LYNDEN - The Lynden Christian girls' basketball team applied constant pressure defensively as it defeated Bellingham 65-33 in a Northwest Conference game on Monday, Dec. 17.
Sally Vlas had seven steals and was part of the Lyncs (6-1, 2-0 NWC) defense that forced 27 turnovers and limited the Red Raiders offense to making only eight shots from the floor.
"Lynden Christian did everything they wanted to," Bellingham coach Brad McKay said. "They rebounded well and we knew that if we wanted to have a chance we needed to block out, but we just couldn't. Once we gave up those offensive rebounds we couldn't keep up scoring with them."
Lynden Christian outrebounded Bellingham (5-4, 0-2 NWC) 52-22 and had 26 offensive boards.
Kayla Tiemersma led the Lyncs with 14 rebounds and added 15 points, even though she only played 17 minutes of the game.
"Tiemersma really controlled the boards tonight," Lynden Christian coach Curt DeHaan said. "She was working hard on both ends and shot the ball well, too."
Courtney Hollander also scored 15 points for Lynden Christian and had five steals.
DeHaan said Hollander attacked from the outside well and was able to hit some good shots from the perimeter and was impressive even though she played a little more than half of the game.
Lynden Christian's bench was also a major contributor and scored a combined total of 20 points after a few players got into early foul trouble.
"It was a real team win," Tiemersma said. "We worked well together and moved the ball around. This win will give us a lot of confidence going forward. Our bench went in and performed and it will give them a lot of confidence, too."
DeHaan credited the team's pressure defensively as a huge factor in the win. The team's quickness was key in forcing most of the turnovers.
Bellingham was led in scoring by Alyssa Porter, who scored seven points and had five rebounds, and Michaela Knutson, who scored six points.
"LC puts a lot of pressure on you and we just couldn't figure it out," McKay said. "We couldn't get the ball in with their man press and even when we did, we turned it over. I give LC credit, you have to beat them and you can't just walk in and expect to win."
One positive for the Red Raiders was defensively as they forced 20 turnovers of their own, something that frustrated the Lyncs.
DeHaan said the team needs to work on getting the number of turnovers down. There are a couple of things defensively that he would like to see the team do better, too.
Tiemersma said the team focuses on turnovers and tries to make that a big part of the game.
"We try to get in their face as much as we can and pressure them," Tiemersma said. "We need to limit our own though."
Tiemersma said the team realizes it has won the last few games in a row but has to make sure to keep a "one game at a time" attitude going forward and do the little things right in order to keep winning.
Bellingham will host Meridian in a Northwest Conference game on Friday, Dec. 21, while Lynden Christian travels to Mount Baker.
LYNDEN CHRISTIAN 65, BELLINGHAM 33
Bellingham 9 6 6 12 - 33
LC 20 17 16 12 - 65
Bellingham: Carleen Syth 0, Jenn Paul 3, Ashley Spink 3, Michaela Knutson 6, Monica Ziels 4, Alicia Romero 2, Olivia Halverson 5, Catrina Mahoney 2, Joelle Zamora 1, Alyssa Porter 7. Team totals: 8-41 17-26 33.
Lynden Christian: Makayla Lancaster 0, Haley Hollander 1, Kara Bajema 4, Courtney Hollander 15, Sally Vlas 5, Kassidy Aldrich 2, Karley De Jager 10, Sara Dougan 8, Emma Stump 4, Carli Tjoelker 0, Kayla Tiemersma 15, Morgan Van Kooten 1. Team totals: 26-69 12-21 65.
3-ptg: Bellingham 0, Lynden Christian 1 (Vlas). Rebounds: Bellingham 22 (Porter 5), Lynden Christian 52 (Tiemersma 14). Assists: Bellingham 4 (four players at 1), Lynden Christian 14 (Vlas 5). Fouls: Bellingham 17 (none), Lynden Christian 21 (none). Turnovers: Bellingham 27, Lynden Christian 20.