FERNDALE - In the sea of blue banners adorning the walls of Ferndale's gym, only one belongs to the girls' basketball team. That banner may not be alone much longer.
The Golden Eagles, led by sophomore post Linsey Honeycutt and her 21 points and nine rebounds, remain undefeated in Northwest Conference play (14-2 overall, NWC 8-0) after defeating Nooksack Valley 52-40 on Friday, Jan. 18, in Ferndale.
Honeycutt, fresh off a 15-point, 13 rebound game Monday against Lynden Christian, followed up her stellar performance with another display of inside dominance, shredding the Pioneers down low with relative ease.
"My teammates have been giving me really good passes down low," Honeycutt said. "I'm just going hard every time and getting those fouls."
She sunk nine of her 14 free-throw attempts, and finished the game 6 of 10 from the floor.
Despite pulling out the 12-point win, Ferndale struggled putting the stingy Nooksack Valley squad away after holding a 26-15 lead heading into the half.
The Pioneers (9-5, NWC 4-3) rode the combined play of senior post Melissa Stadt and junior guard Lindsay Hayes to close the 14-point halftime deficit to just three points entering the final quarter. The Golden Eagles didn't help their cause, though, shooting 2 of 12 from the field and 2 of 7 from the line in the third.
But with their lead trimmed to just three points, the Golden Eagles responded with a quick 9-0 run to start the fourth quarter behind the strong defensive efforts of senior guard Taylor Reid and Honeycutt.
Reid opened the quarter with one of her team-high four steals, which led to an uncontested breakaway layup and a five-point lead. Honeycutt followed that up with a mini 6-0 run of her own, giving Ferndale an 11-point lead just 1 minute and 45 seconds into the fourth quarter.
"We always talk about getting runs," Ferndale coach Mike Ivy said. "There is going to be three or four runs in a basketball game and we want them all to be ours. I thought we set the pace through the whole game today."
Ferndale's pace and defensive pressure was too much for Nooksack Valley, forcing them into shooting 15 of 48 from the field, and turning the ball over 21 times. Nooksack shot just 3 of 17 from the field in the fourth quarter.
Stadt led the Pioneers with a good all-around game of 12 points, 11 rebounds and a blocked shot.
FERNDALE 52, NOOKSACK VALLEY 40
NV 11 4 14 11 - 40
Ferndale 11 15 6 20 - 52
Nooksack Valley: Melissa Stadt 12, Lindsay Hayes 11, Mariah Perry 9, Lindy Swanson 2, Morgan Perry 2, Julie Campos 0, Kaycee DeBruin 4, Taryn Tenkley 0, Lauren Dykstra 0. Team totals: 15-48 9-12 40.
Ferndale: Kendra Bodger 2, Koral Weidkamp 4, Taylor Reid 6, Hannah Carlson 7, Linsey Honeycutt 21, Brooke Benson 6, Taylor Knutson 4, Kodie Euper 2, Kelli Bannerman 0. Team totals: 17-44 17-28 52
3-ptg: Nooksack 1 (Hayes), Ferndale 1 (Benson). Rebounds: Nooksack 25 (Stadt 11), Ferndale 27 (Honeycutt 9). Assists: Nooksack 5 (Parry 5), Ferndale 11 (Reid 4). Fouls: Nooksack 18,Ferndale15. Turnovers: Nooksack 21, Ferndale 15.