LYNDEN - As tempting as it would be to call one of Lynden Christian's best girls' basketball performances "The Kayla and Makayla Show," it wouldn't be remotely fair to the six others in the Lyncs' regular rotation.
Senior post Kayla Tiemersma and sophomore point guard Makayala Lancaster turned in timely shooting while combining for 24 points and 10 for 17 accuracy as the Lyncs enjoyed an overwhelming 50-27 victory over Lynden before a jumbo-sized crowd on Friday, Jan. 11, at Jake Maberry Gym.
In a Northwest Conference matchup between proud programs featuring league title contenders - each of whom won state tournament trophies last season - the Class 1A Lyncs stifled the Class 2A Lions with a defensive competitiveness that warmed LC coach Curt DeHaan's heart.
"Our defense set the tone early," said the longtime coach, excited over how his Lyncs limited the Lions to six points in the first half while turning in a 15-0 run to take a 17-6 halftime bulge. "The girls did a great job of doing what we wanted to do" - to play a smothering triangle-and-two against Lynden's top scorers.
The Lyncs (11-2 overall, 5-1), ranked fourth in the state, performed with power, poise and polish while committing only four turnovers and pressuring the Lions (9-5, 4-2) into 16.
The Lyncs figure to need a similar effort on Monday, Jan. 14, against Class 3A state tournament hopeful Ferndale at LC.
"They flat out-played us in every facet of the game," said veteran Lynden coach Rob Adams. "We anticipated their triangle-and-two and spent a week and a half preparing for it. They competed and we didn't."
Lancaster, who played 27 minutes and nine seconds, and Tiemersma, who logged 22:34, both did not commit a turnover.
"It really was our desire to fight hard," said Lancaster, who scored 7 of her 11 points in the second half, including a pair of 3-pointers. She made a pair of outside shots near the end of the Lyncs' 15-0 first-half run, during which LC held the Lions scoreless for more than 16 minutes as they endured 2 for 20 first-half shooting miseries and finished 10 for 45.
To show how much sheer alertness the 5-foot-5 Lancaster displayed, she led the Lyncs with 7 rebounds.
Tiemersma hit 4 of 5 first-quarter field-goal attempts and added two buckets at the outset of the second half.
When someone mentioned she had never seen Tiemersma shoot so effectively from outside, the 6-footer grinned and replied, "I've never seen myself shoot that way, either!"
Tiemersma, LC's lone senior and a team leader, also made a fashion statement, emerging from the locker room in a white tutu to bolster cheers for the boys' team.
The other LC starters, Courtney Hollander, Karley De Jager and Sally Vlas, likely could not have played much more determined defense. Hollander finished with a eight points and was among four Lyncs with at least two assists along with De Jager and Vlas, who led the Lyncs with three assists.
Vlas scored on a rebound midway through the fourth quarter, giving the Lyncs a 43-21 advantage. After Lynden's Tanna Benson hit a 2 and 3, Vlas applied the dagger with a 3-pointer for 46-26 with 2:55 left.
"I was really happy with our bench," said DeHaan. "All three girls (reserves in the rotation) played very well."
Sophomore post Sara Dougan collected six rebounds, sophomore guard Kassidy Aldrich went 2 for 2 including a 3-pointer in the second half, and freshman Kara Bajema had a momentum-building assist on Aldrich's 3-pointer for a 33-16 lead in the final minute of the third quarter for the Lyncs, who finished 21 for 54 from the field.
The Lions also suffered a significant and disheartening loss when senior point guard Miriah Brown sustained an apparently serious injury to her right knee in the final seconds of the first half. Adams said she may be lost for the season.
LC's triangle-and-two limited 5-11 junior guard Stephanie Somers, Lynden's leading scorer, to only three field-goal attempts and one point - on a third-quarter free throw. Somers finished with a game-high eight rebounds and sat out about half of the final quarter with four fouls.
Junior guard Kelsey Bouwman, another reliable scorer, was held to four shots but made three for a team-leading 7 points. Sophomore guard Mandy Warner chipped in with six points and three assists and Maddi Hommes had six rebounds.
LYNDEN CHRISTIAN 50, LYNDEN 27
Lynden Christian 11 6 17 16- 50
Lynden 5 1 10 11- 27
Lynden Christian: Kayla Tiemersma 13, Makayla Lancaster 11, Courtney Hollander 8, Sally Vlas 5, Karley De Jager 4, Sara Dougan 2, Kassidy Aldrich 5, Kara Bajema 0, Carli Tjoelker 2, Morgan Van Kooten 0, Emma Stump 0, Haley Hollander 0. Team totals: 21-54 3-8 50.
Lynden: Kelsey Bouwman 7, Maddi Hommes 4, Stephanie Somers 1, Miriah Brown 0, Taylor VanDalen 0, Mandy Warner 6, Ashlyn Morgan 3, Tanna Benson 5, Senaida Veliz 1, Olivia Bonsen 0. Team totals: 10-45 4-11 27.
3-pointers: LC 5 (Lancaster 2), Lynden 3. Rebounds: LC 32 (Lancaster 7), Lynden 37 (Somers 8). Assists: LC 12 (Vlas 3); Lynden 8 (Warner 3). Fouls: LC 14, Lynden 6. Turnovers: LC 4, Lynden 16.