderson 3, Charlie Linneman 13, Brice Longanecker 1, Tanner Clark 1, Noah Cyr-Moore 0, Jake Manson 6, Duncan James 2, Willy Lallas 0, Gabe Sanchez 3, Bo Banner 0. Team totals: 10-40 9-18 34.
3-ptg: Lynden 10 (Mark 2, Vis 2, Shine 2, Shagren 2), Sehome 4 (Manson 2). Rebounds: Lynden 43 (Shagren 6, Hastings 6), Sehome 21 (Linneman 4). Assists: Lynden 11 (Kraght 4), Sehome 3 (Sanchez 2). Fouls: Lynden 15, Sehome 9. Turnovers: Lynden 11, Sehome 12.
Reach DAVID RASBACH at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 715-2271.