BLAINE - Defeating the best of the best is the only thing on Taryn Knutson's mind while playing for the Ferndale girls' basketball team. But with such a deep squad, it can be difficult getting game time. After scoring eight in the third quarter in the Golden Eagles' 52-33 win in a Northwest Conference game at Blaine on Monday, Jan. 7, coach Mike Ivy might have to take notice.
Knutson said the team has a lot of goals, and in order to complete those goals, these are the type of games Ferndale needs to win.
"We really want to get first in the league," Knutson said. "We also want to beat our school record of 10 wins in a row and make it to state."
The goals seem realistic with the way Ferndale shut down the Borderites' high-powered offense.
Ferndale (11-2, 5-0 NWC) took a 17-10 lead at the end of the first quarter and was able to maintain that seven-point lead through halftime and until the end of the third quarter.
That's when the Golden Eagles' depth began to shine.
"Blaine really shot the ball well and when you have a hand in their face and they still make the shots, you just have to tip your hat," Ferndale coach Mike Ivy said. "We knew we needed to wear them down with our bench."
Knutson, along with Brooke Benson, Kody Euper and Taylor Knutson are key figures in Ferndale's depth.
"Taryn can really shoot the ball," Ivy said. "It makes you think, you might want to start playing a player that can continually make those shots. She just did an unbelievable job."
Blaine (7-5, 2-3 NWC) was shut out in the fourth quarter, while Ferndale added 12 points of their own and forced five turnovers in the process.
One of the main factors was Blaine's Alexis McElwain fouling out early in the fourth quarter, according to Ivy. He said the game plan shifted after McElwain got into early foul trouble before halftime to feed the ball down to Honeycutt. Ivy said Ferndale knew that if they could take away McElwain's presence down low, they could control the boards and the inside game.
"I don't think we were ready for their physical play and how aggressive they were," Blaine coach Ryan Pike said. "They got a decent lead and had the momentum and carried it. They went on a big run in the fourth and it's tough to come back from that."
The first half of the game felt eerily familiar for Pike because of the previous game between the two teams. On Dec. 7, Ferndale took a 23-18 lead into half, a 25-18 lead this game. Blaine was able to take a lead in the third quarter of the previous meeting but wasn't able to do so this time.
Ferndale learned from the previous match-up.
"We stepped up our defense and were able to get a lot out of the girls off the bench and have things work for them," Taryn Knutson said. "But we need to work on our offense and we are going to have three really tough practices this week."
Blaine was led in scoring by Mandy Hayes, who scored 12 points, nine from 3-pointers. Taylor V'Dovec added eight points and six rebounds for the Borderites.
"Credit to Ferndale, they played well," Pike said. "They were smart and aggressive and limited turnovers in the second half and took good shots."
Blaine will next play at Squalicum on Thursday, Jan. 10, while Ferndale hosts Meridian on Friday, Jan. 11, both Northwest Conference matches.
FERNDALE 52, BLAINE 33
Ferndale 17 8 15 12 - 52
Blaine 10 8 15 0 - 33
Ferndale: Kendra Bodger 2, Koral Weidkamp 7, Taylor Knutson 4, Kelli Bannerman 0, Taylor Reid 2, Kodie Euper 2, Taryn Knutson 9, Hannah Carlson 9, Brooke Benson 4, Dasia Washington 0, Abby Reid 0, Linsey Honeycutt 13. Team totals: 22-51 3-8 52.
Blaine: Breanna Chau 7, Olivia Olason 2, Alexis McElwain 4, Nicole Ortega 0, Mikayla Deming 0, Mandy Hayes 12, Rhiana Breedlove 0, Taylor V'Dovec 8. Team totals: 12-51 4-11 33.
3-ptg: Ferndale 3 (Taryn Knutson 2), Blaine 5 (Hayes 3). Rebounds: Ferndale 28 (Honeycutt 12), Blaine 21 (V'Dovec 6). Assists: Ferndale 4 (Taylor Knutson 2), Blaine 6 (Chau 2). Fouls: Ferndale 8 (none), Blaine 7 (McElwain). Turnovers: Ferndale 18, Blaine 17.